Career Pathways Planning Curriculum

Lesson Plans: Part Two

Elder Review: John Spence, Gros Ventre & Sioux

Mental Health and Addictions Therapist

These highlights will support the participant in thinking about and working with important aspects of transforming difficulties and life experiences into a successful career pathway. The key areas include:

  1. History – where we come from;
  2. Mentors & Opportunities – who and what supports us;
  3. Education, Career, Jobs, and Vocational Skills – what moves us forward.

These highlights are to be utilized to assist the participant in answering and discussing the questions identified with each of the five lessons provided in this curriculum.

John Spence

History (where we come from)
  • Grandmother was kind
  • Born in Montana on Reservation
    • Gold mining poisoned water
    • Traditional economy & government lost
    • Tribal history of hunters, yet government programs brought farming
  • Relocated to “the projects” near Seattle
  • Had caseworker – “I would run away from them”
  • Observed adult alcoholism as the “norm” in adult Indian people
Mentors & Opportunities  (who and what supports us)
  • A friend of the family got John a summer racetrack job
  • A teacher and counselor befriended John to help him go to college
  • A friend of the family who owned a plywood mill brought John to Oregon for summer jobs
Education, Career, Jobs, and Vocational Skills (what moves us forward)
  • Went to college despite no family going to college before
  • Applied to be a lifeguard and enjoyed the job; gained self-confidence
  • Applied for a job as a caseworker in Klamath and found enjoyment in working with the kids
  • Worked in a horse treatment program learning not to “break” the horse but to see horses as partners
  • Helped to establish NARA