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Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
Education Committee Meeting
Office of Public Instruction, Helena, Montana
February 12, 2001
Present were: Hal Stearns, chair, Cari Karns, Carla Wambach, Jeri Mae Rowley, Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Carol Crockett, Clint Blackwood, Rita Cortright, David Purviance, Annelise Ripley, Jonathan Matthews, Marilyn Ryan, Jane Weber, Dave Walter, Kris Gallas, Steve Schaller, Spencer Sartorius, Chandler Jackson, Denise Juneau and Joe Mussulman.
Mr. Stearns opened the meeting at 1:15 p.m., welcomed everyone and called for introductions.
Mr. Stearns said Montana should be very proud of the progress made in planning for the Bicentennial, adding that Montana serves as the model for many other states' planning efforts. He noted the Nebraska Committee for the Humanities is planning a 1-week seminar for teachers this summer, with openings for about 25 people; they received 250 applicants. He said historians from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa plan to work together to develop a curriculum for the down-river segment of the Expedition. Mr. Stearns said two weeks ago a winter campout in the Knife River area was attended by about 150 people and noted the number of websites has grown from 150 to 639 currently.
Mr. Blackwood provided some background for members new to the Education Committee. He explained that it is one of the longest-standing committees and developed early on due to the vast and important role of education with regard to the Bicentennial. He said the committee is made up technically of three Commission members, Darrell Kipp, Hal Stearns and Marilyn Ryan, plus the auxiliary group represented today. He explained that committee membership is open to anyone interested in participating, which is different from becoming a member of the Commission.
Mr. Blackwood reviewed the committee's three focus areas that were identified during meetings over the past 15 months:
1. To continue having the Commission's website serve as a clearinghouse of information. There is an education component on the website now, with links to education-related information. An education resource directory is being compiled by Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Project WET, supported by a grant from the Commission's 2000 Grants Program. There will also be a linkable database accessed from the Commission's website.
2. The Lewis & Clark "101" is 15-minute video, titled, Lewis & Clark, the Montana Story," being developed under the supervision of Jeri Mae Rowley, Flathead Valley Community College, with a grant from the Commission. This video is designed to help educate front-line employees about Lewis & Clark in Montana.
3. Planning of a Lewis & Clark Symposium is being led by Darrell Kipp, Hal Stearns and Jonathan Matthews.
Mr. Blackwood said the focus of today's meeting would be to review progress in these three areas and determine if the Committee wanted to undertake new areas of focus. He said Mr. Stearns would report on the Committee's recommendations at tomorrow's Commission meeting.
Lewis & Clark "101" Video
Jeri Mae Rowley reported that Flathead Valley Community College received a grant last year from the Commission to develop a 15-20 minute video to be used in Travel Montana's SUPERHOST Program to deliver customer service training to 1,500-2,000 people in the travel industry. Ms. Rowley said last year 1/4 of those receiving training were high school seniors preparing to enter the work force; this year she expects that number to increase to 1/3. By way of background, Ms. Rowley said the College provides customer service training with a contract through Travel Montana and most of their emphasis is on preparing frontline employees and supervisors to deliver excellent service to visitors. As the Bicentennial approached, they began to introduce collateral material and visit L&C sites in an effort to be familiar with opportunities available to visitors and learned that many front-line employees were unaware of the L&C story in Montana. Therefore, the development of this video was proposed to create awareness and interest. Ms. Rowley said they subcontracted with MSU Extension to produce the video. The story is narrated and interspersed within the video are interviews with current Montana residents talking about the L&C story. As the story is being told, a trail map will progress across the state. She reported on viewing portions of the video segment of the training program in Bozeman last week and said she was very favorably impressed with the quality of footage. The video will also contain interesting interviews filmed at last fall's conference. She said the video would be utilized first as part of SUPERHOST training. She said SUPERHOST schedules about 150 seminars around Montana during the months of April, May and June. As part of their grant they plan to produce an inventory of the footage taken in preparation for the video and will make this footage available for use by outside groups after the end of March. Ms. Rowley expressed concern as she has received calls requesting the video to the exclusion of SUPERHOST training. She is concerned that viewers of the video would not