Native American film student at MSU writes to inspire others and overcome challenges
Tia Doney says it wasn’t easy leaving her nieces and nephews in northern Montana, but she did. She came to Montana State University to show them that success is possible. But that’s only part of its story.
Tia is a film and anthropology student dedicated to showing others that their stories and heritage also have power.
“I am proud of my heritage,” Tia said. “One of my favorite things about my culture is all the lessons. One of my favorite stories is the story of the birth of the Big Dipper and the North Star. “
“Stars In The Sky” is a screenplay written by Doney based on his modern take on a tale from his Native American heritage to help others connect and understand beliefs.
“A personal thing for me is to change the excessive Romanization of Indigenous culture,” she said.
She is proud of her heritage and her personal history. She is passionate about helping all people embrace the power of their own backgrounds and layers. In fact, MTN has learned that when it comes to stories, Tia has a powerful one.
“When making a new friend, pay attention to the stories they tell you, as that could tell you a lot about who they are,” Tia said.
Tia bravely spoke out about her battle with dyslexia, something she feels is very important to share.
“A lot of people don’t expect someone to be so open about a learning disability,” she said.
Tia says she has had to grapple with the four challenging aspects of dyslexia, including math and also all aspects of languages: reading, writing and speaking.
“It’s a handicap, I have arrangements for that. I don’t really describe myself as a disabled person. I am a disabled person, ”she said.
Still, she overcomes as a writer. She’s been putting pen on paper since she was in grade 3. She also shares that she not only had to overcome dyslexia, but the self-doubt that came with it.
“Especially with my past, I hated myself right away, and when I started school I walked into the main college building knowing I was going to fail,” Tia said.
But that did not happen; instead, she excelled. She says she turned the tide by using it as a catalyst to further her strong work ethic. The rest of his motivation comes from his family.
“I went back to school to prove to my nieces and nephews that I was going to go back to school,” she said.
She says it has been hard to leave home, but she strives every day to show others, whatever challenges you face, success is possible. All you have to do is try.
“Try it,” Tia said. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. I know it’s scary at first. To try. Especially if you have a disability, if you put in the effort, really try because there is so much you can accomplish. “
We wish Tia the best of luck as she wraps up her college career and hopefully moves on to a career in film.