Author: Falling into Place, (2013)
Emmy-award winning news correspondent, CBS
Good Morning America Special Correspondent and substitute anchor
Correspondent and substitute anchor, CBS This Morning
First Native American newscaster
Has reported for 48 Hours, Street Stories, Sunday Morning, CBS Radio, CBS Special Reports, the Early Show, and CBS Evening News
Graduate: University of Minnesota
One of 7 siblings: John, Lilly, Anni, Carla, Carlotta and Claudia
Mother of 2 grown children
Married to Rick
Falling into Your Rightful Place
The 700 Club
CBN.com - THE RESERVATION AND THE PROJECTS
Hattie started life on the Nez Perce Indian reservation in Idaho with 6 other siblings. When she was 4 years old, Hattie’s parents moved the family to Seattle. Often her parents would get drunk and leave the children alone and hungry. Sometimes they would leave for a night or a week so they learned to take care of themselves and each other. Once when the kids were left alone, Hattie opened the fridge and found an empty jam jar. She scraped the smudge of purple at the bottom and gulped it down. She felt guilty for not sharing. Sometimes her brother John would pray before they ate their “mush.” The kids joined hands to pray. Hattie copied what her older siblings were doing. “I would like to believe that God [will] take care of us,” says Hattie. “But my idea of God [then] is pretty empty.” When she was 5, Hattie’s parents moved the family to the projects in Seattle in search of a better life. Instead of getting better, life got worse. “None of us imagined it was possible to live on less than nothing,” says Hattie.
When she was 7, Hattie’s Aunt Teddy taught her the Psalm 23. She also taught Hattie to pray simple prayers. She says the Psalm finally made sense to her when she was around 10. She started to pray, even when Aunt Teddy was not at the house. By the time she was 15, Hattie was disgusted by her Aunt’s attempts to share her faith. One day, Aunt Teddy called and all the children gathered around the phone in the living room. Hattie whispered harshly into the phone, “I don’t want the white man’s God.” By rejecting Aunt Teddy’s God, Hattie pushed away the only person who had consistently been kind to her.
By the time the youngest sibling was in middle school, Hattie’s parents had settled down. Their father was working; their mom stayed home with the kids. They were out of the projects and in their second home. Yet these were still the parents who failed Hattie during her formative years. “No wonder I grew up to be a reporter, one who seeks information and is driven to find answers that might help make sense of situations that make no sense at all,” says Hattie.
“HE WAS THERE ALL ALONG”
Though she rejected the “white man’s God,” Hatties says He was there in her life all along. “My life is a powerful story of God’s pursuit and how we are loved [by Him] through it all,” she says. One day when she was in fifth grade, Hattie’s family had just moved into a house. After the first day, Hattie wandered outside and saw a withering, near-dead tree. She climbed the tree and saw something golden in the branches: a peach! She picked the peach and ate it on the gnarled tree branch, dropping the pit to the ground. When she ran in to tell her family they had a peach tree, they didn’t believe her. The tree never bore another piece of fruit and eventually Hattie’s dad chopped it down. “I didn’t tell anyone about God’s embrace,” she says. “That fruit I keep to myself.”
In 8th grade, Hattie received a scholarship for prep school in Connecticut. In her second year, Hattie stole silverware from the dining hall to send back to her family. After she was caught, Hattie asked to go home. Then in high school, a community leader encouraged Hattie to go to college. He said, “We don’t need more Indian dropouts; we need more Indian graduates.”
Hattie married Sonny at 18 and had 2 children. They were divorced at 25 and then Hattie married for a second time at the age of 35. After 17 years of marriage, her husband asked for a divorce. She was shocked. One day in 2007 while in Los Angeles covering the Oscars, Hattie began meditating in her hotel room. She felt a palpable sensation of a hand touching the top right side of her head. “I felt I’d been blessed in some way,” says Hattie. “Whatever it was, I wanted more of it.” Hattie went to church the next day and took communion. Then she felt the touch on the right side of her head again. “The invisible had become real, [here] in the house of God,” says Hattie. She knew God was real. After 4 months of stressing about her divorce, Hattie felt a sense of peace and contentment. She felt empowered not just spiritually but emotionally and physically.
Hattie went to college and began broadcasting on college radio at the University of Minnesota. Then she moved to Seattle at 26 and anchored for KING 5 News where she won 4 Emmy awards. In 1987 began at ABC’s Good Morning America as special correspondent and substitute anchor. In 1990 Hattie moved to CBS where for two decades, she reported for 48 hours, Street Stories, Sunday Morning, etc.
Today Hattie, 58, is semi-retired and spends her time writing and speaking. She is a supporter of education for Native American children. Aunt Teddy died in 1972 from breast cancer. Hattie’s mother passed away in 1988. John died in 1990 and her father died in 2001.
Hattie is involved in small groups in her church. One day, she met Rick in church and they were married in 2009.
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