Loading Events

Life on the Rez is the heartwarming story of a woman who finds her destiny and, in so doing, is blessed with the opportunity to positively transform the lives of others.


In Life on the Rez, Luella, a Los Angeles-based longtime educator, suddenly finds herself without employment in a tight job market. Following an extensive search, she finds that the only job available to her is a one-year contract at St. Labre Indian School, a Catholic institution on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana.

With the help of a friend and a U-Haul, she makes the move from L.A. to her new situation in Montana, where there will be no car, no Internet, no Starbucks, and where she will be asked to endure sub-zero temperatures.

She at first encounters resentment from her Native American students (who prefer the appellation “Indians”). She is, after all, one more white intruder. But, she makes an honest attempt to educate herself in Native American culture and history.

In the end, she will win the respect of her students, because she will never give up on them. In return, they do not give up on her.

Luella Wagner is a writer and performer. She received a Master’s Degree in Educational Theatre from NYU and a Teaching Credential from UCLA. While on the reservation, she produced and directed a prize-winning documentary, We Shall Survive, which received recognition at film festivals.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!