July 24, 2010

Tribal perspectives in Glacier exhibit

Tribal life focus of new Glacier exhibitA new Glacier National Park exhibit seeks to educate visitors about tribal perspectives on the area.

The exhibit, "At Home in This Place," at the St. Mary Visitor Center was dedicated earlier this month during a ceremony that featured remarks from area Native American tribal leaders. The exhibit is on permanent display at the St. Mary Visitor Center, which is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily in the summer.

There are five parts that make up the new exhibit. The first is welcome panels for each of the tribes that had a historic and current relationship with the park land, including the Blackfeet, Kootenai and Salish, and Pend d'Oreille tribes.

Another section, "Bittersweet Meanings," looks at changes that these tribes faced with the creation of the park—some good, others difficult. "Backbone of the World" provides Native American perspectives on the land, mountains, creation stories and place names, according to a press release.

"The Wisdom in Spoken Words" features oral histories and traditions with video of stories about Glacier Park by tribal elders in an indoor setting for sitting and listening.

Finally, "Animal Lessons" is a large winter scene diorama featuring elk, wolves, coyote and a grizzly bear with animal stories told by tribal leaders.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Before There Were Parks and Blackfeet Tours of Glacier.

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