CHILDREN OF THE BLACKFEET RESERVATION: Photographs of Life on a Montana Reservation
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Heather’s Family 

In their first year of marriage, Heather (27) and Shaw (32) Momberg struggled to establish a safe and stable home for their four daughters, Joelnell (12), Kyla  (10), Lanaiya (6), and Talhia (1). After the couple’s wedding in September 2012, they moved into the home of Heather’s mother, Carol No Runner, in the small rural community of Starr School, on the Blackfeet Reservation. In Starr School, the Mombergs became the target of escalating harassment by neighborhood kids. One evening, Carol watched a group of miscreants break her into her car, so she called the police and the offenders’ parents, who did nothing. To retaliate, the gang redoubled their efforts by throwing rotten eggs and fireworks at the house, dumping trash in their yard and spray-painting profanity on the walls. After a brick was thrown through their kitchen window, landing 3 feet from sleeping newborn, Talhia, the family had to leave, fearing for their safety. Heather and Shaw purchased property in the country, outside of the reservation and transplanted their home. Although the move put the family into debt, they are grateful to feel safe and secure in their new surroundings. Now Heather’s goal is to earn a doctorate degree in nursing so she can provide a better future for her family and her community. She works full-time for the Indian Health Service, while Shaw cares for the children and renovates their home. Shaw’s ultimate dream is to work full time as a stunt man in Hollywood action films. He has stunt-acted in Westerns shot in Montana and New Mexico including Disney’s The Lone Ranger, as well as a docudrama about the life of Sacajawea. The family is undecided if they will be able to afford the move.

 

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© 2018 Rebecca Drobis. Photographs of Life on a Montana Reservation