Meeting Needs with Resources

John P. Livingstone, Same Drum, Different Beat: The Story of Dale T. Tingey and American Indian Services (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003), 93-111.

Dr. Lowell Wood, who would become a General Authority, worked closely with Dr. Raymond B. Farnsworth, the agriculturalist, and was “instrumental in securing many grants” from institutional donors. [1] As program administrator, he assisted with financial and administrative aspects of American Indian Services and also taught some workshops for Indians visiting BYU during Indian Week. He was also one of the founding individuals in the establishment of the Ezra Taft Benson Agricultural and Food Institute, whose objective was to “raise the quality of life through improved nutrition and enlightened agricultural practices” from the BYU campus. [2] Interaction with and support from the Benson Institute resulted in many other experts becoming available to Indian tribes through American Indian Services.

Dr. Wood arranged for private organizations, businesses, and foundations to donate funds for the use of the institute. The Donner Foundation, the Charles E. Merrill Trust, the Sara Melon-Scaife Foundation, the U.S. Steel Corporation, and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation were some of the early donors that made money available for institute projects. [3] Paul Ream, a neighbor of Paul Felt, owned a string of discount food stores in Utah. He was approached about working with Native Americans and soon became captivated by what was going on. He was also willing to donate significant time and money to the institute. While accompanying Paul Felt on a trip down to inspect some projects in southern Utah and northern Arizona, he came away with an interest in Native Americans and the problems they faced. [4] He had had some sentimental feeling for Indians when he was a young man. An Indian who lived near the Reams in Provo had a bow, and Paul thought he was a bow hunter of sorts. He remembered seeing the Indian man shoot arrows into the sky and somehow never forgot that image. Later, when he was an aspiring businessman, someone had told him to watch out for Indians, “They will pilfer and steal, I was told.” [5] In his first grocery store, he saw an Indian woman come in with two children who were maybe five and seven years old. He relates the following:

One was a girl. I didn’t communicate well back then when I was getting established in my old 830 West Center Street location. I was hoping she would leave. I was just a little uneasy. I watched her closely as she moved through the store. After several months I got thinking and putting that incident into my conscience. Here I was, hoping she would leave and I would not have to be concerned with her. I always get a tear in my eye when I think back on it. We don’t give a damn—the government doesn’t care—there are lots of reasons that these people have been given such a hard time. Society back then was concerned about the Blacks and all, but the Indians really got shuffled under. I felt bad about my attitude. [6]

Paul Felt was called as a mission president to the Southwest Indian Mission, and Dale became the director of American Indian Services (AIS), effectively trading places. He and Paul Ream seemed to hit it off immediately. Dale invited Paul to fly with him and even invited him to try taking the controls while they were in the air. Paul had a ball. He loved it, and as he became more enamored with flying over the next few months he offered to replace Dale’s old Cessna 172, brought from the mission field, with a new Cessna 182, which was larger and more powerful. It would be used to help with AIS activities. Paul soon became a regular on many of Dale’s jaunts down to the reservation and became increasingly familiar with the projects and people associated with AIS. Soon Paul had his managers and staff involved in the donation of money and goods that flowed to impoverished Native Americans on several southwestern reservations. In time, traveling with Dale induced Paul to become a fully qualified pilot. Paul Ream feared that his reading problems, which he had suffered since his youth, would prevent him from passing the written pilot’s test. But after months of late-night studying in preparation for the exam, he went in and took the two-hour test. When they announced he had passed, Paul said, “If I had been handed a diploma that awarded me a doctorate, I would not have felt any greater sense of accomplishment.” [7]

Paul Ream and Dale came up with a new idea: a golf tournament that would be a fundraiser for AIS. Paul had some previous experience with golf tournaments and knew the great golfer Johnny Miller. He had his right-hand man and general manager, Dick Cheney, take care of the details of the promotion, and they were off. Paul called several friends in the food industry, and they eventually became the sponsorship backbone of what became the “Great American Indian Shootout” golf tournament held annually ever since. Paul had other food industry friends who started another benefit golf tournament down in the Phoenix area that also brought in money to AIS.

