One reason that Junior is a special character is because he is poised between equally desirable and ultimately incompatible courses of action. He is firmly embedded between his love for being Native American and his desire to achieve dreams that exist outside of the Rez. Junior can be as a special character because he is poised between both realities. He is able to take the abuse and challenges that such a predicament warrants. He deals with the abuse hurled from the stands when Reardan plays Wellpinit. He deals with Rowdy's anger and disappointment for his decision. Junior is able to deal with the intimidation and harassment that he experiences at the hands of the White kids at Reardan. He is a special character because this amount of negativity does not change his perspective. He still embraces his feelings, demonstrates what it means to love, and stands up for redemption in a world of destruction.
These becomes the reasons why Junior is a special character. He has the broad shoulders to endure the challenges of being a "part time Indian." Junior is able to understand that modern identity is complex and that individuals might have to recognize that insecurity and doubt are intrinsic parts to this reality. Junior is special because he does not become the star whose light has "faded." Unlike his sister and those before him, Junior continues to "shine on" and this is what makes him so special in the narrative.