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Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
Education Committee Meeting
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center
Great Falls, Montana
February 9, 2004
3:00 - 5:00 P.M.

I. Welcome and Introductions

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

Commission members in attendance were: Hal Stearns, Marcy Hamburg, Tootie Rasmussen, Wyman McDonald, Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright. Mr. Blackwood noted that Darrell Kipp was enroute from a trip and would not attend this meeting, but hopefully would be at the Commission meeting tomorrow.

Education Committee members and guests included: Steve Kubick, Lois Roby, Jeri Mae Rowley, Jan Lombardi, Linda Juneau, Dave Walter, Sue Buchel, Carla Wambach, Jane Weber, Jill Jackson, Laurie Heupel, Chandler Jackson and Jane Weber.

Mr. Stearns introduced himself as the chair of the Education Committee, as well as chair of the Bicentennial Commission for the current year. He noted that early on the Commission had determined that education was an important focus, and said the work done with regard to educational projects had been a high mark for the Commission.

II. Review of Existing Programs

A. Update On Lewis & Clark Guide Training

Mr. Stearns provided background information that led to identifying the need for knowledgeable step-on guides for community and nationwide tours. He said there were many aspects of guide training and spoke on the various models provided by the Lewis & Clark Training Academy in Great Falls. The last scheduled workshop, however, according to Jane Weber, was cancelled due to low enrollment, due in part to the time commitment necessary to attend both the Commission meeting and the workshop. She said several workshops have been held in the past, including one at the Salish-Kootenai College, and it was their intention to move the workshops around the state to provide an opportunity for other tribes to participate in guide training workshops. Ms. Weber said discussions had taken place with Dyani Bingham, MTTA executive director, regarding a training session in conjunction with a project on the Crow Reservation. She said a breakfast meeting scheduled tomorrow might help firm up plans. Sue Buchel explained that MTTA’s plans for guide training were based on receipt of a NPS CCS grant. She said if MTTA was successful in their grant application they would conduct their own training on cultural content, and then attend a portion of the Training Academy’s 5-day program. If MTTA does not receive a grant, possibly Training Academy staff could present portions of their program at Little Bighorn College. Ms. Buchel said the Academy would like to schedule one more Guide Training session, May 10-14, 2004, in Great Falls. Their fee covers the cost of training at the Academy; however, costs increase when Academy staff conducts training off-site and their budget was not sufficient to cover the added costs. She said the training has been useful for not only step on guides, but also for those in the tourism industry. Ms. Buchel said the training had also been available for teachers through MET-NET. A balance of about $1200 remained from the previous $5,000 grant from the state Commission, and an additional $1500 was needed mainly to fund travel for tribal representatives and presenters. Mr. Blackwood explained $5,000 had been budgeted in FY04 as a program grant to the Training Academy for guide training; however it was reduced to $2,500 based on correspondence, and of that balance $1500 was being sought for the May 2004 training session. He said a motion would be required to authorize the funds.

Jeri Mae Rowley commented that the Training Academy has periodically utilized the Montana Superhost Training. She said for the past 10 years Travel Montana has provided customer service training for people throughout Montana, delivering 150 seminars to around 3,000 participants. One of the goals of Superhost was to make training very available to Montana tribes. She noted that training has been conducted with the Blackfeet, at Rocky Boys, the Peoples Center, Fort Belknap, Fort Peck, and at the Little Big Horn Center, said MTTA’s involvement would further enhance communications with Montana tribes.

Jane Weber made a motion to proceed with support of the GuideTraining for another session this Spring, and request an additional $1,500 from the state Commission to be matched by the carryover from the previous year. Linda Juneau seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood noted that the 2004 budget prepared for tomorrow’s meeting already reflected the $1500 request. Ms. Buchel said they would monitor registrations and cancel if it became necessary due to low enrollment. Ms. Weber added that the L&C Honor Guard was offering training for people who would participate as volunteer guides at this summer’s L&C Festival Encampment. Credit was being sought for teachers who might participate.

