The project helped connect the students with their Native culture and helped us see the Reservation through the student's eyes. Throughout the year the project was hands-on; David always engaged all of the students that were present, making sure they had and knew their equipment. He modeled the utmost respect for each of the students and monitored the respect between the students. He always cared about the involvement of each student and the class. David continually asked the students to evaluate their work and to make it better and encouraged them to share their work with other students and the community.
- Allen Bone, 7th Grade Teacher Two Eagle River School-Pablo, Montana

Voices and Visions of the Flathead Reservation

The project Voices & Vision of the Flathead Reservation involved Native American and non-Native young people who live in the communities along the western front of the Rockies in the Mission Mountains. The 50 young people from St. Ignatius and Arlee, Montana were asked to portray their home and community and to focus on aspects of culture and life on the reservation using the mediums of photography and writing to encourage personal and multicultural expression. The ultimate goal of the project was to empower the young people of these communities with the tools and techniques of photography and writing in order to allow them to explore their cultural differences and similarities and to give them a means to describe to each other and to their communities who they are and how they feel. They shared aspects of self, family, celebration, community and the land.

The project provided a framework for the use of photography and writing as an expressive tool that enabled the young people of this area to talk about issues surrounding community and culture. The process of documentation is an important tool used in education, meditation, thought and expression. Voices, Visions & the Rez'' sought to create a highly evolved interaction that combined the story and the picture.

Young people in the project worked with writer Jennifer Finley and photographer David J. Spear. In St. Ignatius with Ms. Christy Konzen''s summer school program. With Mr. Pat Pierre, Mr. Steven Small Salmon, Ms. Arlene Adams and their staff at the NK''wusm Salish Language Revitalization Institute in Arlee and at the Agnes Vandenberg Camp in the hills northwest of Arlee. And with Philippa Crawford and Jenny Meyers and the Arlee after school art program. This work was shown at Hangin Art Gallery in Arlee, Montana and at the Red Poppy Art Center in Ronan, Montana.