Gerard's Open Road
Nobody Can Beat You (1:03)
Park Superintendent (0:53)
Starting At The Bottom (0:22)
Understand Cultural Resources (0:18)
Not A Warrior (0:49)
Making A Difference (1:51)
Mt. Rushmore, SD
Public Television: Season 2
American Indian, basketball, catholic school, challenge, cleaning toilets, educating, grunt work, ignorance, intelligence, marriage, minority, natural environment, partying, picked up trash, preservation, proving yourself, pumping gas, reservation, respect, stubborn
- Grew up on a reservation; his father was a rancher so his goal for most of his life was to follow the same path.
- Got into college on a basketball scholarship but spent too much time partying, flunked out; was married with kids at a very young age.
- His father and grandfather told him “You’re not a warrior...you can’t even beat a pile of books,” this fired him up.
- Remembered how much he loved his visit to a National Park, realized he wanted to work in the Park Service, took a park job cleaning toilets.
- Worked his way up, applied to a job at Little Bighorn Battlefield; had to try four times then finally got the job.
- The park only celebrated General Custer, who’d actually lost the battle; Gerard insisted that they bring Native American history into the story.
- By the time he left, he’d had seven confirmed death threats and a petition for removal; people didn’t know how to deal with the change.
- He stayed stubborn, fought for his culture; was offered a job at Mount Rushmore, became the first American Indian to hold superintendent position.