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Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
Education Committee Meeting
Boo Auditorium, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana
February 10, 2003
3:00 - 5:00 P.M.

I. Welcome and Introductions

Mr. Kipp called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. and called for introductions.

Commission members in attendance were: Darrell Kipp, Tootie Rasmussen and Darrell Martin. Staff included Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright.

Education Committee members and guests: Jon Cronholm, Mike Cavey, Richard Hopkins, Jeri Mae Rowley, Chandler Jackson, Kris Gallas, Gene Hickman, Ron Ukrainetz, Lee Ebeling, Mike Oliver, Terri Purcell, Mary England, Steve Kubick, Peggy Bourne, Jane Weber, Bonnie Sachaello-Sawyer, Craig Rockwell and Lori Falcon.

II. Lewis and Clark Guide Training Program

Mr. Blackwood began by referring to Sue Buchel’s written report on Lewis & Clark Guide Training. The second training session has been completed, with an application deadline of November 30, 2002, and the Commission’s web page currently lists 16 Montana individuals who are available to serve as independent step-on guides for tour companies seeking local talent. This program was put in place as a partnership between the state Commission and the L&C Training Academy at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls. People who verify they have a minimum of knowledge and experience are eligible for listing on the Commission’s web page Resource Library. The Interpretive Center is preparing for another round of L&C Bicentennial Training Academy classes this spring, and because they have secured funding from other sources, would not be seeking financial support from the state Commission. Copies of the brochure, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center Education Programs for the 2002/2003 School Year, were also made available to the audience. Mr. Blackwood said he was working with Travel Montana to get the word out to group travel people through the National Tour Association and the American Bus Association. He called on the audience for comments and Tootie Rasmussen inquired about the availability of speakers who could address audiences in small communities. Mr. Blackwood referred her to the Commission’s web page Resource Library for speakers, noting that the page was also linked to the Montana Committee for the Humanities. Gene Hickman noted that the L&C Honor Guard made 67 presentations last year, many of them to smaller groups. Craig Rockwell expressed a need for nationwide training to educate businesses with regard to the expected influx of L&C travelers. Tootie Rasmussen said the Superhost! training provides excellent training to front-line staff.

III. Lewis & Clark: Montana’s Story Video

Jeri Mae Rowley, Flathead Valley Community College, distributed a flyer on the Superhost program, and provided a recap of the plans that led to the production of the video, “Lewis & Clark: Montana’s Story.” She explained that Flathead Valley Community College is in its 6th year of a contract with Travel Montana to deliver the Superhost Program to Montana communities. For the past 5 years their training brochure has highlighted the upcoming L&C Bicentennial, and Superhost has averaged about 2,000 participants annually. Three years ago they were asked to develop a L&C video for utilization in Superhost training to prepare front-line personnel to answer questions related to the Bicentennial. As part of the training, once participants have viewed the video, they are asked what part of the L&C story their community has to tell. Ms. Rowley reported that 1,000 videos were produced initially and less than 200 remain. In anticipation of producing more videos, 3,000 jackets were printed; 2,000 remain on hand. Ms. Rowley is preparing to reorder approximately 500 videos and will contact Chambers of Commerce regarding distribution. She noted that Travel Montana planned to distribute copies to travel writers who participated in L&C tours. Orders have come in recently from the East Coast following the January 18, 2003 kickoff event at Monticello. Montana PBS plans to air the video in its entirety some time this spring, which is in conjunction with the Commission’s $1,000 purchase of 10-second spots. Ms. Rowley said a number of libraries have obtained copies, and the video was also added to the Montana Historical Society’s traveling L&C trunk. Mr. Blackwood explained that the agreement with Stephen Ambrose restricted the sale of the video for profit; therefore, it is priced at $10.00 to cover the cost of reproduction.

