Morin Elementary is located on the Crow reservation south of Billings. Walking into the school, the first thing I noticed was a framed portrait. It was a photograph of Crow leader Chief Plenty Coups. Native history and traditions were not only apparent on the walls of the school, but also in student artwork.
I lead an art lesson in which we created a mixed media envelope book based on our favorite things. I explained that artists often find their inspiration from their own experiences and what matters most to them. I asked students to think about the things that are important to themselves. Without hesitation, all the K-8 kids jumped into the lesson. Students illustrated Indian days, Crow fair, and the St. Labre Indian School basketball team. One student drew a picture of the “stick game.” I asked her how the stick game worked, she told me, “It’s hard to explain, but there is a lot of guessing involved. Sometimes we bet with money and it is really fun.”