Chief's Open Road
Coeur d'Alene Tribe
You can do anything if you believe in it and your heart's in the right place.
- Grew up with high rates of poverty, alcoholism on the reservation.
- He loved his home, but was "scared of it"; saw multiple friends die from alcohol-related accidents.
- Knew schooling could be his way out; was the first person from his family to graduate from college.
- Made it a point to "hang out with everybody" at school, learn about as many different cultures he could, educate others on his background.
- Got a degree in political science because he knew he "always wanted to help his people advance to the next step."
- Was sent to Washington D.C. to work for a nonprofit that advocated for Native Americans on the hill.
- Realized that the "work" needed to be done back home; D.C. was a bit out of touch from the reservations.
- Came back and was elected to tribal council, chosen for chairman three years later.