Mr. Blackwood asked Ms. Rowley to address the development of a printed supplement to accompany the video. Ms. Rowley said Travel Montana plans to add 4 pages to their L&C brochure, which she said works well with viewing the video. However, she said when participants were asked to consider their local community’s L&C story, a printed piece of local focus would be helpful. She asked for direction from the committee in terms of what would be the most appropriate resource. Mr. Blackwood explained that the committee had previously discussed the production of printed supplements focusing on local areas of interest that could be utilized in conjunction with Superhost training. Ms. Rowley said their focus was customer service training, and their job was to create awareness and a sense of pride that Montana’s story was unique. She requested assistance with ensuring the historical accuracy aspects of whatever materials were produced. Mr. Blackwood said he and Chandler Jackson had discussed the development of a template for gathering local community information, and suggested that the best source of information would be the Trail Heritage Foundation Chapters in Montana. Jon Cronholm said he felt chapters would be very willing to assist with providing the information. Kris Gallas asked who would have final editing say over the content to ensure it was complete. Mr. Blackwood said he would rely on the chapters to provide complete information. Ms. Rowley asked if grant funds would be available for the project. Ms. Weber asked if the information would be compiled into one publication and Mr. Blackwood said he envisioned that each area would be covered in a separate printed piece and all of the materials would be provided to Ms. Rowley for distribution in the respective areas through Superhost, Visitor Information Centers, Chambers and downloadable from the Commission’s web page. She asked about Tribal representation at the Chapter level and Ms. Weber said there were reservations that were not represented, and suggested contacting the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance. Darrell Martin suggested listing the name and contact information to obtain the Indian perspective for a given area. Mr. Blackwood said the most reasonable approach would be for the Chapters to compile information and also contact MTTA. Mr. Jackson offered to take the lead and obtain the information. Mr. Blackwood directed him to the Commission’s website for Chapter contact information. Ms. Rowley said communities needed to consider what areas they would like to promote to the visiting public. Mr. Blackwood offered to visit with Mr. Jackson regarding the development of a letter of introduction to the Chapters and a request to complete the one-page template. The Chapters would be provided with MTTA contact information and urged to solicit information on Indian contacts in their areas. Darrell Martin, Chandler Jackson, Jeri Mae Rowley and Clint Blackwood agreed to work on development of the letter and template.

Mr. Kipp announced that the Blackfeet were marketing Lewis and Clark commemorative coins, available through their website, www.blackfeetcoins.com. He also asked if the presenters from the Confluence of Cultures Symposium would qualify as presenters to be listed on the Commission’s website.

IV. 21st Century Project

Mike Cavey, MSU Extension, provided an update on the status of the 21st Century Project. He explained that this was an after-school program that involved the entire Middle School at Glasgow as well as the Fraser school students, which included about 200 students total. This year, about 300 students have participated in the program to date, and he expected that 450 students would have participated by the end of the school year. Their original grant was for three years; one year remains. He said they have been successful in obtaining a second 5-year grant, this time for the elementary school in Glasgow. The program was originally designed to provide a safe, after school environment to enhance math, science and reading skills. The reading component has been dropped this year. All of the classes are hand-on and related to Lewis and Clark and instructors are paid through the grant.

V. Confluence of Cultures Symposium

Mr. Blackwood began by noting that Symposium posters were available for distribution. He said David Purviance had provided a written report, and noted that Jane Weber, Darrell Kipp, and Chandler Jackson serve on the Symposium Committee; Kristin Gallas previously served. Mr. Jackson provided a schedule of speakers and topics, noting that about 100 people or groups had applied. He said the list was almost evenly spit between Native and non-Native speakers, and spans everything from middle school through post-doctoral researchers. The Symposium is scheduled for May 28-30, 2003, at the University of Montana, Missoula. Most events are planned at the University Center, with a few scheduled at the University Theater. Vendor booths for Native American groups would be selling products and historical groups and museums would also have displays. Thursday’s lunch, a traditional meal, is included in the $25.00 registration.. A banquet and music is set for Friday evening and the cost is an extra $20 per person; dramatic performances will take place on Thursday night. It is hoped that 1,000 people would register and Ms. Weber asked people to take posters for distribution and encourage people to attend. The registration form is printed on the back of the poster, and on-line registration was also available. Mr. Kipp noted the number of school presentations and felt that attendance would be very good. Mr. Blackwood said the Symposium Committee planned to meet on February 14 in Missoula. Moderators are still needed and he asked people to contact Linda Juneau if they wished to volunteer. Lori Falcon, OPI, offered their assistance in publicizing the Symposium, and said they planned to link to the Symposium web page. Mr. Blackwood asked if the Symposium proceedings would be taped, and Ms. Weber said this was a sensitive issue, but they were working through the issues dealing with proprietary information. Mr. Jackson said plans included publishing in book form as much information as was possible, but intellectual property rights issues must first be dealt with.

