At eight months old, Michael (Assiniboine), was removed from his mother's home and cared for by a foster family, which later adopted him. His adoptive family noticed there was something wrong with his hearing. He was diagnosed as hearing-impaired. At 2 ½ he could finally hear with the help of hearing aids.
Michael attended the Montana School for Deaf and Blind for 12 years. Students there were told they could succeed in any career they chose—the only difference was their chosen method of communication. Michael learned to communicate with both sign language and voice.
He is now a student at Ft. Peck Community College, where he is working towards a general studies degree. Michael also works as a Student Support Services Peer Tutor and as a cook at a convenience store. He is active in campus clubs and community activities, and loves traditional grass dancing.