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Director's Report July, 2004
- In last month’s report I mentioned that Darrell Martin and I met with the MT/WY Tribal Leaders Council in Lame Deer on June 30th. What I failed to convey was their vote that day to renew their Council’s Resolution of Support for Montana’s Bicentennial. This is good news as the state Commission continues to work with Montana’s Indian Nations as the Bicentennial approaches.
- Publicity Update:
- The Billings Gazette researched and drafted an article this month. The story, which I believe will run on Sunday, August 1st will focus on both the state Commission and the Legacy Campaign.
- On July 8th I was interviewed by the Argus Leader from Sioux Falls, SD, re: Lewis & Clark planning in Montana.
- On July 14th I was interviewed by the Montana-based Aging Horizons TV program. This program is geared for senior citizens.
- During July the Montana Department of Transportation created a “Montana Lewis & Clark map” (approx. 36”x 22”). This map not only shows the Lewis & Clark trail system, it also indicates Key Events and the dates and locations of the Corps II host communities. Interested groups can contact the state Commission office to receive a copy. Plans are underway to have this map available electronically in a PDF format in the near future.
NOTE: This new map along with three glossy pictures of the Corps II traveling exhibit will be made available to interested regional commissions and tribes for local publicity and promotional purposes.
- Preliminary plans were made this month to present a Montana booth during the National Signature Event in Bismarck in late October. Montana’s two National Signature Events, the state Commission and Travel Montana are tentatively planning to partner is this venture.
- The June Performing Arts Showcase generated a Directory listing numerous Lewis & Clark presentations and programs. The state Commission has re-printed this directory and now has a limited supply for sale for $10/each.
- A Lewis & Clark golf tournament? The idea has been raised a few times, and since I occasionally participate in that sometime frustrating sport, I did some research this month to determine the basics of creating such an event. I found that such an event could be a significant fundraiser, but also would require someone (or a group) to assume the overall planning role. Anyone interested?
- The state Commission is once again in the process of supplying information for the Montana Historical Society’s scheduled bi-annual legislative fiscal audit. No red flags have been raised to this point.
- The National Lieutenant Governor’s Conference was held on July 8-9 at the Big Sky Resort. The state Commission office prepared some speaking notes for Lt. Governor Karl Ohs’ presentation, and also made available lapel pins, a large banner, and some Montana Lewis & Clark brochures. The Lewis & Clark Honor Guard and the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation attended and offered a memorable Lewis & Clark experience. From all accounts the conference was very successful.
- On July 12th I met with Dave Walter with the Montana Historical Society to discuss the creation of a “Montana Bicentennial Legacy Document.” Dave committed to more thoroughly research this idea. Possibly the writing of this document could be a project for a graduate student over the coming two years.
- During July the Qwest Foundation announced a $320,000 gift to the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial for distribution in its 14-state territory. Montana’s two national signature events will each receive $25,000. In addition educational CD-ROMs will be distributed to allow students to explore important aspects of the expedition. Thanks Qwest!
- The Montana Department of Transportation announced in July that they would undertake the task of significantly enhancing an interpretive signing pullout immediately adjacent to the Sula store near Ross’s Hole in the Bitterroot Valley. Final designs are being reviewed; a 2005 target date has been projected for completion.
- During the state Commission’s meeting in Livingston on June 11th it was approved that two Indian “significant events” would be recognized by the state Commission. A late August or early September 2005 event in the Ross’s Hole area will commemorate the meeting of the Salish and the Expedition. A July 2006 event on the Blackfeet Reservation will commemorate the ill-fated meeting of the Lewis party with the Blackfeet Indians.
- On July 15th I visited with PPL Montana and confirmed that they would like their second payment on their pledge to the Legacy Campaign be directed to interpretive signage in the area from Helena to the Headwaters State Park. This second payment is anticipated within the next 45 days. I am now working with the Lewis & Clark County Commission, the Gallatin County Commission and the Crimson Bluffs Chapter to determine signage plans and corresponding financial need.
- On July 19th I met with the sheriffs from Gallatin, Park and Madison counties to discuss public safety issues in their three-county area. The Montana Highway Patrol and Montana National Guard also participated. Local planning groups were represented and shared their plans for events and activities. A follow-up meeting will be held in 2-3 months.
- Over lunch on the 19th I met with one of the co-chairs of the proposed Yellowstone Country fundraising team of the Legacy Campaign. We identified some key local contacts that I will now visit with to continue solicitation of pledges for the campaign.
NOTE: I have made contact with BNSF and will pursue submitting a grant application for consideration by their foundation.
- Rita is the state Commission’s representative to the Montana Department of Transportation’s highway map committee, which met in mid-month. The map currently in design (2005-2006 edition) will most likely reflect a stronger Lewis & Clark presence with possibly key interpretive signage being highlighted.
- The limited edition bronze (1,000) and silver medallions (25) to fund the Montana Senate Bronze Legacy Project went on sale this month. The silver medallions sold out within a few days. The bronze medallions are available at $80 each. Interested persons can also reserve one of the limited edition (75) miniature bronzes of the Senate bas-relief by calling the Montana Historical Society at: 406-444-2694.
- On July 21st I met in Helena with Scott Mandrell and Larry McClain with the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles re-enactors group to discuss logistics of their planned crossing of Montana in 2005. George Donnelly and Steve Stearns with the National Guard Bureau also attended this meeting. It was agreed to pursue a meeting of the communities along the Hi-Line of Montana in possibly early October to allow Scott and/or Larry the opportunity to share the Discovery Expedition’s plans and to outline support expectations. I will also be working to explore the possibility of joint Discovery Expedition/ Honor Guard community encampments in 2005 adjacent to the Montana trail upstream from Great Falls.
- And finally, in July the Great Falls Tribune ran an article announcing a new Lewis & Clark symphony that has been created through the partnership of Montana’s own Darrell Kipp and acclaimed composer Rob Kapilow. Making this story unique is its view from the Indian perspective (from the land), and not from boats on the rivers. I am currently exploring options for hosting this new symphony in Montana possibly in 2005.
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