VI. Educator’s Resource Guide

Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer explained that the Educator’s Resource Guide, published last fall, critiques and outlines all of the materials available in printed form, video, websites and CD-ROM that relate to Lewis and Clark. The guide is also available on-line at www.teachlewis-clark.org. Three thousand copies of the first edition have been distributed, with approximately 2,000 copies sold. Free copies were distributed through MEA and at a couple of smaller events; sales provided sufficient funds to allow for reprinting. The guide was updated and expanded this past fall and should be released by late March 2003. This second edition will have a new cover and will reflect its release date. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer said so much new material was received that they did not re-review the original materials. She said every library in the state received a free copy of the first edition. Schools would be required to purchase the updated version; however, it will be available free of charge on the website. Mr. Blackwood offered to issue a list serve message once the revised version was ready for release. Mr. Jackson offered to publicize the information to libraries as well. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer agreed to bring copies to the next Education Committee meeting.

Native Waters: Sharing the Source Exhibit

Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer provided a handout on the new exhibit, Native Waters: Sharing the Source, a 750-square-foot traveling exhibit, designed by the Native Waters project at Montana State University, in cooperation with the Science Museum of Minnesota. The exhibit is designed for use in schools and cultural centers and combines multiple art forms, hands-on activities, and film to share scientific and cultural ways of learning about water. It was designed for setup in the round, but is also adaptable to many other formats. She reported that funding had been secured to allow for free touring of the exhibit beginning September 2003 through December 2004 to tribal communities throughout the Missouri River Basin. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer said funding sources would be sought to continue the project through the Bicentennial. Following this tour, the exhibit would be made available to other communities. Mr. Kipp addressed the film, “Dream of Water,” which is the centerpiece of the exhibit, noting the partners as Native Waters, the University of Washington, Native Voices Television Workshop and the Piegan Institute. He traveled with the film crew last August as they traveled the Missouri River across Montana, the Dakotas and Nebraska. The film will utilize the high-definition TV format. Mr. Kipp said interviews were conducted ahead of the film crew and would be utilized in the film. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer explained that two copies of the exhibit were being constructed by the Science Museum in Minnesota and they will display one copy beginning this September through December. The other copy will be previewed one night on September 11 at MSU to thank students who helped with the project. The official opening will be at the Middle School in Browning the next week. The exhibit will be offered first to cultural centers for two months in the river basin; it will then be offered to other museums and cultural centers in other locations. Mr. Blackwood asked if there were similarities to the American Rivers exhibit, and she responded there was not at it is a static display focused specifically on Lewis and Clark. The Native Waters exhibit is a contemporary view of the river that seeks positive influences on the river’s condition and contains audio from 28 tribes. She asked the state Commission to help get the word out to other state Commissions.

“On the Trail of Lewis & Clark” Booklet

A second new project highlighted by Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer was the production of a 16-page full-color booklet titled, “On the Trail of Lewis & Clark,” funded in part by the National Park Service. This piece was designed as an inexpensive booklet that could be mass-produced and focuses on the Missouri River from the perspective of Lewis and Clark.

