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    "The Legend of Poker Joe Lean Elk" At Pictograph Cave State Park - Saturday, July 5th at 1pm
    - Region 5

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    (Billings, MT) – Montana State Parks ( will host the Humanities Montana program "The Legend of Poker Joe Lean Elk" at Pictograph Cave State Park on Saturday, July 5 at 1pm.

    Join Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau presenter Philip Burgess for the story of an often over-looked figure in the Nez Perce flight for freedom in 1877. Poker Joe was a mixed French and Nez Perce man named for his love of, and luck at, the white man's game of poker. After the disastrous Big Hole Battle, the Nez Perce tribe turned to Poker Joe to act as their trail chief, and many sources describe him as the chief architect of the legendary retreat of Chief Joseph and his people.  In that final battle in the Bear Paw Mountains, Poker Joe was accidentally killed by one of his own people. Burgess describes how the spirit of Poker Joe led him to his own confrontation with the flesh and blood consequences of the Nez Perce tragedy, and his own mother's death, on a holy mountaintop on the Yakima reservation.

    What: "The Legend of Poker Joe Lean Elk," Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau Program

    When: Saturday, July 5th at 1pm

    Where: Pictograph Cave State Park
                3401 Coburn Rd Billings, MT 59101.
                Take exit 452 off I-90, five miles south of Billings.

    Who:  Philip Burgess, poet, writer and storyteller

    Pictograph Cave State Park is located 5 miles south of billings at the end of Coburn Road. The park was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1964, because of its archeological significance. Approximately 30,000 artifacts, ranging from stone tools, weapons, paintings and the instruments used, were excavated from the site. Today's visitors can enjoy a unique opportunity to explore the mystery of this extraordinary site and tour the new visitor center.

    A division of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

    Jarret Kostrba
    Park Manager,
    Pictograph Cave State Park