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Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial
Strategic Plan
September, 1998


In commemoration of the bicentennial of the Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1803-1806, it shall be the mission of the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission to be the officially recognized leader in planning and coordinating observance of the Bicentennial in Montana. The Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission shall provide statewide focus, direction and oversight, while facilitating the effective delivery of technical guidance and assistance to communities, groups, and individuals. The Commission will focus on public education, coordinating events, the promotion of historical and cultural awareness and sensitivity, recognition of Native American involvement, and responsible stewardship for the natural and cultural resources along the route of the Expedition.

Guiding Principles

As Commissioners and staff of the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission, we believe:

  • In operation with the highest ethical standards recognizing the trust placed in the Commission by the people of the state.
  • That our actions and decisions must be supported by the most accurate historical information available including original manuscripts, publications, oral histories and oral traditions.
  • In responsible stewardship, and that includes examination of environmental and social impacts of Bicentennial activities.
  • That product and event endorsement is the responsibility of the full Commission, and not the right of individual Commissioners.
  • That endorsed products and events should accurately interpret the Expedition, its influences and impacts, and show sensitivity to all cultural perspectives.
  • In providing all Montana communities and public and private entities equal access to the Commission; our evaluation of proposals will be objective based on established principles and criteria.
  • In encouraging and supporting Bicentennial products manufactured in Montana and the United States. Those products should be authentic as to their interpretation, representation and manufacturer.
  • That education for all ages, cultures and disciplines should be the most important standard for endorsement of any product and event.
  • In fiscal responsibility including seeking funding from a variety of sources; being faithful to the direction of the funding source; staying within the budget; and being accountable for funds dispersed and received. Citizen dollars spent by the Commission should benefit the state as a whole.
  • That our overall success depends on strong working relationships and partnerships, successful sponsorship and fund raising, and quality standards and criteria for endorsement of products and events.
  • In seeking public input and providing accessibility to the Commission's activities.
  • That Montanans throughout the state should be involved in the Bicentennial, and that activities should involve all cultural perspectives.

Goals and Objectives

Goal A: Promote public awareness and provide leadership and coordination in the planning, development, marketing and presentation of state, regional and national Lewis & Clark Bicentennial activities among Indian nations, public agencies, communities and private sector organizations and individuals.

Action Objectives

  1. Encourage, support and endorse products and events that commemorate the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
    1. By the end of 1999, develop criteria for the evaluation of product and event endorsement.
    2. In the next six months, complete the selection and licensing (copyright and/or trademark) process for the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial logo.
    3. Within the next 12 months, develop criteria and necessary processes for use of the logo.
    4. During the next two years, explore and agree on Commission products.
    5. By the end of the year 2000, develop a catalog of endorsed and Commission products.
  2. Establish partnerships and sponsorships in support of the Bicentennial observance.
    1. In the next 6-12 months, identify critical partners and define the desired mutual relationship. By the end of 1999, have those relationships established.
    2. During the next 12 months, develop criteria for the selection of sponsors.
    3. Within the next year, develop and begin to implement a comprehensive marketing plan.
  3. Increase public awareness and coordinate activities locally, regionally and nationally.
    1. During the next 12 months, develop a communication plan to include opportunities to promote discussion throughout the state related to the Bicentennial.
    2. By early 1999, finalize a "regional" framework.
    3. In the next 12 months, develop and conduct statewide planning sessions and regional training sessions.
    4. As soon as possible create a calendar of events and update it throughout the bicentennial period.
    5. Develop a resource information data base for the coordination of state, federal, public, private and Tribal sectors; continually update it.
    6. Within 6 months to a year, develop public presentations.
    7. Continue to attend regional and national planning meetings and share the information with the full Commission and staff.
    8. During the next year, establish a web site and develop and begin to distribute a newsletter.

Goal B: Coordinate, promote and serve as a principle leader in all educational endeavors regarding the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Action Objectives

  1. Identify appropriate Lewis & Clark materials and resources by January, 2000; continually update throughout the observance period.
  2. Work within partnerships to develop and disseminate sound, scholarly Lewis & Clark Expedition materials that present a balanced story, include all perspectives, and encourage interdisciplinary approaches.
  3. When considering product, event or activity endorsement, promote and fully consider possible educational opportunities as part of the evaluation process.
  4. Encourage a lasting Lewis & Clark education legacy.

Goal C: Create Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial legacies which will serve to educate, inform and entertain both residents and non-residents for years beyond 2006.

Action Objectives

  1. By 2002, facilitate development of an enhanced education guide for all ages.
  2. In book form, publish a collection of readings geared to the adult public by 2005.
  3. In partnership with land managers and agencies develop and install an interpretive and directional signage program by 2004.
  4. Cooperate with land managers to permanently interpret 20 environmentally appropriate sites by 2007.
  5. Working with partners, explore the possibility of creating 6 interpretive centers with sculpture in the state by 2010.
  6. Contribute to improving the sate economy by cooperating with partners to state a minimum of 50 events well-dispersed geographically in Montana between 2001 and 2006.
  7. Work in partnership with Indian Tribes to establish a living legacy center for the study of Montana Native American history, archaeology, and ethnology by 2007.

Goal D: Operate within a well-defined organizational structure that emphasizes fiscal responsibility and centralized technical expertise.

Action Objectives

  1. Identify initial funding sources and generate those funds within the next 12-24 months; continue to seek and develop additional funding.
  2. In the next 12 months, identify operating expenses and establish an annual budgeting process.
  3. Create and implement an annual "unique" fund raising event that will increase revenue; promote social interaction among citizens throughout the state; provide educational opportunities; and promote the commemoration (i.e. art show). Hold the first annual fund raising event by the end of 1999.
  4. Assure regrant programming where appropriate.
  5. Within the next 12 months, develop a list of consultants.
  6. Within the next 3 months, develop and adopt an organizational governance plan.
  7. By the end of 1999, develop a resource center, including on-line.
  8. At the end of 2006, use unexpected dollars to fund the legacy goal.



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For more information please contact:
Montana Historical Society
P.O. Box 201201
225 North Roberts
Helena, MT 59620-1201
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