be adequately prepared without additional materials. She noted that in particular, Stephen Ambrose, based on his interview, restricted the use of the video to educational, not for profit use. The video will debut at the Governor's Conference on Tourism at the end of March in Helena. Ms. Gallas asked if a copy would be made available to the Montana Historical Society and Ms. Rowley said that distribution needed to be discussed. Ms. Weber agreed with Ms. Rowley, saying the video was intended as an introduction and the community where SUPERHOST was held would integrate people with knowledge of local sites. Mr. Blackwood asked how the local support piece would be developed. Ms. Rowley explained that she has been reviewing materials from local communities and suggested that the brochure produced by the L&C County Bicentennial Commission could serve as a model for other areas. She noted a lack of knowledge of current handout materials and said a method was needed to inform people and generate interest in what was available. Ms. Weber added that land stewardship issues also needed to be addressed; i.e., what is the courtesy for the landowner who does not welcome intrusion or what areas are too sensitive to receive visitation. She said this subject is being addressed quite heavily in the development of the Trail Heritage Foundation map. Mr. Stearns said a curriculum to accompany the video had been discussed and would be an appropriate place for local land stewardship focus. He asked for comment from the Committee. Ms. Weber suggested offering a free evening at facilities such as museums or visitor centers where further detailed training could be given as an addendum to the SUPERHOST training. Ms. Rowley said she would have the SUPERHOST training schedule set in the next few days and could follow up with communities to schedule a more focused L&C follow-up training opportunity. Mr. Blackwood noted that earlier discussions focused on a visual piece to accompany the training video, possibly a jacket insert that contains the major attractions in the area or local contacts for additional information. Ms. Rowley responded that they have not yet addressed the collateral materials. Mr. Jackson agreed that the printed materials were an important component and suggested tailoring them to the corridors. Ms. Gallas suggested a rack-card type insert based on the 6 Tourism Regions. Mr. Mussulman cautioned that community sources are not always reliable and wondered how quality control could be accomplished. Ms. Weber cautioned that employee turnover rates are very high in the hotel/motel industry and suggested that providing a handout was crucial. Ms. Rowley agreed that the video needed an accompanying piece and suggested using Travel Montana's brochure until printed materials could be developed. Ms. Ryan said that two types of products were being discussed: a brochure for the end user and one for the front-line employee. Ms. Weber suggested that if an adequate job were done on the piece for the public, it would also serve well for the service sector. Ms. Gallas asked when Travel Montana goes to press with the Tourism Region brochures and Ms. Rowley said they are published by December or January for the coming tourism season, and L&C information could be added for the 2002 season. Mr. Blackwood suggested placing the video at various locations such as visitor centers, museums, chambers of commerce, larger hotels, and libraries. Ms. Rowley expressed concern with making the video available prior to its intended use with SUPERHOST. Mr. Purviance joined the discussion by suggesting that anyone could be a front line contact for the tourist and recommended broad distribution of the video. He also suggested running the tape on Montana Public TV. Ms. Rowley said the tape could be re-edited for television airing; however her concern was that SUPERHOST workshop attendees not be exposed to the video prior to their workshops. Mr. Jackson asked if she would be willing to release it in June at the close of this year's SUPERHOST training and Ms. Rowley agreed. Ms. Weber recommended that the printed materials have a consistent look. Ms. Sawyer suggested a button that says, "Ask me about L&C" and the use of local chapters to create "certified" local L&C trainers using the video in the Summer 2002. Ms. Gallas asked about obtaining copies of the video at selected locations. Mr. Blackwood suggested that members of the Education Committee should receive a copy with the encouragement that it would help them understand and drive people to the training sessions. He added, however, that the video was not designed strictly for SUPERHOST trainers. Ms. Weber suggested that in-house training may be taking place in organizations, and their current, greater need is for education on their local area, and that SUPERHOST may see the need to refocus more heavily on the L&C and tourism opportunity. Mr. Blackwood said he did not feel it was this group's intent to drive business away from SUPERHOST, and he was not advocating wide distribution of the video immediately upon its completion. Mr. Stearns complimented Ms. Rowley on her idea of the video and its inclusion into SUPERHOST and said this would be an ongoing topic at the next Education Committee meeting.
