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Director's Report October, 2004

  • On October 4th I met with Mike Burke with the Governor’s Budget Office to brief him on the workings of the state Commission. Mike is new to this office and will be working to oversee the Commission’s budgeting process.

  • The Focus Team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI) met in Helena on Tuesday, October 5th. Peggy Bourne, the Executive Director of the Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event, joined this meeting to review and coordinate public agency participation in the Explore! event in June, 2005. The Focus Team also continued discussions re: how MTRI agencies could work with other Corps II host venues. The Focus Team will identify a lead agency contact for each Corps II host community.

  • I joined Dyani Bingham (with the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance) and Peggy Bourne in a conference call on October 5th to review the Indian protests recently held in South Dakota in anticipation of those protests reaching Montana in 2005. Dyani said MTTA’s web site ( now includes a public statement re: MTTA’s position on such viewpoints and/or protests. The protests referenced were lead by a small number of Lakota Sioux who were demanding that the Lewis & Clark re-enactors (the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles) immediately leave South Dakota as they harbor hard feelings from Lewis & Clark from 200 years ago.

  • On October 7th I presented a Bicentennial planning update to the Interpreters Interagency group. This group is comprised of interpreters from state and federal agencies working in Montana and Northern Idaho. The focus of this specific meeting was on various agency interpreter programs being created and offered in Montana for the L&C Bicentennial.

  • Also on October 7th Rita and I met with two representatives from the Montana Department of Transportation to provide input for Montana’s new 2005/06 highway map that is being designed to be a Bicentennial Commemorative issue. Of specific focus of this meeting was how to draw attention on the map to the many new L&C interpretive signs that have been recently designed and installed throughout the state. These new maps should be printed by the end if this calendar year.

  • On October 8th I joined Tom Cook with the Montana Historical Society on a conference call re: the newly released PSA’s sponsored by the Circle of Tribal Advisors (COTA). These new PSA’s, focusing on cultural awareness and sensitivity, are very well designed and will be sent to media outlets in the near future.
    NOTE: The proposed new TV versions of the National Ad Council’s “Environmental” PSA that was the subject of considerable discussion during the state Commission’s meeting in Pablo will not be aired; the National Council of the L&C Bicentennial doesn’t have the funding necessary to finalize a broadcast quality spot, nor have they seen or approved the draft TV PSA distributed and discussed in Pablo at the state Commission meeting in mid-October.

  • In October I worked closely with Pat Jones, the Chief of Interpretation for the NPS’s Corps II, to draft a clarifying memo re: the intended process for communities, agencies and Tribes to follow in developing programming for the Tent of Many Voices. That memo was sent to the Interpreters Interagency group and to the 18 Montana Corps II host communities. Interested persons can contact the state Commission office to obtain a copy of this clarifying memo.

  • On October 13th I met with Robert Harrington with the DNRC office in Missoula re: their State Forestry Division’s interest in exploring options to partner with the state Commission’s Education Committee and OPI to launch a statewide Arbor Day program in 2005. A meeting of the Education Committee is being planned for mid-November to further these discussions.

  • The state Commission met in Pablo, MT on October 14-15. Proceedings of the meeting will be soon posted to the state Commission’s web site. Of special note was the acceptance of the Grants Committee’s recommendation by the full Commission of proposed grant funding allocations for Signature Events, Corps II host locations and O&P grants in 2005. Also of note was the Commission’s acceptance of a motion to consider at a later date a possible allocation of a yet to be determined amount of funding in 2005 for the “Encountering the Bitterroot Salish” event. The Commission also appointed a “Transition Committee” to craft and outline a timeline for the tasks yet to be completed and to articulate future recipients of the L&C license plate revenue after the existing 12/31/06 sunset date. The MTTA joined with the People’s Center to host a great reception and tour at the People’s Center on Thursday evening, October 14th.
    NOTE: Work has already been initiated by the Transition Committee, and a conference call is set for November 4th to determine what, if any, legislation may be necessary and appropriate for consideration in the 2005 session to further the mission of the state Commission.

  • During the state Commission meeting in Pablo it was agreed to not pursue more interpretive camps along the L&C trail in Montana than those that would be in conjunction with Corps II and/or as a part of Signature Event venues. This decision was made in part because of the anticipation of generating competition for Signature Events and Corps II host communities, and also because it was becoming increasingly apparent that re-enactors and Indian Tribes might be stretched too thin if additional camps were scheduled.

  • I traveled to Bismarck, ND on October 20-23 to attend a meeting of the Circle of State Advisors (COSA), and to transport the “Montana booth” to the University of Mary campus. I also attended a portion of the National Bicentennial Council’s meeting and attended a protest rally staged by the Lakota Sioux Tribe (approximately 25-30 Indians did peacefully protest some of the Signature Event activities in Bismarck). I had business meetings with COE representatives, Corps II personnel, and the BLM in preparation of these groups traveling through Montana in 2005. The venue on the University of Mary campus was super with four Mandan-Hidatsa earthen lodges being located immediately adjacent to the new BLM exhibit. The COE had both a living history exhibit and an exhibit in the vendor booth area. A 30,000 visitation goal was set for this Signature Event.

  • On October 28 I facilitated a meeting in Glasgow with the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles and Montana Hi-Line communities. The meeting allowed an exchange of information as the Discovery Expedition re-enactment group makes plans to travel the Missouri River from the North Dakota border to Fort Benton in the Spring of 2005. On the following day, I joined in a meeting in Great Falls with the Discovery Expedition and the L&C Honor Guard in anticipation of the 2005 Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event. This meeting allowed for a timely discussion of these two groups re: plans already put in place by the L&C Honor Guard, and how the Discovery Expedition might be incorporated in those plans. Some points are not yet totally resolved, but both groups and the EBS (Explore! the Big Sky) are encouraged that all will go well in June 2005. The Discovery Expedition may continue their re-enactment along the Missouri River beyond Great Falls, but such plans as of today are very sketchy.



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