Cultural Experience

Impact: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Value: 10
Safety: 10

My husband and I decided to volunteer on Blackfeet Reservation as a way to learn more about the native american culture, and possibly to give back to a community that we really knew very little about. At the end of each day we were to ask ourselves; did we learn, did we serve and did we grow? We spent an amazing week; starting out getting to know each other (11 of us), and attending a Catholic church service (this was optional), with the highlight being a local Blackfeet singer who had an amazing voice; our first cultural experience! Our next experience came from a local historian, again another Blackfeet, who shared a wealth of Blackfeet knowledge and gave us a tour of the Reservation within Glacier National Park. Certainly a great day for learning! We all shared in the first two days of this adventure! However, the next four days would bring different learning experiences to each of us. I spent time with patients at a nursing home, listening to their stories. The next day I went to a thrift shop to help organize clothing and jewelry so that shoppers could purchase inexpensive items. I also went to the Senior Center in town where meals were made and served to seniors who live at the center and meals were prepared to be delivered out in the community (meals on wheels). I had the opportunity to go out in the community to help with the delivery of meals and see how some of the Blackfeet people live. I went to the Food Distribution Center to help stock shelves. We helped others in the community with projects that they needed done. Some of us stayed at one location all four days, others (like myself) moved around. We got to attend a sweat lodge, to connect one-on-end with Blackfeet people over lunch at the Senior Center, and to participate in a purifying smudge and prayer ceremony which was done by a Blackfeet who was praying in his native tongue throughout the ceremony. We also got to participate in a celebration of dance put on by a Blackfeet. This was a totally amazing experience. So did we learn, did we serve and did we grow? My answer to this is most definitely. I feel that I was given so much more from this experience than what I gave.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed