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My job is to protect our son and the best way to do that is to keep him from your father, and to keep him from you.
Monica Dutton

Monica Dutton is the wife of Kayce Dutton and the mother of Tate Dutton.


Early Life

Monica is a Native American and lifelong resident of Broken Rock Indian Reservation. ZHer marriage to Kayce Dutton put the couple in a difficult position between the Yellowstone Ranch, the Dutton family and the Native Americans of Broken Rock. She was a faculty member at Heartsong Middle School and then took a job at Montana State University.

Throughout the series

Monica is kept unaware of her brother's death early on, and after his widow commits suicide in what Monica considers a sacrifice for their children's welfare, she expresses to Kayce that she feels they ought to consider leaving the reservation to spare Tate the sadness of his cousins moving to Seattle to live with their grandparents.

In an effort to convince Kayce, Monica, and Tate to relocate to the Yellowstone Ranch, John and Jamie arrange for Mel Thompson of the Montana State University to offer Monica a job in their expanding liberal arts department as a Native American Studies adjunct professor while she studies for her doctorate. Monica declines, recognizing that the situation was engineered by John, noting that there are never new teachers waiting to replace one like her on a reservation. ("The Remembering")

One morning when Monica and Tate arrive at school they find two older students fighting. In an attempt to break up the brawl, Monica pulls on the larger boys arm, who ends up accidentally throwing her into the his adversaries swing. The punch knocks her unconscious and she hits her head on the pavement, causing a traumatic brain injury that requires emergency surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation. ("A Monster is Among Us")

As she remained wheelchair bound at the hospital, she came to the conclusion that despite loving Kayce, she needed to protect their son from the Dutton family and the danger their way of life brought.

By the second season, Monica has recovered from her injuries and returned to using her maiden name, Long, which she noted was previously Longspear before her great-grandfather was allegedly taken from his parents and given a Christian name by Catholic missionaries at a school funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She meets with the president of Montana State University to tell him she's reconsidered his offer to join the faculty, but he informs her that the funds earmarked for her salary were reallocated for the current semester, but if she was willing to teach a single American History class that would get her foot in the door until the following semester when the funds would be available for her again. She intended to continue teaching days at the reservation's school and do afternoons and nights at the university.

She informed the university president she would be teaching a revisionist version of early American history as told from the perspective of her Native American heritage, starting with Columbus, and proceeded to present a radicalized version of the events of America's founding on day one of her class. ("A Thundering")

After she cuts a fling with her physical therapist Martin short, Monica reunites with Kayce, moving herself and Tate on to Yellowstone Ranch with Kayce as he begins to step into his role as the future owner and operator of the ranch. Shortly after moving to the ranch, she witnesses the aftermath of Beth's assault at the hands of the Beck brother's enforcers. Beth reveals that what happened to her is something that can and does happen when you're involved in the Dutton's "family business", stoking Monica's fears and concerns over the safety of her and Tate being so close to the Duttons and their dealings. In the meantime, Monica seems to flirt more closely with a radicalized Native American identity as he contrasts herself and her life experience on the reservation with that of the Duttons on their ranch. ("Resurrection Day", "Behind Us Only Grey")