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Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
Education Committee Meeting
Historical Society, Helena, Montana
January 12, 2000
Present were: Clint Blackwood, Mike Cavey, Jeanne Eder, Kris Gallas, Darrell Kipp, Jonathan Matthews, Hal Stearns, Erika Walker, Carla Wambach, Dave Walter, Jane Weber, and Rita Cortright, recorder.
Mr. Stearns opened the meeting at 9:15 a.m. and announced that Marilyn Ryan, a history teacher at Hellgate High School in Missoula, is one of the two newest appointed members of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission, and will be a member of the Education Committee, but was unable to attend today's meeting.
Executive Director's Overview
Mr. Blackwood was asked to provide a quick review of the events of yesterday's Lewis & Clark Commission meeting. He noted that the Commission has completed the Request for Proposals process and interviewed a firm interested in developing a Statewide Bicentennial Master Plan for the Commission. At yesterday's meeting the Commission decided to enter into a contract with this firm, with an estimated completion time of 5-6 months for the Plan. Mr. Blackwood said one of their tasks will be to take a number of the components already worked on and meld them together and show how strategically they will be inter-connected. The work of the Education Committee is one of the components that Mr. Blackwood will show them immediately. He suggested having that planning team meet with the Education Committee to hear first-hand what the Education Committee is attempting to accomplish. Mr. Blackwood explained that a possible second area of responsibility for this firm could be product licensing. At yesterday's meeting, Mr. Blackwood was also given the authority to prepare a position description and hire a full-time administrative assistant, a process that will take 45-60 days. Mr. Blackwood said the implication for this committee is that he does not envision this person having the time or expertise to plan and coordinate the Symposium, but could serve as a liaison between the committee and the lead on the project to lend administrative support. Mr. Blackwood added that this personnel change will also require him to locate a larger office space as there is no room for expansion in his current location. He noted another major project underway is the development of a list of statewide Lewis and Clark projects, titled, "Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Projects for Montana, January 2000." This came at the request of the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council, who requested that the 11 trail states create prioritized lists of Lewis and Clark projects with the intent of presenting the combined lists to the House and Senate Lewis & Clark caucus for potential funding consideration. Groups across Montana submitted 91 community-oriented projects, with the Tribes submitting an additional 16 projects. Mr. Blackwood said this number will increase as the Tribes have more time to consider planning for the Bicentennial. A listing of State and Federal agency projects was also included in the report. Mr. Blackwood announced that there is a movement to create a "Montana Indian Tribal Tourism Alliance"(MITTA), and he asked Ms. Eder to address this topic. Ms. Eder said this group has met twice, and is comprised of individuals who approached Tribal Councils and offered to address tourism issues. In turn, the Tribal Councils selected these individuals to represent them and be a part of this group. These are people who have some type of tourist business on the reservation. Their first meeting was held at Fort Peck, Montana. Their first stated goal was their desire to tell their own story. Ms. Eder said these representative were asked to go back to their Tribal Councils and obtain tribal sanctioning to speak on behalf of their respective tribes on tourism issues. She said the purpose for forming this group was so that groups like the Lewis and Clark Commission could go to one group to get issues resolved or represented rather than having to go to each Tribal Council separately. Ms. Eder said the Montana Committee for the Humanities has offered funding for a statewide fall conference. MITTA's next meeting is scheduled for February 1, in Lewistown, at which time the Tribal Council resolutions will be presented. Curley Youpee of Fort Peck, is the chair, and Darrell Martin of Fort Belknap, is the vice-chair.
Mr. Stearns reviewed his report to the Commission on the Education Committee's December 2 meeting, noting the committee's intention to focus on three projects:
- Ongoing service as a clearinghouse of Lewis and Clark information, primarily by way of the new Intranet website.
As an illustration, Mr. Stearns asked Dave Walter to address the "Suggested Reading List" he has prepared for distribution. Mr. Walter provided copies to the committee and explained it is a combination of the standard, good materials available nationally and in Montana and covers books, videos and websites. He said this is a work in progress, as continued revisions will take place. Mr. Stearns complimented Mr. Walter on his work in compiling this list.
