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Native Author Discusses Adventures in an Indian Boarding School

Native American author M.L. "Murt" McCluskey explores what life was like at Cut Bank Indian School when he and his brother attended in his new book.
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M.L. McCluskey, or Murt, as he prefers to be called, graduated from the Cut Bank Indian Boarding School in Browning, Montana after eighth grade.

His 136-page book, The McCluskey Boys: Adventures in an Indian Boarding School, tells the tale of the time he and his brother Murlyn spent at the federally run boarding school.

“Although the experiences of many of these students were somewhat sad, challenging, and often times very traumatic, most found ways to adapt and survive,” says the book information at “It should also be remembered that several of the activities, incidents and ordeals in the book were experienced by many of the kids. They were not purely exclusive to the McCluskey boys.”

Murt, who was born and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation in northern Montana, published his book in February and gave a reading and signing on December 1 in Great Falls, Montana.

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When asked by

/1/" target="_blank">KPAX-TV what he hoped people would gain by reading the book he said, “More knowledge about Native American history and culture and education, and also to have an idea of what’s happening with Native American students today.”

After graduating from Cut Bank, Murt attended Fort Totten High School in Fort Totten, North Dakota. He and his brother then joined the Navy. After he was discharged, Murt attended Northern Montana College where he earned his two-year teaching certificate, and then his bachelor’s and master’s degree while also teaching at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation and Havre Public Schools, both in Montana.

Murt went to the University of North Dakota’s Center for Teaching and Learning to earn his doctorate in education. His 30-year career spanned teaching, coaching and administration.

Murt McCluskey, author of "The McCluskey Boys: Adventures in an Indian Boarding School."