The Montana Book Award is an annual award that recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book published during the award year. Eligible titles are either set in Montana, deal with Montana themes/issues, or are written, edited or illustrated by a Montana author or artist. Books for all ages are considered for the award.
Nominations for the 2022 Montana Book Award are now being accepted. Learn more.
Brothers on Three: A True Story of Family, Resistance, and Hope on a Reservation in Montana centers on the community of Arlee, on the Flathead Indian Reservation, home to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and tells the tale of a remarkable group of young people who also happen to be remarkable basketball players. It follows Will Mesteth, Jr. and Phillip Malatar, starters for the Arlee Warriors, as they balance the pressures of adolescence, shoulder the dreams of their community, and chart their own individual courses for the future. Brothers on Three is not simply a story about high school basketball, about state championships and a winning team. It is a book about community, and it is about boys on the cusp of adulthood, finding their way through the intersecting worlds they inhabit and forging their own paths to personhood.
Bill Swaney is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and is a self taught beader. Bill currently lives in North Dakota on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation where he has a 10- year daughter. Prior to and after moving to North Dakota in late 2017, Bill followed Arlee Warrior basketball for nearly two decades as the team became one of the most accomplished in Montana high school basketball history.
Bill met Abe when Abe was conducting research for Brothers on Three and is pleased to present this medallion, which represents some of the symbolism of Native basketball and the theme of the book. The peyote-stitched necklace features eagle feathers accented in 24K gold-plated delica beads, medicine wheel color stripes and fire color designs. The basketball-themed medallion consists mostly of size 13 cut beads, again with gold-plated delica lettering. About 50 hours went into the creation of this piece.