VII. Lewis & Clark Then and Now: Linking the Trail to America’s Students – St. Charles Group

Mr. Blackwood addressed the Lewis & Clark Education Initiative developed by the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles Missouri, and provided a handout outlining the project. This Education Initiative is designed to follow the re-enactors as they retrace the 3-year voyage of the Corps of Discovery. Mr. Blackwood said he met Tim Gore, Coordinator and Education Director, during their presentation at Monticello in January. Mr. Gore is serving as the project’s primary point of contact and will coordinate the planning and execution of all distance learning video conferences, interaction between the project and its education and content collaborators, publication of materials on the project’s website, and distribution of CDROMs and DVDs. Mr. Blackwood suggested the Education Committee review and discuss the merits of making this program more visible through the Montana school system. Their first interactive teleconference was held on January 15th. Ms. Weber asked how this project was funded and Lee Ebeling responded that the technology was a grant from Apple, but the largest problem they are facing is the securing funding.

Mr. Blackwood then called on members of the Lewis and Clark Honor Guard to address their concerns. Mr. Ebeling, president of the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard, began by saying their group had been active for about 25 years, based in Great Falls, with about 66 members in Montana. Their mission is educating the public on the Expedition’s story. He reviewed the various events they have participated in, including school presentations and educational seminars on all aspects of the life of the Corps of Discovery. He said their group was 100 percent in favor of the Education Initiative; the problem facing them with regard to the St. Charles Re-enactors group was that both groups could not both occupy the same space at the same time. He said many members of the Honor Guard had prepared for years in anticipation of observing the 2005-2006 bicentennial. Mr. Ebeling asked the Education Committee to consider what aspects of the Education Initiative they would approve, and what aspects they would take a hard, second look at. He invited people to attend the session at the April National meeting in Great Falls, where the Honor Guard planned to present their training manual, developed by a consortium of national experts.

Gene Hickman explained that a National Park Service grant funded the gathering of many state re-enactors’ groups at Fort Atchinson, Nebraska, where they trained and shared ideas. This was done in an effort to provide consistency in telling the L&C the story and to aid in the production of a re-enactor’s manual to assist new groups and individuals. Mr. Hickman is authoring the manual and hopes to have it completed for presentation at the April National Meeting in Great Falls. He reported that a second gathering was planned this Fall to provide further training. He explained that the St. Charles group had signed up initially to be part of this group, but opted out at the last minute. Mr. Blackwood explained that the Honor Guard had concerns with the St. Charles re-enactors portraying themselves as an officially endorsed re-enactors’ group for the Trail, noting that the Honor Guard has home turf here where they are experts.

Ron Ukrainetz, chair of the Honor Guard’s re-enactment committee, said it was his responsibility to ensure that their re-enactments occurred with education as a background, which was accomplished through first-person interpretation. He said he considered the Education Initiative as an honorable intention; however, his concern was with the interaction between re-enactors and video conferencing. He said of the 156 campsites in Montana, the largest 7 would be re-enacted during the Bicentennial. Mr. Ukrainetz reported that he had e-mailed the Education Initiative to all 56 members of the Honor Guard without his personal comment, to solicit their evaluation of the plan. The responses were unanimous -- that this was the Honor Guard’s opportunity to showcase. Mr. Ukrainetz asked that the Education Initiative be turned over to the Explore! The Big Sky re-enactment committee to decide what group would be chosen. He distributed a draft re-enactment policy that states that Explore! The Big Sky’s will work exclusively with the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard. This policy has yet to be voted on, and he asked people to contact him or Peggy Bourne with questions. He said he would like to assist the St. Charles group in their effort but said they needed to come to the Explore! group as this was Montana’s event. He explained that having two re-enactors groups at the same place and time would not be an accurate historic portrayal of the Expedition, i.e., four pirogues at Decision Point, or two white pirogues at Lower Portage Camp at the same time. Ms. Rasmussen asked why the St. Charles Group opted out of the Ft. Atchinson gathering and Mr. Ukrainetz said he had an idea as to why but felt it was better left unsaid. Mr. Hopkins said this was just the first instance that has come to light with regard to conflicts among re-enactor groups on BLM lands.

