Thanks for your response, maryscriver. I think many non-native teachers who taught on the rez and somehow managed to stick it out must have similar stories. It’s a calling, not a job.
Did you know that Grace and I were also Montanans? She moved to Hamilton in 2002. She left her job at Red Lake quite unexpectedly when her secretary met her at her door one morning. She had overheard the superintendent making plans with another man to have her murdered because Grace had refused to comply with his illegal demands to falsify student records. A few years later, Grace and I ran a B&B in Alberton, just west of Missoula.
She always missed her work on the rez. When the Red Lake school shooting occurred in 2005, the first teacher killed was her replacement in her old classroom. They tried to get her to come back, and she considered it seriously, but the same man was still superintendent, so she didn’t, but I think she sometimes wished she had.