Within a year or two of becoming AIS director, Dale hired one of his former missionaries as an assistant. Bill Kelly, who had served most of his mission as a secretary to President Tingey, commented that perhaps Paul Ream had donated more money and time to AIS than any other individual. [8]

Even the Tingeys’ dentist, Dr. Max Blackham, was invited by Dale to share his expertise on reservations throughout the West. One day a month he offered a clinic on the Goshute Indian Reservation near the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. He was able to convince the Western Dental Supply Company in Salt Lake City to donate about $10,000 of needed instruments to equip the reservation clinic. He loved working with Indians and served on the AIS board for many years. In addition to the Goshutes, other tribes who benefited from his assistance were the Havasupai, the Hopi at Walpi, and the Shoshone. Much of his help was offered while he still had nine children at home and was serving as a bishop. [9]

Reading Dale Tingey’s daily journals from the time spent at BYU with American Indian Services can leave one breathless over the amount of activity and travel he accomplished over the years. Flying to many reservations and cities where donors lived and attending meetings related to both his work and service opportunities took much time and energy. His results-oriented, high-energy approach to helping Native Americans caused his good friend, Paul H. Dunn, to comment on Dale’s frantic pace and determination to help Native Americans out of their socioeconomic problems: “If there’s not a crisis, he will make one!” [10] Elder Dunn was always impressed with his friend’s eagerness to do whatever it took to help Native Americans. Whether it was shipping donated registered cattle, horses, or dairy cows to upgrade reservation stock, or touting the donated time and labor of individuals who brought electricity to the Navajo reservation, Dale’s energies were pointed to improving the lifestyle of American Indians. [11]

Dale’s down-to-earth style prompted many farmers, ranchers, and even celebrities such as singer Wayne Newton and actor Robert Redford to donate registered livestock to AIS. [12] Horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and even buffalo were offered frequently, and the pages of the AIS Buffalo Hide newsletter are filled with accounts of these kinds of donations. [13] Dale would sometimes keep the animals on a small acreage near his home in northwest Provo until arrangements could be made to transport them to the reservation.

Farming equipment was often donated too. Tractors, combines, bulldozers, pumps, sprinklers, and other machinery were donated by individuals and corporations alike. A few Boy Scouts working on their Eagle Scout projects gathered tools and donated them to AIS. [14] Used machinery was generally refurbished and repainted by local shops prior to being shipped by volunteers.[15] Tribes often paid the shipping charges for the equipment.

For several years, AIS donated and distributed seeds in sealed one-gallon tin cans to help Indian families learn home gardening. A unique project was initiated for young Native American couples attending BYU to have garden plots and try their hand at growing their own food. [16] The Lilly Seed Company gave 22,000 pounds of garden seeds to native families in Mexico in 1987. [17] Thousands of young tomato plants and fruit trees were also distributed. [18] Hundreds of native families experimented with gardening and tried to reduce their food costs by growing a garden. AIS published information from the Ezra Taft Benson Food and Agricultural Institute at BYU that indicated that one and one-half acres of land could provide food and cash for a family of five. [19]

For several years Dale served on the Utah Governor’s Board of Indian Affairs. In this capacity he became well acquainted with the Utah Department of Indian Affairs, Utah Navajo Industries, and the Utah Navajo Development Council. He was happy to serve but felt that the bureaucracy of government and government regulatory bodies was slow and inept. Dale encouraged thrift and economy and was often worried when money appeared to be used unwisely. [20] He felt that prudence and economy were best and that money should be used wisely.

Raising money for Native American projects did not come naturally to Dale. In the beginning he felt it was difficult to ask people for money. At times he misjudged people’s intentions. In June of 1981,

Jeanette and I flew up to Idaho to visit some donors. We were met at the airplane at Rigby by Gale Clement who has been promising to help us with our programs, but [we] could never quite pin him down. He showed us around his potato plant and also his home, but we could not get him to sit down and talk to us about finances. I mentioned on several different occasions that we need his help with the Lamanite programs, and I had hoped to ask him for at least $10,000 but the more he talked about the difficulty they were having and the drop in the price of potatoes and a pumping station that had been hit by lightning and cost him $15,000 to repair—the day before—I went down to $5,000 and then $1,000 and then would have been happy to get $500. All of a sudden, standing in the house, he opened a drawer and grabbed a check and just started to write and said, “Would fifty help you a little?” I told him that every little bit would help (I thought he meant $50), but we did need more to keep the programs going, and to my great amazement, he handed me a check for $50,000! I nearly jumped for joy. He was delighted and said, “If you’re going to give a gift to the Lord’s work it ought to be a sacrifice.” [21]

Many others were willing to help and give support, and throughout his journal Dale offers a continual stream of gratitude for those with the means and the generosity to reach out to help Native Americans. One of his assistants, Howard T. Rainer, from the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, commented on Dale’s ability to switch-hit between the wealthy and the downtrodden: “He could work equally well with either the elite or the least of them—to him, he took the admonition that God is not a respecter of persons.” [22] Dale could clearly speak the language of individuals from both ends of the financial and political spectra in western America. People seemed to feel his sincerity and commitment. Perhaps his straightforward, unpretentious talk disarmed both those with ample resources as well as those who needed help to get ahead.

