For Leotie, growth shaped her life in dramatic and not always welcome ways. Her childhood in the small settlement of Azure in the lee of the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana was happy and normal. Her mother, father and two brothers were all normal reasonably content folks with few of the hang-ups and problems reservation life can bring to native peoples. The Chippewa and Cree tribe of the Rocky Boy reservation had been astute and careful with their resources, their income from natural resources and later, the Northern Winz Casino, among other modern developments meant a higher standard of living than was usual on reservations.
As the girl reached pubescence things changed. She began to have visions and was troubled. The shaman woman spoke to her and saw she had the magic. She became apprenticed. As she grew to womanhood Leotie suffered as she grew rounder, taller and more beautiful than her cousins and sisters and aunts. She was no longer of her band and they called her names and thought her mother must have lain with a white-man so they called Leotie: Métis-Mistik, meaning ‘mixed-race tree.’ No more flower of the prairie, Leotie left her band and her lands and travelled west.
We travel with Leotie through space and time.