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Director's Report August 2005
- August started with a meeting in Pablo, MT on Wednesday, August 3rd. Joining the Salish were members of the Bitterroot National Forest to talk about the upcoming September 9-10 commemorative powwow to be held in the Sula, MT area. There had been a considerable amount of discussion and planning already completed as Mary Jane Charlo was in need of outside planning assistance. This combined planning strategy may result in one of the best-planned and executed events in 2005!
- Throughout August I drafted and sent “thank you” letters to those most responsible for hosting Lewis & Clark activities around the state. To date approximately 25 such letters have been sent by the state office to express that local community support was what was driving the Bicentennial across the state.
During August we were approached by the gentleman who is producing the radio broadcasts for the Montana National Guard. These 30 and 60 second spots stress that the Lewis & Clark Expedition was in fact a military expedition. I contacted Janet Andrews who manages the OPI web site to see if these radio spots could be placed on that site.
- The winter meeting of the state Commission in Miles City will be at the Miles City Community College. Linda Wolff called and reserved a meeting space for the full Commission for Thursday, February 16th. Linda says this room has been recently fitted to accommodate a full range of AV equipment.
- From August 5th to the 7th I was in the Dillon area to partake in various Lewis & Clark programs. On the 5th I watched as a parade marked the opening of the Corps II programs, immediately followed by a salute to the military veterans. On Saturday I went to the Clark Canyon Reservoir to observe the re-enactment of Sajacawea meeting her Shoshone brother. That night I was treated to an 1800’s era ball in the middle school gymnasium. On Sunday I stopped in Twin Bridges to watch a “river parade,” and a Lewis & Clark flag raising ceremony. The Great Falls-based Honor Guard also had their “tent displays” open to the general public. There was a great turnout for this Sunday event!
- On Monday, August 8th I sent a letter that I had earlier drafted to the Editor of the Great Falls Tribune. This was in response to the number of negative letters that I had been reading in reference to the Explore! the Big Sky National Signature Event. I have a copy of this letter if anyone is interested.
- The Blackfeet Tribe is moving on the idea of hosting a Lewis & Clark commemorative event in July of 2006 (July 25-28 to be exact) to mark the meeting with Captain Lewis and the deaths of the Blackfeet scouts. Larry Epstein (the past President of the Trail Heritage Foundation, and living in Cut Bank) has met on various occasions with George Heavy Runner and his events committee to assist in setting the parameters of this proposed event. Our office has a signed grant in our files at this time; we are now committed to partner financially with the Blackfeet on this venture. I will attend their next planning meeting. I have contacted Governor Schweitzer’s Office, but it is too early to extend him an invitation. Stay tuned more updates in the future.
- In early August I received an email draft the first Marketing Plan being proposed by the Parks Division of the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Linda Howard is the person drafting this initial report. I subsequently drafted a letter stating that such a Marketing Plan by this department is on target, and I think past due. Linda is now in the process of compiling the comments she has received and will draft a more formal plan.
- On August 12th I called and attempted to invite Governor Schweitzer to both the Salish and Blackfeet events. Subsequent to those calls I got an email from Gail Gallik (the Governor’s scheduler), notifying me that Reno Charette (the new Coordinator of Indian Affairs) had been invited in lieu of the Governor. Reno will attend the Salish event on September 10th. No response yet regarding the Blackfeet event as it isn’t scheduled until July of 2006.
- During August I drafted and submitted for inclusion, the Commission’s portion of the Annual Report now being compiled by the Montana Historical Society.
- At the request of the state Commission I called and followed up with Patti Keebler, the Appointments Coordinator for Governor Schweitzer. To date Patti has not submitted names for the Governor’s consideration, but those names will be under consideration by month’s end according to Patti. The state Commission did ask me to submit a letter of support for all three members up for reappointment, which has been done.
- I was invited to present a Bicentennial Update to the full TAC in Livingston, MT on October 3 & 4, 2005. This will give me another opportunity to say “thanks” for the annual operations monies, and to give an update of what to expect in 2006.
- On Tuesday, August 16th I was invited to present a Bicentennial Update re: the Encounter the Bitterroot Salish event on the “Coffee Break” radio show on KBLL. This event is scheduled to take place near Sula, MT on September 9-10, 2005.
- On Tuesday, August 23rd I was involved in a meeting with Rita Cortright and other sponsors of specialty license plates. The meeting was called at the request of state Senator Weinberg from the Kalispell area. I should note that our license plate revenues and subsequent monies transferred to our account has seen very little change over the past year; Rita does a great job of tracking sales and income. We were in attendance as one of many plate sponsors to hear the explanation of the Departments of Justice and Revenue as to why reported plate sales and actual revenues differ.
- A meeting date of October 6th was set to meet with Reno Charette, the new Coordinator of Indian Affairs.
- During August I found out that both Wolf Point and Dillon had some leftover monies they were interested in sending to the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles. The money from Wolf Point was from a barbeque they had offered to the DESC group, while the money from Dillon was in funding that our state Commission had made available for local Corps II programming. This is great news since the Discovery Expedition is a non-profit group always looking for funding.
- On August 25th I was in Missoula to meet with Mary Jane Charlo and the USFS representatives to make some final plans for the Encounter the Bitterroot Salish event. I continue to be impressed with level of planning that the Salish Indians (through The People’s Center) and the Bitterroot National Forest made to this point in time. Everything from tee shirts for the planning staff, to parking for participants and the general public, to a dance arbor has been in the planning stages well in advance. Reno Charette will attend for the Governor.
- On August 26th I was back in my office to participate in a conference with the Legacy Campaign partners. After hearing the campaign’s updates from Rita Cortright, the group decided to only disperse the extra, undesignated funds equally to Travelers’ Rest, the Great Falls Interpretive Center Foundation, Pompeys Pillar and the Montana Historical Society. We will meet again in early January to discuss how to actually close the campaign.
- The Sula area interpretive signs will not be designed and installed until early 2006. The time necessary to design and fabricate the signs drove this decision. The ground preparation will be completed yet this year.
- Hamilton Corps II had its official opening on Wednesday, August 31st. There was a tribute to the military and other entertainment in the Tent of Many Voices. I stayed over and had meetings with Darrell Martin, Kevin Crisler and Jeff Olsen. On my way back to Helena I stopped and visited the Travelers’ Rest site, and checked on its preparations for hosting Corps II this next week.
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