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Jodi Rave Lee: Warrior spirit gives Natives hope

"June marked the completion of a yearlong journalism fellowship at Harvard University, leaving me some time to visit relatives on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. July marks my re-entry with Lee Enterprises. Instead of reporting from the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska, however, I now claim the Missoulian as my new reporting base.

In reality, the past year has given me time to reflect on what it means to be a reporter covering Native issues. Many of the stories I've written over five years reflect the hardships faced by this country's indigenous peoples: alcohol abuse, desolate economies, blatant racism, inadequate health care, social calamities. The stories are many.

Yet, the Ultimate Warrior challenge also reminded me of the extraordinary spirit of Native peoples to persevere, to achieve great deeds, to live good lives. Young Bear and Spotted Bear, respectful young men both in their mid-20s, participate in Sun Dances, and live each day drug- and alcohol-free."

Get the Story:
Native reporter finds pride in Crow event (The Billings Gazette 7/4)