H. “J.” and Myrtle Russell of Russell Ice Cream fame in Utah were early supporters of Dale and AIS. “J” was also a pilot and with his Beechcraft Bonanza airplane was very involved in AIS projects in Mexico. [23] While working for the Union Pacific Railroad in the early 1940s, “J” started into the ice cream business with a partner whom he later bought out. While assisting financially with AIS projects since 1972, in 1980 “J” became a member of the AIS Advisory Board and donated five thousand dollars in one hundred dollar bills to mark the occasion. [24] The support of the Russell family is ongoing in AIS.

Dale loved to go down to the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon near Peach Springs, Arizona. For many years AIS provided Christmas gifts for the people there, and Dale would take donors, family, and friends to see the small reservation tucked away in this isolated area of the Grand Canyon. The four-hour ride is spectacular, summer or winter. One Christmas, on a cold, blustery day, Dale took a friend down with him to deliver gifts from AIS. They had a late start, and the pack horses were ambling down the darkened trail. Dale was chilled, and he was beginning to hope that more good than just Christmas gifts could be given to the people in the canyon. Dale noted:

I was praying to the Lord just saying, “Dear Lord, please let there be something extra that we can do for them this time rather than the usual meetings, so that it will be worth all this misery.” . . . But we were walking down this trail at about 10:00 p.m. Up the trail came this Indian riding speedily on his horse and as he got closer I flashed my light on him and his horse. He jumped off and he came up and grabbed me shaking me hard. He said, “You crazy fool. Are you trying to kill me and my horse? Don’t you know that when you flash a light on a rider and his horse that it blinds them?” I said, “Man I didn’t want you to run over us.” He said, “Well you should have known better than that.” I said, “Anyway, where are you going this time of night.” He said, “I am going to kill Leon Rogers.” I said, “What in the world are you talking about?” His father . . . had fallen in the river and he had a crazy idea that Leon had pushed his father in, and his father had died. The Indian said to me, “You know an Indian has to get revenge.” All of a sudden he recognized that it was me and he said to me, “Tinjey [they have trouble pronouncing ‘Tingey’] is that you?” I had known him as a boy I said, “Well yes, it’s me.” He said, “What are you doing down here?” I said, “I am down here with the Christmas program as always.” I said, “. . . If you kill a man you will be in jail for the rest of your life and it’s not worth it.” He was a big, husky man and he was shaking. I could see that he had a bar in his hand. I said to him, “I’m telling you if you do this the Lord will never forgive you and it’s not worth it.” He said, “Well, I’m going to do it.” I said, “Okay, then come over here off the path and talk with me for a minute.” He went with me and I just sat down with him and began praying, saying, “Dear God, please help us and have mercy on us. Please bless [this man] that he will not do this terrible thing. . . .” I went on and I felt him just go limp. I finished the prayer because I knew that he had changed his mind. I asked him, “You are not going to do this, are you?” He said, “No, I’m not going to do this.” He pulled the shaft out of his hand and it turned out to be a tomahawk that he had. He had placed the shaft in his hand and then hid the tomahawk part in his coat sleeve. He gave me the tomahawk and said, “Here you take this so I won’t use it. I am going home.” [25]

Dale concluded, “I still have that tomahawk in my den to remind me that the Lord has the ability to solve problems that man can’t solve.”

On another Christmas trip down into the Havasupai area of the Grand Canyon, Dale tried to reinforce the importance of Christ as the center of Christmas with the native branch president, Leon Rogers. After the Christmas story had been read from the Bible and a carol had been sung, Dale asked what God’s greatest gift to man was. The branch president’s quick response was, “Horses!”

Dale was taken aback, given the occasion, and asked, “Horses? I know it is a great gift, but is that the greatest gift to man?”

Leon replied, “Yes, horses. If you don’t have horses, you can’t survive in the Canyon.”