B. Lewis & Clark: Montana’s Story Video

Jeri Mae Rowley explained that Travel Montana’s Superhost program was designed to assist people who serve visitors to Montana, and it was their desire to have training available to enhance their delivery of service. As the Bicentennial approached and the first version of the L&C brochure was produced, it was utilized as a training tool. She said it became apparent rather quickly that people were not aware of their area’s L&C story. This identified need led to the production of the L&C video. The story begins with the Native Peoples of the area before and during the L&C Expedition and provides an overview of the Trail across Montana. The video is aired in conjunction with Superhost training where attendees are encouraged to identify their community’s unique L&C story.

The production of the video was funded through a grant from the state Commission. Of the 1,000 videos produced, 100 copies remained on hand, and Superhost was poised to reprint. Prior to now the video was sold at cost; however because no grant was in hand to fund the reprint, a letter had been mailed to Hugh Ambrose requesting permission to retail the video, with the stipulation that funds derived from the retail sale would be used for ‘Lewis & Clark education.’ When Stephen Ambrose agreed to be interviewed for use in the video, he had placed a stipulation on the sale of the video restricting its use to Superhost training or purchase by those attending the training sessions. This stipulation led to the request to retail the video. Mr. Blackwood announced that copies of the newly released version of the Guide were mailed to all school and public libraries statewide, and included with that mailing was an order form for the video. He asked for clarification on the letter to Hugh Ambrose. Ms. Rowley explained that she drafted the letter and sent it to Superhost for mailing and they were to share the draft letter with Mr. Blackwood prior to mailing. She said that 3,000 video jackets were produced with the original order to save on costs and a debt of $880 remained on those jackets. Retail sales of the video would satisfy this debt and the production of future copies of the video. She said a request was made to Travel Montana to see if they would fund the cost of reproducing the 2,000 videos with the understanding that that money would be repaid to them from video sales. Mr. Blackwood said it would take marketing and research to get the video placed in retail outlets. He said because Superhost was fronting the cost of production, distribution and marketing, the proceeds should go back to the Superhost program. Ms. Rowley agreed, with the understanding that Superhost would continue to have a L&C component in their training. Mr. Blackwood said there was no way to project sales, but there would be increased expenses and program administration on the part of Flathead Community College to get the video into retail outlets. He questioned what would happen if the funds were not directed to Superhost; would there be another arrangement between Superhost and the Commission to help offset the costs? Ms. Rowley said if the funds were not directed to Superhost, someone else would have to fund the $5,000 to print the views and cover administrative costs. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission could not take on the added cost. He proposed the Education Committee recommend to the Commission that Ms. Rowley move forward with getting the video into retail outlets, with proceeds above expenses to be funneled back into the L&C Superhost program. Ms. Rowley estimated the net proceeds would be small, and said funds needed to be set aside for the next production of the video. It was noted that the next 3 summers were the optimum time for video sales. Mr. Stearns clarified that Ms. Rowley was asking for the Commission’s blessing if Mr. Ambrose agrees to the retail sales arrangement. She explained that the original production was funded by the Commission and Travel Montana’s Superhost Program, and ownership for future productions was between those two entities. Mr. Stearns called for a motion. Ms. Rowley moved that the Travel Montana Superhost Program proceed with its plans to receive approval from Hugh Ambrose to retail the “L&C: Montana’s Story” video, with proceeds going to video production costs and SuperHost training with a Lewis & Clark component. Tootie Rasmussen seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Stearns thanked Jeri Mae Rowley for her work with the SuperHost Program in Montana.