- Development of a Lewis and Clark "101" Training Packet.
Mr. Stearns said he was contacted two days ago by Jeri Mae Rowley, the manager of the Montana Superhost Program regarding a Lewis and Clark workshop for their trainers. They want to add a 30-minute component on Lewis and Clark to their three-hour Superhost training program.
- Hosting a Spring 2001 Symposium at Carroll College, with support from the Montana Committee for the Humanities. Jonathan Matthews had agreed to serve as the lead on this project.
Mr. Stearns noted several topics that could be included in segments of the Symposium: Lewis and Clark's meetings with Native Americans, the military aspects of the expedition, the great interest in newly discovered species, Clark's maps, keynote speakers, professional papers, a component for a quick Lewis and Clark review, and how teachers might incorporate Native American studies into the classroom. Mr. Stearns said the Humanities is excited about the Symposium.
Mr. Stearns said there is a strong tie-in to education with the 91 projects submitted by communities across Montana. He noted several examples; interpretive signing, training guidebooks and workshops for first-person re-enactors, mural project on buildings, an historic outdoor Lewis and Clark drama theater, and living history at Headwaters State Park.
Mr. Stearns called on Jane Weber to note upcoming events of interest at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Ms. Weber provided handout copies of their new brochure, "Year 2000 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Training Academy," which lists sessions and offerings to be held from February through June at the Center. Ms. Weber reviewed the contents of the brochure, noting the National Park Service has been a major cooperator with them. She announced a conference call to take place this afternoon regarding a program called "A Million for the Millennium," which will address conservation education projects through the Forest Service. They will discuss the idea of training Tribal people in the skills of interpretation. Ms. Weber will send the final brochure to Mr. Blackwood for inclusion on the website. It will be mailed to colleges, Chambers of Commerce, Bicentennial groups, the National Council, and to papers for news releases. Mr. Blackwood noted a tie-in with the Governor's Conference, which will have a 2-3 hour session to introduce the new interpretive sign strategy. He said they may also discuss staging some "how-to" workshops around the state. The next meeting of the MTRI Focus Team dealing with the interpretive strategy is scheduled for February 3. Ms. Weber said this group will deal with themes and style, while the workshop at the Interpretive Center will deal with how to put the theme to words and fit it with a style picture and layout. Ms. Weber also addressed evening programs in Great Falls, presented in cooperation with other organizations, which included a 6-week-long film festival on explorers and a seminar series on the Louisiana purchase hosted by the Portage Route Chapter. Mr. Blackwood asked members to provide him with information on events for inclusion on the website and links to other sites.
Erika Walker asked for sources of other websites that could be linked to and Travel Montana's L&C site was suggested by Kris Gallas. Mr. Blackwood explained that the Commission's site is primarily an Intranet site, linked to Travel Montana's site. Jane Weber noted that the Nat'l Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council also has a web page. Ms. Weber suggested getting on Mr. Blackwood's calendar which is linked to organizations where detailed information can be obtained. Mr. Stearns asked how people without computers can obtain this information. Mr. Blackwood said Travel Montana has a printed Calendar of Events, and provides a Lewis and Clark brochure that lists the Commission's number as a reference. Ms. Weber said the packet mailed from the Governor's Office is the best promotional piece available. Mr. Stearns suggested insuring that a contact for the Lewis and Clark Commission is included on all materials mailed out. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the process of gaining access to Travel Montana's Calendar of Events, noting that Lewis and Clark events are then linked to the Commission's website. Ms. Weber posted the website for the Great Falls L&C Interpretive Center: "www.fs.fed.us/r1/lewisclark/lcic.htm".