Dale countered, still hoping to get around to the importance of Christ, “What is the second greatest gift that was ever given to man?”

Leon said quickly, “A woman.”

Dale thought it was hard to argue with that, so asked again, “What is the next greatest gift?”

Leon told him it was children.

In some frustration, Dale questioned, “Why do you put horses before women and children?”

“Tingey,” he said, “If you have no horses, you have no women or wife. If you have no wife, you have no children. If you have no children, you have no Christmas, because there is no Christmas without children. If you don’t have Christmas, you don’t have Christ.”

Dale thought that made good “horse sense.” [26]

His enthusiasm for helping Native Americans was infectious and contagious. AIS donors became his friends. And he somehow made his friends donors. Whether those friends were Church leaders holding prominent ecclesiastical offices or simply next-door neighbors, he was able to get them to help in meaningful ways.

Not all donations came in the form of goods or cash. Dale contacted high-profile Latter-day Saint sports figures and solicited their help in raising funds to help Native Americans. From the beginning of the Great American Indian Shootout golf tournament in 1984, Latter-day Saint golfer Johnny Miller was the centerpiece of the fund-raising event. And when multiple AIS tournaments began to be sponsored each year in places such as St. George, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Idaho Falls, Johnny would lend his support where possible. Basketball player and future NBA coach Danny Ainge also supported the first AIS shootout. But it was Johnny Miller who put Dale in touch with Bob Hope and gave the shootout a publicity flair that really helped raise money for Indian student scholarships.

Bob Hope, former U.S. president Gerald Ford, and a host of other celebrities participated in the Second Annual American Indian Shootout. Sharlene Wells, the reigning Miss America and a Latter-day Saint, attended and played her first round of golf. Bob Hope enjoyed playing with Sharlene but was merciless in teasing the former U.S. president, who had the misfortune of hitting a spectator with one of his shots: “Actually, people don’t mind very much when Jerry hits them, because it gives them a chance to pardon him.” [27] (President Ford was well known for pardoning Nixon for the Watergate scandal.)

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young, also a Latter-day Saint, became a great friend and supporter of Dale Tingey and American Indian Services. Soon after playing for the first time in the Fourth Annual American Indian Shootout, Steve began accompanying Dale on trips down to the Navajo reservation and speaking to Indian youth about accomplishing their goals. [28]

The program following the golf tournaments always featured presentations of awards and gifts by General Authorities such as Hartman Rector Jr. and George P. Lee. Other Church leaders such as Paul H. Dunn, Robert D. Hales, and Robert E. Wells also attended and supported AIS golf tournaments. Entertainment afterward featured Indian music and dancing and gave a cultural boost to the events.

Sometimes Dale was able to return the favor and help his General Authority friends. During the winter of 1978, Dale arranged for Ruth Polacca to meet with President Spencer W Kimball, then President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in his Salt Lake City office. Somehow, President Kimball had received word that Ruth would be attending BYU Indian Week and asked Dale to arrange a meeting. Elder Kimball had gone to the Navajo Reservation for two weeks during July 1948 to recuperate from a heart attack he had suffered in May. Living in a borrowed tent trailer near the Polaccas, he was able to rest and relax from his demanding schedule as a Church leader and try to follow doctor’s orders to avoid stress and get some rest. He and the Polaccas became good friends during the two weeks.

When Dale brought Sister Polacca to meet with President Kimball, she was nervous and worried that he might now be aloof in his new position. But when they arrived, President Kimball embraced her gently and kissed her cheek. She teased him about the opulence of his office, and he tried to tell her that he really only used the desk and occasionally laid down on the couch to rest. She said, “My, you certainly have it a lot nicer than we do on the reservation.” [29] Dale enjoyed the visit and loved to see this good Indian woman rekindle the friendship and feel comfortable enough to chide the President of the Church.

Dale’s great friendship with Elder Paul H. Dunn also deepened over the years. Elder Dunn would often use Dale as a sounding board when he was involved in Church programs related to helping members in the military or issues dealing with the Church Educational System and the Latter-day Saint Student Association. He would solicit Dale’s thoughts and ideas on potential dilemmas and solutions. Dale would often stop at the Dunns’ on the way back from meetings in Salt Lake City. He and Elder Dunn would reminisce over their time together in California and bring each other up-to-date on their activities. Dale wrote, “He has been my dearest friend over the years.” [30] When Paul developed difficult and discouraging heart problems, his good friend visited and tried to encourage him.