Mr. Blackwood said Explore! The Big Sky had a particular set of concerns with the Education Initiative, as they are attempting to build a 33-day signature event and they see lots of problems if they are working with the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard and a second group wants to be at the same place at the same time. He said that Clark on the Yellowstone may also develop a policy similar to the draft policy distributed by Mr. Ukrainetz. This situation aside, he said the state Commission needed to consider how to handle areas in Montana that fell outside of the signature event boundaries. He said Mr. Ukrainetz admitted that the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard did not have the ability or interest to be the official re-enactors for the rest of the state, so the door was open for the St. Charles Group in those areas. Mr. Blackwood said the St. Charles Group has not asked for an endorsement from the state Commission, and in fact, had just recently disclosed their plans to the commission, and were not officially endorsed by the National Council. Ms. Weber referred to Item 4 on page 8 of the Education Initiative that states, “The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles will be a part of each of these events.” She took issue with this statement, saying she serves on the National Council and they have not endorsed this group, nor does the Council have any control over whether they participate in every signature event; this is up to the local planners.

Mr. Rockwell said that was the point – no one was endorsing groups. If this group wanted to proceed with their plan to travel coast to coast and do uplinks, they had every right to do so. He said several places back East considered the St. Charles Group the official L&C re-enactors, and that has caused a lot of confusion. He would like to see the state collectively approach the St. Charles Group and propose that they cooperate with the local planners, rather than the reverse. Mr. Blackwood said the St. Charles Group would most likely seek financial support from states and communities, and there may be some Signature Events that would solicit their participation as a major player. Mr. Ebeling questioned what should be done about areas such as Three Forks. Mr. Blackwood agreed, saying that was why he raised the question at the beginning of this discussion regarding other non-signature events. He suggested the Honor Guard could develop a blanket policy stating that the Honor Guard was the official re-enactor’s group for all Montana events for the bicentennial years, and then seek support from various event planners, including the state Commission. However, he didn’t envision that was the goal of the Honor Guard; currently only Explore! the Big Sky was of concern. Mr. Blackwood stated the Commission’s policy to not endorse projects or products, but said this did not preclude them from going on record in support. Mr. Kipp said, as a commission member, he could not endorse a plan that conflicts what the Commission has already outlined. Mr. Martin said as Montanans, they had an obligation to support local re-enactors in their efforts. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer said she did not see anywhere in the Initiative where the St. Charles Group is closed to working with the Honor Guard or Montana tribes. She felt a task force should be assembled to mediate between the needs of the Honor Guard, site managers and these types of outside groups. Ms. Weber responded that the Honor Guard tried through the NPS grant to bring all known Lewis & Clark re-enactor groups together and the St. Charles Group declined to participate. She felt they have not come to the table in good faith when the offer was extended by the other re-enactor groups trail-wide. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer agreed, but said this was the first of many groups who would come along, and suggested Montana should take the high road and develop a plan that expresses our willingness to work with groups who are willing to work with local event planners. Mr. Ebeling said he has contacted Peter Geery with the St. Charles Group, who said they would like to come to Montana and asked how they could help, and then the Education Initiative arrived stating the opposite. Mr. Blackwood recapped the discussion by saying the Honor Guard was asking the Education Committee to recommend to the Commission tomorrow that Explore! the Big Sky be the coordinating entity for the coordination of historic re-enactors and any associated education initiatives during that Signature Event time period. Mr. Kipp said the Honor Guard was encountering something that Native Americans were very familiar with; i.e., someone taking over their turf. He said the Commission would look at the obvious truth that a lot of people were here first, they have been working a long time, and much has been established previously. He felt they could acknowledge this without closing the doors to anyone, and would be in keeping with the Commission’s early philosophy, which was to serve the State of Montana. He cited the National Guard, the Boy Scouts, KOA, and others who have also expressed interest in coming to Montana on anniversary dates, noting that this highlights the need for an established policy.

Mr. Blackwood said he was hearing consensus on this recommendation and asked Ms. Rasmussen to articulate those thoughts during tomorrow’s Commission meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

 

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