Chief Plenty Coups State Park will soon offer visitors a new, more interactive and engaging experience. Models of the new exhibits and interpretive materials planned for the park will be on display there August 3, during the "Day of Honor" celebration.
"We're upgrading the visitor's whole experience, but most exciting to me is that we will be using Crow voices and stories to explain their own culture," said Doug Habermann, FWP Region 5 Parks Manager. The public will hear the stories by using "sound sticks," or hand-held audio playback devices. The Crow stories, which are being collected now, will be recorded in the Crow or Apsaalooke language and in English.
"We will have a scale model available during the Day of Honor to show how the museum will look when the project is completed next May," Habermann said.
The new exhibits, text and materials are the result of months of planning, discussion and research by a committee made up of representatives from the Crow Tribe, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the Big Horn Battlefield National Park, Montana Historical Society and the Chief Plenty Coups Advisory Council. Public meetings were held last spring to enable the public to participate in the planning.
A Wyoming-based firm, Inside Outside, is documenting the group's plans and overseeing the creation of the exhibits and associated materials.
"Our goal is to make Chief Plenty Coups State Park a place that will fully achieve the Chief's vision of bringing cultures together. We're doing that by making the park a place that attracts and engages all people, including young people, and that helps them learn about and experience the vitality and depth of the Crow culture," Habermann said.
The theme of this year's Chief Plenty Coups Day of Honor is "Honoring the Arts." All artisans affiliated with the park since its inception in 1928 will be recognized. Kevin Red Star, an internationally known Crow artist from the Pryor area, will be doing a "quick drawing" to be raffled at the event. For details, call the Park at 406-252-1289.