Mr. Blackwood reviewed efforts to obtain local L&C site information from L&C Trail Heritage Chapters to be included in a printed supplement to accompany the video during SuperHost training. Ms. Rowley said on May 8, 2003, she received a package of information from the state Commission, but time did not allow for incorporating it into a usable format for the 2003 training season. She was currently preparing curriculum for this season, and agreed to work with the SuperHost Program to identify someone who would put the information into a consistent format. She had envisioned a one-page handout for use during training that contained information such as specific mileage, dates when attractions were open and precise directions to local L&C locations. Mr. Stearns asked if information was submitted from all chapters and Ms. Rowley said she had not yet reviewed it. The cover memo stated that only a few chapters had responded and that the Commission had done its best to supplement information from areas that did not respond. She suggested asking the chapters to review the supplements for accuracy, which might encourage those who had not responded to participate. Ms. Weber added that the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation planned to meet on Feb 19-22 and suggested providing them with the form. Ms. Rowley agreed to share the form with Ms. Weber. Ms. Weber asked if there had been an opportunity for the Tribes to provide information and Mr. Stearns suggested addressing the topic at this evening’s RBC/Tribal meeting. Mr. Blackwood expressed frustration with the lack of participation on the part of Chapters, Commissions and Tribal reps in trying to implement ideas such as the gathering of information for the printed supplements. Staff had discussed making this information available on the web, but he said that was down the road at this point.

C. Lewis & Clark Educators Resource Guide

Mr. Blackwood addressed the expanded and revised version of the resource guide produced by Project WET and the Watercourse, noting it was dedicated to Don Nell. Qwest funded the cost of reprinting the guides that were distributed free to about 575 public and school libraries with a cover letter from the state Commission. An order form was included with the guides. Copies of the guide were distributed to meeting attendees. Mr. Blackwood said he did not expect future updates of the guide.

D. Native Waters’ New Exhibit

Mr. Blackwood announced the availability of the exhibit, “Native Waters – Sharing the Source,” that will be on tour through 2005. The 500-square-foot interactive traveling exhibit that explores the Missouri River basin will be available for communities, museums, libraries and schools. The complete exhibit package is available on their website, www.nativewaters.org or contact Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer at (406) 994-3911. Mr. Blackwood attended the exhibit’s grand opening at Browning and said it was very well done and noted Native Waters’ intention to provide the exhibit to Tribal colleges prior to making it available to other venues.

E. Update from Office of Public Instruction

Mr. Stearns introduced Jan Lombardi who is responsible for education projects for the Superintendent of Public Instruction. She said their first endeavor was the creation of a L&C page on OPI’s website, www.opi.state.mt.us/Lewis&Clark/index.html. Color copies of the web pages were distributed to meeting attendees. Ms. Lombardi said her duties at OPI included identifying different ways of communicating with schools about educational endeavors. Her main focus was through electronic media, as funds were not available for paper-based distribution. Since launching the web site in September 2003, 800 hits had been recorded. The site contains five main components: a Timeline of the Trip, a Virtual Field Trip, Events and Training, Lewis and Clark Resources, and Links to other L&C websites. Video streaming is available, as well as a .pdf of the Lewis & Clark Educator’s Resource Guide. She welcomed suggestions of other resources that should be included. OPI also has the capability of sending “official e-mail” to all Montana schools, a process that was utilized to call attention to the distribution of the Resource Guide to school libraries. They also provide a monthly ‘summary correspondence’ that covers activities throughout the OPI agency, predominately training or funding opportunities. Mr. Stearns asked about the possibility of providing a daily Lewis & Clark message to schools over the next two years. Ms. Lombardi said periodic messages could be sent, but this system was considered an official e-mail system for communicating with schools on issues. Carla Wambach suggested a ‘tidbit’ calendar for schools that highlighted L&C information. Mr. Stearns noted that 30 percent of SuperHost trainees were high school students, and said this might be a source of information on SuperHost that could be made available to schools. Mr. Blackwood asked about a link to the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles Group, and Ms. Lombardi said it was under the ‘virtual tours’ in its own separate section.

