The problems facing native populations are similar to those facing poor people all across the United States, except that there is even less money to help them than there is elsewhere. And those assembled agreed that there's one more problem that the native populations face.
With early voting in full swing, more than 1.9 million people have cast a ballot in the 2014 midterm elections. I track early voting statistics here. Predictably, dueling spin about early voting has emerged from the Democratic and Republican camps.
If money can buy elections, Montana's Senate race ended August 7 when the Democrat's candidate resigned. If a vibrant young working class candidate can corral the democratic process sufficiently, it began August 16.
Every year toward the end of September, as my teeth sink into the crystallized outer shell of the season's first striated melocreme, I hop into my confectionary time machine and find myself whisked back to 10 happy days in Montana.
When I am in Montana, mostly I simply embrace being in wide-open nature - just being, more than doing. With Montana's refreshing expanse of space and only the sound of the leaves and long, golden grasses moving with the breeze, my body responds strongly. I feel rejuvenated.
Autumn tourism is on the rise. Those unchained to the restrictions of a school calendar are capitalizing on the appeal of the fall shoulder season perks such as hotel and airfare deals, fewer crowds and milder weather.
It has microbreweries, artists, a cowboy hat-fixing genius, solar-powered lofts, and huge summer street events, along with homeless people, addicts, and the occasional break-in or fatal stabbing in an alley.
As for methods of getting work done, it's not that complicated. You can write, for hours and hours without stopping, even to eat, or you can write with breaks.
I've developed an additional criteria for a great ski trip. It's what I call the "surreal factor," something one ski area offers that no others do -- hopefully something weird, something wacky.
The act of going on a retreat is not woo woo. Leaving our daily lives behind and retreating into our primal rhythms, our purest flow, has been done since the beginning of time. The Native Americans went on Vision Quests. Jesus went to the desert. Buddha went to the Bo tree. Muhammad went to a cave.
Reading through Montana Rep. Steve Daines' list of campaign contributors is like looking at a who's who of dirty polluters.
The glaciers I marveled at on my backpacking trip have shrunk considerably, and even then they were a pale approximation of what they once were.
It is very possible that as Schweitzer goes, so goes Montana, and as Montana goes, so goes the nation in the U.S. Senate.
A small group composed of CEOs, conservationists, funders and advisors recently unplugged from technology and headed into the wilderness.
Forty years ago today, President Nixon addressed the nation to announce he would be resigning the next day -- the only time in US history this has happened. Today, President Obama announced the US will be dropping bombs on Iraq once again. That's a pretty heavy-duty amount of the past to contemplate, in one week.
I am sitting in the viewing car of a Portland-bound train, sipping beer and staring out at slow-rolling Montana. My journal is in my lap, open to an empty page. It's been there for about an hour. I haven't touched it.