MOIESE — He sat beneath the swaying ponderosa, enveloped in the subtle sounds of nature — the light breeze rustling the leaves, the birds, the flowing river. In the distance, there was an echo of children laughing. His regal presence demanded, without asking, the complete attention of the group of Arlee fourth graders who waited for him to speak. Then, Tribal Elder Pat Pierre began to tell a story.
He told the story of a juniper tree he planted in his yard, years ago. It was once a small plant, but now, Pierre said, the tree takes over his whole house and he can sit in its shade on a hot day. He can harvest its leaves and berries — juniper is “good medicine,” Pierre said.