The Tingeys were grateful when Elder Dunn performed the marriage of their youngest son, Boyd (named after Boyd K. Packer), to his bride, Teri, in the Salt Lake Temple on 14 August 1985. He had performed the marriages of all their other children. Sometimes the travel destinations of Dale and Elder Dunn would cross and they would go out to eat together or just arrange to visit. They were mutual confidants and seemed to be able to relate intimately in an atmosphere of complete trust. And at every convenient opportunity, Dale would invite his General Authority friend to participate in appropriate projects and opportunities. Once he even had him go to a Sharing the Gospel missionary preparation class at BYU to talk to the students. (This tended to drive his BYU superiors a little crazy, as the normal institutional protocol was ignored.) In virtually every entry where Dale mentions Elder Dunn in his journal, he expresses appreciation for his friend and his talented way of motivating people. He always felt honored when Elder Dunn would open up and share his worries and frustrations as a leader.

Elder Dunn would sign copies of his many books for Dale to give to donors and friends who were helping with American Indian Services. On 13 December 1983 Dale’s journal noted: “At 11:00 [A.M.] Jeanette and I rushed up to Salt Lake. She wanted to do some shopping and I met with, and went to lunch with Paul Dunn. After which he spent two hours signing some 100 books for our Board members and others. It is always a pleasure to be with Paul. He is so kind and generous and desirous to help others. He is having difficulties in a financial investment that did not work out too well.” [31]

Dale felt free to call on Elder Dunn whenever he needed help on either Indian or non-Indian issues. On one occasion, a young BYU student was suicidal after being disciplined for moral transgressions. She had been excommunicated, expelled from school, and put out of her apartment. Dale had been visiting her at the psychiatric ward of the hospital and “trying to help her spiritually, while the psychologists were working with her from their point of view.”

I spoke with Paul Dunn and he had the girl, her mother and the psychologist and his wife, and Jeanette and I go to his home for the evening. . . . He spoke with me first and the psychologist, getting our points of view, then he had a wonderful talk with all of us explaining the meaning of the Atonement and how the Lord had paid for these sins once we have repented, that she could close the door on them and look to the future and not look back. He really did [such] a beautiful job with illustrations on a spiritual approach that it just overwhelmed all of us. The psychologist’s wife was so impressed that she confessed right then that she had been sexually abused and what Paul had said had really helped her. . . . She felt that Paul had given her the healing . . . that she needed. I bet that surprised the psychologist, after all those years of living with her as her husband. Anyway, in just a couple of days the girl . . . really did a complete turnabout, was released from the psychiatric ward and is now at home with her parents and doing well. [32]

Working with high-profile people came naturally for Dale, but it also posed significant challenges. When Dale arranged for both entertainer Bob Hope and former U.S. President Gerald Ford to attend the annual Great American Indian Shootout, arrangements had to be made specifically for these celebrities, but also with the Secret Service. Dale met with Bob Hope’s agent, which took nearly all day on 30 May 1986. He had no idea of the details and requirements necessary for such a high-profile entertainer. They seemed more challenging than the requirements for the visiting former U.S. President. When Bob Hope arrived, a news conference was held at Little America hotel in Salt Lake City. Arrangements were made for some Native Americans to present Bob with a full American Indian headdress. The headdress had actually been presented to Dale years before, and he watched a little wistfully as it was given away to Bob Hope. [33] But that was typical of his nature. He was willing to give anything away for the good of the program. And that particular event raised more than $175,000 for AIS. [34]

Dale also called on colleagues and friends to share any expertise they had with Native Americans. Steven R. Covey, a longtime friend and Provo neighbor, was invited to speak at an American Indian Leadership, Management, and Personal Development Conference to share his motivating ideas on working well with others. [35] Covey would go on to national fame with his 1996 best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Larry Echohawk, lawyer and former BYU football player, was called upon to speak at AIS events. He would go on to become the first state attorney general of American Indian descent in the United States (Idaho). Dale had no hesitation in asking successful American Indian BYU students to “strut their stuff” and show the world the good things that could be accomplished with hard work and vision.