Jill Jackson, Director of Library & Education Services, William P. Sherman Library and Archives at the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation in Great Falls, said they were receiving 2-3 requests per week from students across the country who are working on National History Day and other history projects who are looking for research suggestions. She has many resources available through the Foundation. Ms. Jackson distributed a rack card on the Foundation and a ‘Frequently Asked Questions” sheet. The Foundation publishes a curriculum guide and the magazine, “We Proceeded On,” that is available for the education rate of $40 per year. Ms. Jackson said she spoke at the MEA-MFT meeting, and read the following draft language for a “Teaching American History” Grant: “K-12 educators will experience hands-on training through incorporating both traditional and contemporary mapping and global positional technologies into the history and social studies curriculum. Ongoing professional development opportunity will consist of summer institutes, multi-state video conferencing activities, geographical navigational tool kits, etc.” They are looking for a couple of Montana local education agencies (LEAs) to participate; an LEA in West Virginia will be the LEA of record. She reviewed the list of commitments required by the LEA, and invited anyone interested in participating to contact her as she will serve as the library of record for the grant. At this time North Dakota, West Virginia and maybe one other state had signed on; a couple more were being sought to participate. Mr. Blackwood asked if OPI could assist in identifying Montana LEAs who might be interested.

Marcy Hamburg, the newest member appointed to the L&C Bicentennial Commission, joined the meeting and was introduced by Mr. Stearns. A native of Eastern Montana, Ms Hamburg lives in Sidney and has been a member of the Lower Yellowstone RBC for two years. She is employed by Richland Economic Development Corporation.

III. Preview and Discussion of Possible New Programs

Mr. Stearns outlined several ‘possible’ new programs that the Education Committee could focus on over the next couple of years. He talked about Helena resident Sandy Barker’s interest in National History Day, and posed the question of a L&C Day every year in Montana. He proposed coordination of some type of L&C contest in the newspaper. The Missoulian for some time has assisted Missoula schools in promoting an annual contest. He asked if it would be feasible for the Commission to make speakers available at the MEA-MFT Conference. Mr. Stearns said the University of Montana won a big award for the “Confluence of Cultures” symposium proceedings. He noted the possibility of a follow-up symposium in the Great Falls/Fort Benton area in 2005 in conjunction with their Signature Event. The last idea Mr. Stearns presented was planting L&C trees on Arbor Day. He said Nebraska City, Nebr., the headquarters of Arbor Day, plans to have completed by July 30 a new Interpretive Center that will focus on the plants and animals of the Expedition.

Jane Weber announced that Great Falls had calendared a Symposium during their Signature Event in 2005 at the University of Great Falls. Linda Juneau said she had contacted Chandler Jackson a couple of times and he was not sure what was going on in that area. She suggested they should meet to discuss plans for Great Falls. Linda Juneau said in April ‘05 an academic conference was planned at the UM noting 25 years with the Native American Studies Department. She announced a public 3-day workshop planned at the Mansfield Library to teach people how to conduct research. Mr. Stearns asked about the January 2004 meeting and Ms. Juneau said that meeting had been cancelled due to low response, but she hoped to reschedule it soon. Mr. Stearns asked about coordination between Chandler Jackson at the Univ. of Great Falls the University of Montana and whether the Commission would also be involved. Ms. Jackson said a phone call had just been made to Mr. Jackson requesting his presence in the meeting. Ms. Weber said the Great Falls symposium scheduled for July 1-3 culminates an entire week focused on the tribal connection. Further discussion was postponed until Mr. Jackson’s arrival.

Mr. Blackwood distributed copies of the proceedings from the May 2003 Confluence of Cultures symposium.

Sue Buchel noted that each year the Interpretive Center’s education staff presented a session at the MEA-MFT conference on how to incorporate Lewis & Clark into the classroom. Mr. Stearns said this might be a way for the Commission to have a presence. Ms. Lombardi distributed copies of the Oct. 21-22, 2004 MEA-MFT Educators’ Conference Application to Present and noted the application deadline of April 17.

Carla Wambach spoke about the “Adopt a Species” program that has been going on in Helena schools for the past 5-6 years. This year the program will feature the animals of Lewis & Clark with each school adopting a species and learning about its habitat. Partnering agencies are the Forest Service, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Mikal Kellner Foundation for Animals. Each fall a kick-off event is held in every school assembly in Helena. In the spring a culminating assembly is held including poster contests, calendars, trunks for each animal. Teachers are involved in an evaluation of the program as well. The spring assembly is scheduled during the week when Arbor Day is celebrated. Mr. Stearns suggested that a written summary of this program would be useful to other schools statewide. He asked Ms. Wambach to provide the Education Committee with a 1-page program summary. She agreed to work with Jan Lombardi on the project.

