Abdel Russell     THPO College Intern

My name is Abdel Russell and I am a proud member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe. I recently graduated from Salish Kootenai College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Tribal Historic Preservation. I am currently completing an internship with the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Historic Preservation Office. I also work with individuals and provide help for men with addiction problems. I help to facilitate a men’s workshop called “Awakening the Warrior”. I have recently completed two trainings that help individuals build resiliency as well as the community, these models are known as the Community Resiliency Model (CRM) and Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM). Both are facilitated by Diana Eisenberg, LCSW. I also participate in Celebrate Recovery at Corner Stone Church in Sheridan Wyoming as well as Faith Chapel in Billings MT. My initial plan after graduating is to returning home to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and do all that I can to help others. I also want to use my addictions counseling degree and help as much as possible with the Northern Cheyenne Recovery Center. I want to do all I can to help my people, as a modern-day Cheyenne Warrior, I strongly feel it is my obligation to help my people. Like many other tribes, we are in great turmoil. As educated Native Americans, we can make a stand to protect what we feel is right in this western way of living. This life style we were forced into as Indigenous people. I want to prove to those who I said I couldn’t do it that I was able to. Show those instructors in school that told me “you should change your major” or “You should go into something else”. Show them why I chose this degree program and I am doing it for a reason. I have been down that road of cultural identity loss. That road of drugs and alcohol, disparity and great shame. But that person has gone, and now a new warrior has emerged. A Cheyenne warrior whose ancestors inspire him every day to do good for the sake of future Cheyenne generations.