Richard began his career as a teacher, creating the first alternative school in the Tulsa area in the late 1970's. It was as a U.S. History teacher that he began seeking an understanding of the Cheyenne, taking him outside of the common narrative he was teaching his students. Although his journey to uncover their story propelled him over the next forty years to write the book, his full-time work has been with youth and families up to the present, becoming more involved in mental health supports addressing emotionally wounded youth in our communities.
His life is full. He and his wife, Cindy, have three children, Sara, David and Mikey, each with houses full of children of their own. He is driven by faith and hope, now more than ever, that the historical traumas which have devastated populations generation after generation, are being recognized as significantly contributing to our personal and social problems.
Through a mental health agency, A New Way Center, which he founded, significant strides have been made to bring trauma recovery resources into communities. Retiring recently from this endeavor, he is now focused on creating trauma recovery and protective factors in historically traumatized communities through a foundation he has recently created, Make a New Way Foundation.
For decades, he has been inspired by the call "Let Us Make a New Way" and the life of Morning Star. Developing culturally relevant and responsive initiatives to assist individuals, families and now communities in overcoming historical traumas remains his mission.