Ms. Weber said the Interpretive Center puts on Pupil Instruction Related (PIR) days and said they were working with the entities that received American History grant funds, the Golden Triangle and Anaconda schools, by providing teacher instruction in the classroom. She expressed concern with taking on more projects as they were already involved in so many projects. Mr. Stearns clarified that this topic was not presented with the intention that the Education Committee would take on project, but could help identify ways to facilitate getting the ideas out. He said many good projects were taking place, but the general public was not aware of them. He asked Ms. Lombardi how information was disseminated through OPI and she replied that information goes to superintendents and they are responsible for disseminating it. Mr. Blackwood noted that the Educator’s Resource Guide was sent to school librarians. Ms. Wambach suggested sending information to 4th grade teachers instead, as they are responsible for teaching Montana history. Ms. Lombardi said most of OPI’s web site links were Montana specific; however other links were recommended to her by Mr. Blackwood. Mr. Blackwood said he was very impressed with OPI’s response to become involved with the Bicentennial.

Ms. Wambach announced Clay Jenkinson’s upcoming program at Carroll College, March 8-9, sponsored by the Helena Education Foundation. Mr. Stearns said it was good to see community support for this type of program, but its impact would be mainly in the Helena area. He expressed a desire to see a program that would involve schools statewide, such as a L&C program tied to Arbor Day focusing on the plants of the Expedition. He talked about a program he helped establish at Sentinel High School in Missoula called, “Mini-Course Day,” where one day each year was devoted to bringing in outside teachers and speakers who presented on a variety of topics. He would like to see one day devoted totally to Lewis & Clark in the schools. Jan Lombardi said the Legislature designated the 4th Friday in September as “American Indian Heritage Day,” and suggested he consider pursuing a similar legislative resolution for a “L&C Day.”

Lois Roby said Jim Sargent from the Headwaters Chapter has a dream that schools celebrate Pomp’s birthday, February 11, 2004.

Jill Jackson said Wayne Phillips of Great Falls, was a great resource and noted his book about the plants of the Expedition. Tootie Rasmussen said seeds were available from Monticello. Ms. Wamabach said there was a Native Plant Society in Helena.

Chandler Jackson joined the meeting and spoke about the “Confluence of Cultures II”, planned for July 1-3, 2005 at the University of Great Falls in conjunction with the “Explore! the Big Sky” signature event. He note that Gary Moulton, John Logan Allen and James Rhonda were already booked for the event, and they were working on including about 35 other scholars, including some from the Blackfeet Community College, SKC and other tribal colleges. He said their first call was to those selected presenters from the May 2003 Confluence symposium. Jane Weber is working with Mr. Jackson to secure Amy Mossett and Rosanne Abrahamson on the stage together to debate Sacajawea. Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Jackson if there was a tie-in with the University of Montana and Linda Juneau’s continued work. Ms. Weber asked Ms. Juneau if she could assist Mr. Jackson with the Great Falls symposium and she responded that she could. Mr. Jackson noted the other signature events planned in conjunction with the symposium. Ms. Juneau said one stumbling block for Tribal College presenters was the limited access to library resources. She said they hoped to orient new students with the archives at the Mansfield Library to assist them with accomplishing solid academic research. Jill Jackson said she had specific acquisitions funds dedicated to tribal publications and said she was soliciting suggestions that will be reviewed by the archives committee prior to this year’s purchases for the library. She welcomed input from Ms. Juneau in this area and offered to assist students with research materials related to the L&C Expedition. She said they would also accept papers for consideration submitted to “We Proceeded On,” which would provide them with a national audience for publication. Ms. Juneau noted that the Proceedings from the May 2003 symposium were available on their web site and asked Ms. Jackson to review them for publication in “We Proceeded On.”

Mr. Stearns thanked everyone for attending and participating.

The meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

 

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