Darrell Kipp's report to the Education Committee on the proposed Symposium was distributed. Mr. Stearns provided background information on the Committee's decision to pursue hosting the Symposium. Mr. Matthews noted Mr. Kipp's contact with Dr. James Shanely, the chairperson of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). He said Dr. Still Smoking would present Mr. Kipp's proposal at the AIHEC meeting February 11 that will be attended by 34 Tribal Colleges. The Education Committee's desire is to have Native American scholarship from the Tribal Colleges developed either from students or faculty, or both, to be featured in this Symposium, possibly in 2002 or 2003. Ms. Weber recalled that the Committee's desire was to go beyond Native American perspective to a "confluence of cultures," to juxtaposing Native American and Anglo views in the same panel with the same topics. The cultural differences would be discussed from an academic perspective. Mr. Matthews agreed with Ms. Weber's recap and added that cultural activities were also considered during early planning discussions. Mr. Stearns reported that he and Mr. Kipp met last Friday with David Purviance, UM, regarding the Commission's plans and goals for the Bicentennial. He invited Mr. Purviance to address the Education Committee regarding that meeting.
Mr. Purviance reported that UM has formed its own 20 member Bicentennial Committee and began meeting this past September. He said their charge from President Dennison is to educate in general on L&C, but specifically with regard to the Native American perspective. During the meeting last Friday, Mr. Kipp spoke about the Commission's plans for a Symposium and it was discovered that the University was also planning for their own "Trail Tribes Convocation." He said at this point the University began to consider partnering with the Commission by playing the host role for the Symposium and providing the site. Mr. Purviance said UM already has some funding available for a graduate student to serve as the event organizer and possibly some other resources. He had not seen Mr. Kipp's Symposium outline prior to the Education Committee meeting, but indicated that Mr. Kipp read from it during their meeting and the ideas resonated with everyone present. Ms. Weber explained that this concept is very different from the Lapwai Conference, where the entire conference was planned and hosted by tribes. She stressed the need for Tribal representation at the National Council meeting in Omaha. Mr. Blackwood provided a brief background on the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA), noting that they have received Organization and Planning grant funds from the Commission to assist with travel expenses to attend meetings. Mr. Blackwood provided a handout from the Corps of Education Partners Education Summit in Portland, noting that Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer and Jane Weber attended and presented the Symposium concept where interest in elevating the Symposium to a national-level event was expressed. Alan Pinkham plans to address the concept during the COTA meeting in Omaha. Mr. Blackwood said this Committee should give consideration to the size of the event. Ms. Gallas stressed maintaining the focus of Montana scholarship on Montana Tribes. Ms. Weber said from a national perspective she envisions multiple repeats of the Symposium along the entire Trail by the various Tribes. She stressed that Darrell Kipp's idea should not be allowed to be swept away by others. Mr. Mussulman suggested offering the Tribes a platform to speak their minds, and not restrict them to Lewis and Clark topics. He suggested sponsoring a series of forums, one tribe at a time, so they can speak without fear of contradiction and stressed the need for lasting legacies, possibly using the World Wide Web. Mr. Blackwood said it was his desire to retain the basic coordination by this group in partnership with UM. He suggested a meeting of the combined planning groups in the near future to discuss planning stages, timeframes and size of the event. Ms. Gallas said the Education Committee constructed the ideas for dialogue and she cautioned against making the Symposium into a "soap box." Ms. Weber agreed, saying that topics were structured to allow for constructive dialogue. Mr. Matthews said this was also Darrell Kipp's desire that it be an enriched experience. Mr. Stearns asked for the Committee's feelings with regard to partnering with UM. Mr. Matthews responded that because little progress had been made over the past year, he was in support of moving ahead with a partnership. Mr. Purviance said UM could offer their facility, the prospect of funding and organization and agreed that the ownership would remain primarily with the Bicentennial Commission. Ms. Weber suggested it be Montana academia's project in conjunction with the Bicentennial Council. Mr. Matthews was comfortable with moving the event from Carroll College and Mr. Blackwood suggested that a Tribal College location might also be identified. A Symposium sub-committee was formed to include Chandler Jackson, Jane Weber, Kris Gallas, Jonathan Matthews, Darrell Kipp, Marilyn Ryan, and Carla Wambach. Mr. Blackwood suggested a joint committee meeting and one was set for March 13, 10-2 p.m. in the CE Building, Missoula. Mr. Stearns called for a motion after restating a portion of Mr. Kipp's report. Ms. Weber made a motion that the Symposium would be a project of the Montana Bicentennial Commission in conjunction with all Tribal, private and state institutions of higher education. She also inquired as to whether a portion of or possibly a mini-symposium could reoccur in the summer of 2005 in conjunction with the Signature Event planned for Great Falls. Both Mr. Jackson and Mr. Stearns felt this would be possible. Ms. Gallas reminded the Committee of the idea to publish a proceeding of the Symposium. Mr. Stearns agreed to report on the Committee's recommendations during tomorrow's Commission meeting.
