One Flathead's Perspective

Five Part Interview: Video plus Transcripts

Passing Through | Trade Means Trouble | Life Cycle | The Difference | The Power

Logo: Salish Perspectives by Ron Therriault

Ron Therriault

Ron Therriault is a past council chairman of the Salish-Kootenai Confederated Tribes. Tribal politics! There's nothing like them, says Therriault. They're a world unto themselves. It's not at a distance. It's nose to nose, toes to toes. You want to talk to the chairman, you want to talk to your council representative, you find him in the woods, you knock on his front door. There's no secretary, or no buffer between you and tribal government. And that's the way you'd better learn to operate.

He also has taught in the Native American Studies program at Kootenai-Salish College on the reservation, in Pablo, Montana.

My worlds have been many things. When I came back, came home, what I found was a large number of older people that were really making a strong effort to bring back knowledge, the culture, the wisdom . . . . I became a teacher in a developing Native American Studies program for Kootenai-Salish College. The idea was this was the key, to be able to use that education to move our people.

That was my motivation. I felt that the right kind of education would allow us to be who we are, and still live in this world, and be able to progress.

When this interview was videotaped Mr. Therriault was a visiting instructor in the Native American Studies department at the University of Montana, Missoula