Dale’s daughter Diane told how hard her father worked but how free he was with his resources, especially when it came to his family. He often arranged for the family to do fun things. One year, he took all the children and their families to Cancun, Mexico. He simply said, “You plan and I’ll pay.” [36] For young married couples with small children, struggling financially, it was a fun vacation normally beyond their reach but willingly provided by a father who loved to watch them have fun, even when he was paying for it.

A constant thread running through Dale’s journal is his love of horses. Hardly a week ever went by that Dale did not relax and wind down by going out to the pasture, where the horses were kept, to ride for an hour or so with Shannan, the Tingeys’ adopted Navajo daughter, especially while she was a teenager. Often the rides took place on Saturday, but many times they occurred after work in the evening. Shannan’s Navajo heritage included a love of horses and the wonderful feeling of freedom and peace that can come with the wind in one’s face on a good horse. She loved to tend to the animals and was interested in their breeding and general care. Dale found that working with horses was a release for him, and he always felt rejuvenated after riding.

Dale has almost always had good general health, and he has never let temporary illness slow him down. His journal mentions a few bouts with the flu and terrible head colds, but it is obvious that minor ailments were ignored for the most part, and he simply continued to work in spite of them. Even when he was forced to spend a day in bed for a more serious illness, Dale would work the phones, calling and encouraging donors, arranging schedules to meet with tribal, Church, or civic leaders, and doing anything else he could with just his voice.

Once, on 5 January 1988, he was flying home from Mexico at night when he had a “blur” with a flashing light occur in his right eye. He wondered if he was going blind and was relieved to finally land in Provo, but he was worried that his flying career might be jeopardized. The eye doctor suggested he could take immediate care of the problem at his office with a local anesthetic. Referring to his response to the offer of the in-the-office, after-hours surgery, Dale said, “That was the first mistake I made.”

The examination was so traumatic with him pulling, pushing, and working on my eye, that I fainted. When he started to put those needles in and around the eye to deaden it, it was a pretty traumatic tiling. Then he put the needle in the eye to freeze the torn retina. I thought I couldn’t stand the pain or the pressure. I told him that and he told me that he “couldn’t stop now, you just have to hold on.” I was never more relieved than when he finished.

The only thing that gave me strength to hold on was praying. I thought a couple of times I was going to faint again and then I thought it would only hamper the operation or maybe extend it so I tried to concentrate on praying and forget about what he was doing. The needles and the light shining in my eye, his pushing and saying he can’t quite reach it, was very traumatic for me.

I was supposed to call Jeanette when he was finished and have her come down to pick me up but I was so anxious to get out of the office that I just got out and into the car and drove home with one eye closed and the other so watery and blurry I could hardly see. [37]

Dale’s assistants and office workers were always an important part of the success of AIS. Associates like Eran A. Call, who joined AIS in the fall of 1982, and Lowell D. Wood went on to become General Authorities of the Church. [38] Kirt Olson came to AIS in 1980, following his assignment as mission president in the Colombia Bogotá Mission. Kirt’s interest in helping Native Americans had begun in 1957, when he stopped at a trading post on an American Indian reservation in Arizona en route to Phoenix. Completely surprised by the nature of reservation life, Kirt began a long quest to improve conditions among Native Americans. He uprooted his home and family to move to Crystal, New Mexico, on the Navajo Reservation. Working, in turn, for both the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian seminary program, he could see the vast needs of these people who seemed to fall lowest on society’s totem pole of class distinction. He later took his family to Mexico, where he initiated helpful humanitarian projects southwest of Mexico City in the province of Puebla. This area would later become a key center of strength for Church growth in Mexico. The Olsons then returned to the U.S., and Kirt was invited to work in Utah, first with the seminary and then with the general Church curriculum departments. His association with the Lamanite Committee brought him into close contact with Dale and led to his joining AIS after serving as mission president. He left AIS in 1985 to return to working with Mexican Indians from a home on the Rio Grande in Brownsville, Texas.

Bill Kelly and Howard Rainer officially began to work with American Indian Services in 1971 and 1974, respectively, and continued until American Indian Services left the umbrella of BYU when Dale retired in 1989, at which time both stayed with BYU Continuing Education’s Native American Educational Outreach program. Bill was the manager and general facilitator of AIS efforts from the office, since Dale was on the road and in the air most of the time. Dale would create a flurry of activity that the office staff was left to manage, and they felt honored that Dale would give them such essential functions concerning both donors and those who had needs. Bill’s organizational abilities kept things on an even keel while Howard would often join Dale on the road, motivating American Indian youth and providing a tremendous example of the potential of American Indian youth to possible donors.

