Leading comes naturally to Victor Charlo. He’s descended from a long line of Bitterroot Salish chiefs. So much of his professional life has been in different leadership roles. He’s a co-founder, former teacher, and former principal at the Two Eagle River School, encouraging students to dive deep into what they know and express themselves. He taught at the University of Utah, too.
And when he wasn’t teaching, he was advocating for people—through the Job Corps in his home state of Montana, and through the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, DC, where he fought on behalf of not only his own people, but all minorities facing economic hardship. But while there’s a public, vocal part to Vic’s leadership, there’s a quieter, slower, more introspective part. One that he learned in his six years of studying at a Jesuit seminary, and one that comes out through his writing. Victor is a poet, a playwright, and a crafter of short stories with two books in print so far. He takes inspiration from the river he lives on and the nuances of the landscape around him. There are stories to be told, words to be fit together that give insight into the world of the Bitterroot Salish and into humanity itself. He turns to his children and grandchildren to keep him going, even after a stroke. They are his reason to live, his joy, and he wants to ensure that he remains healthy so he can finish his third book.