Charette Advocate for Many

Billings Gazette (Billings, MT), March 15, 2005


Any conversation with Reno Charette can quickly turn into a history lesson, and she’s not talking about Christopher Columbus.

Though Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s newly appointed Coordinator of American Indian Affairs holds a master’s degree in history, she wants to tell history the way she sees it – as a woman and a Crow Indian.

“The retelling, whether it’s oral or written, is important and particularly important for native people because so much of our perspective is not in the mainstream,” Charette said. “If you’re looking at key historical events, it’s actually without a lot of voices, the female voice and any minority voice, the disabled voice, and I think I always wanted to have a skill to tell those stories that aren’t dominant.”

In her grandparents’ home, she learned the art of storytelling. Her grandparents’ friendships involved many gatherings to tell stories and have coffee, and she said that’s probably what led her to seek a history degree.

From those stories, Charette learned the importance of helping others, “that there was honor in being of service to your community.”


Subjects Covered: diversity training, education

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