Howard and Dale worked well together. Dale had recognized Howard’s unique ability to speak to Native Americans from the heart and motivate them. Not only that, but Howard was able to adjust to “emerging” situations that required flexibility and commitment. Dale really enjoyed being with Howard and felt that he had a “phenomenal way” of working with students and getting them to listen to important ideas. [39] Howard facetiously commented that they probably would have made a great gospel-tent revivalist team together. [40] After AIS left BYU, Howard stayed on with Continuing Education, presenting workshops to motivate Native American leaders and youth in what became known as the Native American Outreach program. The significant corpus left behind by Dale’s fund-raising activities continues to finance scholarships and others aspects of the BYU program managed by Howard and Bill.


[1] Williams, History of American Indian Services, 30.

[2] See “Our Mission: Benson Institute,”

[3] Williams, History of American Indian Services, 15.

[4] Paul Ream, Real Live Action: My Story from the Beginning (n.p., n.d), 330.

[5] Paul Ream interview, 19 March 2002, interview by author.

[6] Ream interview, 19 March 2002.

[7] Ream, Real Live Action, 346.

[8] William H. Kelly interview, 2 November 2001, interviewed by author.

[9] “Flying Dentist Serves Goshutes,” Buffalo Hide 1, no. 1 (1978): 1.

[10] Howard T. Rainer interview, 10 October 2001, interviewed by author.

[11] For examples, see Buffalo Hide 9, no. 3 (1986): 4.

[12] Buffalo Hide 3, no. 3 (1980): 1; 6, no. 3 (1983): 1.

[13] For just a few examples see Buffalo Hide 1, no. 1 (1978): 2; 2, no. 4 (1979): 1, 3; 3, no. 4 (1980): 3; 4, no. 4 (1981): 3.

[14] Buffalo Hide 5, no. 4 (1982): 1.

[15] Buffalo Hide 3, no. 4 (1980): 4.

[16] Buffalo Hide 5, no. 3 (1982): 3.

[17] Buffalo Hide 10, no. 3 (1987): 1.

[18] Buffalo Hide 5, no. 2 (1982): 4; 5, no. 3 (1982): 1.

[19] Buffalo Hide 4, no. 4 (1981): 3.

[20] Dale T. Tingey, Dictated Journal (Provo, Utah: n.p., 1985), 4 January 1985; 16 May 1985- Dale’s journal entries for several years were dictated, then typewritten by office staff. Those who know Dale well know he maintains voluminous correspondence by dictating letters, composing as he goes. In later years, his journal entries remained as computer files, only printed when needed.

[21] Tingey, Dictated Journal, 26 June 1981.

[22] Rainer interview, 10 October 2001.

[23] Kirt Olson, “Mexican LDS Families Leave City to Homestead,” Buffalo Hide 4, no. 4 (1981): 4.

[24] “Reeder, Russell Join AIS Board,” Buffalo Hide 3, no. 2 (1980), 2.

[25] Tingey journal, 106–8.

[26] Dale T. Tingey, typescript journal entry from computer file.

[27] “Hope Arrives with Bagful of Golf Clubs, Gibes,” Buffalo Hide 9, no. 2 (1986): 5.

[28] “Great People Make AIS Golf Tourney Successful,” Buffalo Hide 9, no. 5 (1987): 3.

[29] Dale Tingey, “Pres. Kimball Meets Indian Friend,” Buffalo Hide 8, no. 4 (1985): 3.

[30] Tingey, Dictated Journal, 15 August 1985.

[31] Tingey, Dictated Journal, 13 December 1983.

[32] Tingey, Dictated Journal, 10 March 1987.

[33] Tingey, Dictated Journal, 1 June 1986.

[34] “Bob Hope Supplies the Humor, Fans Supply the Dollars at Indian Shootout,” Buffalo Hide 9, no. 2 (1986): 1.

[35] “Steven Covey, Howard Rainer Inspire Self-Esteem,” Buffalo Hide 9, no. 4 (1987): 2.

[36] Diane Tingey Toolson interview, 26 January 2001, interviewed by author.

[37] Tingey, Dictated Journal, 5 January 1988.

[38] See Deseret News 1999–2000 Church Almanac (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1998), 37, 83.

[39] Tingey, Dictated Journal, 21 January 1988.

[40] Rainer interview, 10 October 2001.