When I questioned my whole Montana experience, a friend of mine told me, “Maybe it was to help other people who are going through something similar.” At first, I laughed: “Yeah, right. When someone loses their job, I can help them pack up the U-Haul and head to the reservation.”
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I had a story to tell. I began telling my story “Bloom Where You Are Planted” at local and regional conferences; eventually, I spoke at several national conferences, including the National Indian Education Association Conference. At every speaking engagement, I was amazed at how many people came up to me afterwards and said, “That happened to me” or “That’s what I went through.” My story gave them a sense of purpose, a confirmation that they were not alone in their own personal journey of determination and survival.