Murt, as he prefers to be called, was born and raised on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northern Montana. He attended BIA boarding schools and graduated from grade 8 at the Cut Bank Indian Boarding School in Browning, MT.
He graduated from Indian high school at Fort Totten, ND. After graduation he and his brother Murlyn joined the Navy and became Hospital Corpsman.
After being discharged he attend Northern Montana College earned his two-year teaching certificate, B. A. and Masters Degree while teaching school at Rocky Boy Indian Reservation and Havre Public Schools. He then enrolled in the University of North Dakota's Center for Teaching and Learning where he earned his Doctorate in Education.
After graduation, he embarked on a 30 year career teaching, coaching and as an administrator. He then spent 15 years doing workshops, and teacher training in Indian education.