Valier students were taught and entertained on Friday, Nov. 5, by former student, Jesse DesRosier, a Blackfeet artist and teacher of the Blackfoot language. Jesse only attended Valier High School his sophomore year, but he made an impact on those he interacted with while here.
Augustina Eagle Speaker recalls one such interaction. “I remember I was in third grade and he was in high school at Valier. He came over to show me how to write ‘Merry Christmas’ in Blackfeet! Still have the paper too!”
DesRosier was invited to Valier to give a presentation for Native American Heritage Month on Blackfeet Art and Language, a language that was all but lost in the late 20th century. A Browning High School and University of Montana graduate, DesRosier earned a Major in Native American Studies and a Minor in Anthropology. He now teaches the Blackfoot Language at Cuts Wood School in Browning and Blackfeet Community College.
DesRosier’s presentation included an opportunity for students to learn and practice pictograph art and also to learn some of the Blackfoot language. The elementary students were especially entertained and engaged as they had opportunities to practice words Jesse shared with them. A Winter Count is a history written in pictograph on buffalo hide by one person appointed to keep the record.
A fourth generation veteran, DesRosier served in the U.S. Marine Corps serving in Okinawa, Japan. He spent 34 months oversees. His grandfather, Fred L. DesRosier, served in the 2nd Marine Division as a scout sniper during World War II. Jesse said he chose the U.S. Marine Corps because of the pride his Grandfather DesRosier had in that arm of the service. He proudly wears an Expert Rifleman emblem he earned as a skilled marksman. Expert Rifleman is the highest marksman level earned in the Marines. This is part of his “Victory Story.”
To read the complete article, pick up a copy of this week’s issue or subscribe to the The Valierian, Browning Glacier Reporter, Cut Bank Pioneer Press and Shelby Promoter newspapers at http://www.cutbankpioneerpress.com/site/services/