Mr. Stearns distributed an announcement on the National Park Service's seminar, "The Before Lewis and Clark: American Indians, French and Spanish Colonials in the Mississippi and Missouri River Valleys" to be held April 5-7, 2001 in St. Louis.
Education Resource Directory
Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer reported on her work with the Watercourse and Project WET, and noted two national education program initiatives that dovetail with the Commission's work: "Discover Watershed - the Missouri" and "Discover Watershed - the Columbia," which teach students about the river basins. She noted that strong L&C segments would be included in the Columbia project. She reported that her work on the development of a Montana focused Education Resource Guide was funded by a grant from the Commission in 2000. One component is the compilation of resources in the form of trunks, education guides, CD-roms, and videos into a database. Evaluation of the materials was accomplished over a weekend gathering of educators. Carla Wambach and Steve Schaller participated in the materials review and reported on the process. The Resource Directory will contain a list of resources and reviews written by educators who are actually using the materials. The projected release for the Guide is September 2001, with free distribution of 7,000-10,000 copies. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer said interest is already high, and a bibliography has been developed on resources that are available at this time. She offered to e-mail the list to Committee members. She reported that the review criteria had also generated a lot of interest. It was reviewed widely by educators in the state and by national Corps of Education partners. She circulated a copy and said copies were available from her office. She asked about effective distribution of the materials, noting that they would be distributed at MEA. Links to the Commission's website, the Historical Society, other museums, and Tribal Colleges were suggested. Ms. Weber suggested the "National Globe Initiative," teachers who use technology to conduct air, soil and water monitoring and tie the research to the Lewis and Clark journals. The Montana Library Association conference in April in Kalispell and the Museums Association of Montana meeting were suggested Ms. Ryan suggested OPI's publication, the Secondary Administrator's Association, MEA/MFT journals, Five Valleys Reading Council, and the Librarian's Association. Ms. Weber suggested that Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer might utilize METNET to link to rural schools. Ms. Gallas suggested teacher prep programs at colleges. The Montana Council of Social Studies was also suggested.
Ms. Sawyer talked about the national-level initiative called "Native Waters." This is a Tribal water science project funded by a consortium of public and private groups. They are focusing efforts on the Missouri River basin, working with 28 Tribes in the basin. Their next event is the "Environmental Protection Future Leaders Conference," a Native American student designed program scheduled for April 4-6 on the MSU campus.
Mr. Blackwood asked Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer to address the process of updates to the Resource Directory. She explained that the Watercourse is also developing for sale a National Resource Directory, with the proceeds going to fund the free, long-term updating, distribution and reprinting of the Montana Resource Directory. Ms. Weber suggested linking with the Trail Heritage Foundation's resource library. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer thanked Mr. Blackwood and Mr. Stearns for the opportunity to work on this project and credited the Project WET staff for their quality work.
Mr. Stearns asked if there was further business to come before the Committee.
Mr. Purviance provided handouts from UM on the EOS Education Project and a Preliminary Course Schedule for Courses Focusing in Lewis and Clark. Mr. Blackwood provided handout copies of three education programs that have come to the attention of the Commission in the past week. He said as new ones come to his attention they will be posted on the Commission's website. One of the handouts dealt with Elderhostel programs and Annelise Ripley offered to provide a listing of the Lewis & Clark offerings with a short description for posting on the Commission's website and linked to the Elderhostel page.
Mr. Blackwood addressed the possibility of the Education Committee taking on additional projects and asked if anyone wanted to add to the list of three current projects. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer suggested an increased L&C presence at MEA over the next couple of years and said the state convention will be in Belgrade in April. Other events were noted: the Montana Library Association 2002 Conference in Great Falls; the Fur Trading Symposium in Fort Benton in 2003; and the National Council meeting in Great Falls in 2003. Ms. Gallas asked if events could be compiled for listing on a calendar. Mr. Blackwood noted the National Council's calendar and offered to receive and compile information for posting on the Commission's website. Ms. Weber said the Interpretive Center's web page lists all of the Center's educational/personal development opportunities.
The next meeting of the Education Committee was set for June 11, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in Missoula to precede the Commission's June 12 meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.
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