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About Us

Chickadee Community Services provides aid to necessary, yet underfunded Indigenous-focused education projects that will positively affect students, teachers, and communities. Future projects may include the following:

  • Support for Class 7 educators (Montana's language and culture specialists)

  • Technical assistance for tribes/school districts seeking to establish partnerships in culture/language classroom instruction

  • Creation of online Indigenous language curriculum and/or modules in partnership with tribes

  • Financial assistance for Indigenous speakers/topics whose work is under-supported.


Chickadee was founded in 2023 by a non-Native educator whose teaching experience occurred in reservation classrooms and within the field of Indigenous language revitalization.


All materials created in partnership with tribes will remain the intellectual property of the tribes, including but not limited to language materials and cultural information. Tribes and tribal partners will dictate who accesses the materials.

Montana prairie with storm

Who we are

Photograph of Bill Swaney, board chair

Bill Swaney (Salish/Kootenai)

Board Chair

Bill has a long and diverse background in the field of natural science, environmental science and in the dissemination of knowledge as a tribal college instructor. He has worked as a wildlife biologist, as the manager of the Division of Environmental Protection and as Department Head of Tribal Education for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), and as a Sanitarian at an Indian Health Service Clinic. Bill taught for 13 years at Salish Kootenai College (SKC) in the field of environmental science and also served as Department Head of Environmental Science for most of that time. He has extensive experience in working with public school teachers as well, providing numerous presentations aimed at helping teachers implement the requirements of Montana’s Indian Education For All statute. Bill has assisted with the planning and delivery of professional development for both K-12 school teachers and for tribal college instructors.

Photo of Lark Real Bird, board vice chair

Lark Real Bird


Board Vice Chair

Lark's Crow name is Holds Enemy Captive. She is a member of the Crow Tribe, a sister of the Big Lodge Clan and a daughter of the Whistling Water Clan. 


Lark is from Garryowen, Montana. She grew up along the banks of the Little Big Horn River. She was raised by her grandmother and was fortunate to have extended family close by, which included a great grandmother, great aunts, great uncles, and many cousins who all spoke the Crow Language. She was encouraged to maintain her language and only speak English when she had to, which was in school, but at home all her family spoke was the Crow Language. She learned her Crow culture by living it.


Lark attended Montana State University and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design and a Master of Arts Degree in Native American Studies, emphasis on Language Preservation.

Photo of Mike Geboe, board secretary and treasurer

Mike Geboe

(Chippewa Cree)

Board Secretary/Treasurer

Mike is a Chippewa Cree Tribal member and has been active with prevention in the Rocky Boy community.


Mike currently works as a Prevention Specialist at the Rocky Boy Health Center. Mike has worked as a Cree Language Advocate, Licensed Addiction Counselor, and is a life-long community member.


Mike graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in School Psychology.

Photo of Anna East, founding director

Anna East

Founding Director

Anna East, Ed.D., is the founding director of Chickadee Community Services. Her high school teaching career took place on the Flathead Reservation, home of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). After 22 years there, she took a position at the Montana Digital Academy where she develops online Indigenous language courses in partnership with tribes of Montana. Anna was a US Department of Education Teaching Ambassador, State and Tribal Education Partnership facilitator, author of Montana Office of Public Instruction units on the books Wind from an Enemy Sky and Brothers on Three as well as a teaching unit on the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians in addition to other essays and articles. She and her students were the subjects of the documentary Inside Anna's Classroom, produced by the Center for American Indian Policy and Applied Research, which featured place-based education on the Flathead Reservation. Anna is a 2014 CSKT Distinguished Educator awardee and the 2014 Montana Teacher of the Year.

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