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Travelers' Rest State Park Presents Its Winter Storytelling Programs

(Missoula, MT) – Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) announced today:

What: The Annual Winter Storytelling Programs at Travelers’ Rest State Park in Lolo.

When: Saturdays 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Feb. 23 to Mar. 30.

Where: The Holt Museum and Visitor Center at Travelers Rest State Park (406- 273-4253),
located at 6717 Highway 12 West, Lolo.

For many Native American cultures, winter is the time for storytelling around the campfire. The Salish and Kootenai, Pend d’Orielle, and others pass on tribal history, family stories and the ways of their culture through their oral traditions.

Today, Travelers’ Rest State Park preserves the powerful tradition of winter storytelling for all peoples with its “Winter Storytelling ” Programs.

Featured storytellers are:

Feb. 23     Jack Puckett: Forest Service Stories
Jack Puckett is a retired U.S. Forest Service Ranger and amateur historian who volunteers at Travelers’ Rest State Park. Jack will share the origins of place names that Lewis and Clark bestowed on locations during their historic journey 200 years ago. Come learn about the people whose names Montana’s rivers, creeks and mountains bear.

March 2     Frances Vanderburg: Salish Winter Stories
Frances Vanderburg has taught Salish language at Arlee Elementary School and the Salish Kootenai College for more than 35 years. She builds bridges in the community by teaching the Salish language and culture to all students regardless of their tribal affiliation.

 March 9     The Goose Flies High: The Story of John Owen
Vernon Carroll, Interpretive Specialist for Montana State Parks since 2004, will tell the story of John Owen who arrived in the Bitterroot Valley in 1850. Owen learned of this “valley of perennial spring” from the men on Isaac Stevens’ western railroad survey crew. Vernon is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe and former director of the Glacier County Historical Museum.

March 16     Darnell & Smokey Rides at the Door: Blackfeet Stories
Darnell and Smokey Rides at the Door are Blackfeet tribal members and traditionalists from Browning. Smokey is a dedicated and respected tribal hunter, gatherer and keeper of the Thunder, Beaver and Okawn Medicine Lodge protocol and traditions. Darnell is an apprentice with Master cultural teachers of the Pikunnii, or Bee gun knee, people including highly regarded ceremonialists, spiritual leaders, historians, herbalists and wisdom keepers. Together they are keepers of one of five active Thunder Medicine Bundles on the Blackfeet Reservation.

March 23     Narcisse Blood: Blackfoot Knowledge
Narcisse Blood is an educator at Red Crow Community College and represents the Blood Indians of the Canadian Blackfoot Confederacy. Blackfoot is the term used by tribes in Canada. He provides his people’s perspective based on their language and the experiences and stories that have been passed down from one generation to the next.

March 30     Tony Incashola Tells of the Salish-Pend d’Oreille
Tony Incashola, director of the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee, will speak of his people and their culture.

Travelers’ Rest State Park, the location of a centuries-old Native American gathering ground, is also the site where the 33 member Lewis and Clark Expedition camped in 1805 and 1806. In the 2012 summer season (May – August) nearly 25,000 people visited this state park, a 14% increase over the 2011 season.

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