Mr. Blackwood asked for suggestions of educational categories that should be established on the Education Page of the website. Ms. Weber suggested three categories and diagramed them under the caption "Education": 1) training to provide services to visitors who are coming; 2) Courses for college credit or continuing credit; and 3) Educational programs for personally enhancing a person's own knowledge base (lectures, programs). Ms. Eder expressed concern that Native Americans have a meaningful presence and representation. Ms. Weber said it is her hope that none of the training would be exclusionary. There was lengthy discussion on the number of categories and possible titles. Mr. Blackwood asked for people to work with him to develop categories for listings and design the Education page for the website. Erika Walker, Jane Weber, Jeanne Eder and Jonathan Matthews volunteered to help. Mr. Blackwood recapped saying the page will have an Educational Section with 3 or 4 main categories under the main heading, and programs listed under them. It was suggested that those courses offered, taught or created by Native Americans could be denoted with an asterisk(*). Mr. Stearns said the goal here is to insure that people seeking materials are well served by a clearinghouse that meets their needs. Mr. Blackwood will visit with Stephanie Hanna to develop a shell of the webpage and then provide it to the committee for discussion and refinement.
Lewis & Clark "101" Training Packet
Mr. Stearns turned the discussion to the development of a Lewis and Clark "101" Training Packet. Mr. Cavey was asked to address the programs he is involved with. He suggested a course need exists for extension agents in the field who are not used to working with the tourism industry and the implications that the Bicentennial will bring. Mr. Cavey runs a program called "Teens in Tourism" which is a Superhost-type program on community service. They have a need for a Lewis and Clark "101" course that will enable them to answer questions relative to local history. Each of their students is encouraged to do a speech and demonstration each year, and he is seeking ways for them to research Lewis and Clark information that can be incorporated in these demonstrations and speeches. They are also encouraged to do community service projects, and there is a wealth of opportunities in this are related to Lewis and Clark projects. He said the goals is to tie locally to each community. Ms. Weber suggested identifying the audience first. Ms. Wambach cited many examples of projects she is already doing that provide "101" training in the community. Ms. Gallas cited as an example a competition titled, "Just Ask George," in celebration of the 200th anniversary of George Washington's death, and suggested a similar competition could be held in Montana related to Lewis and Clark. She noted this would be a way to involve school children in researching Lewis and Clark in a statewide promotion. Mr. Stearns suggested patterning a Montana program after a PBS childrens' program called "Zoom."
Mr. Blackwood suggested that in the interest of time a planning session could be held in the very near future to flesh out some of the ideas suggested today. Ms. Weber suggested involving the Lewis and Clark chapters to gain their input on regional training needs. She said the objective of the "101" is to give people a foundation and the basics of Lewis and Clark, and more knowledge about the regional events that occurred and the cultures that lived in particular areas of the state. This information could then be enhanced by regional groups. Mr. Stearns said the Superhost people want to see a 15-minute tape developed that provides a quick overview from the Gates of the Mountains, through the White Cliffs, to Lehmi Pass and on to the Headwaters that could be used in their training; something simple that they could be added as a training component. Mr. Blackwood said this tape could also be used by teachers in the classroom and possibly be packaged for commercial sale. He would like to see an entity step forward and take the lead in drawing people together and holding a planning meeting. It was suggested that a grant be written to fund the hiring someone to fulfill this role. Mr. Stearns cited the "Backroads of Montana" program as an example of how the end product would look. Mr. Blackwood said a strategy needs to be developed first that identifies the players, the message and potential resources. Ms. Weber suggested regional training sessions may be needed. Mr. Cavey said a short tape would not cover all the needs, but would serve as the lead-in. He supported producing a general Lewis and Clark "101" and then each group could develop their own supplemental package. Mr. Blackwood noted that the key designer of the Superhost program, Jeri Mae Rowley, was not present, but he felt they want more than a tape. Ms. Weber said she felt Superhost trainers will want information specific to their regions. Mr. Stearns agreed. Mr. Blackwood suggested approaching the Lewis and Clark Chapters to see if they would be willing to take this on as a project. Ms. Gallas suggested the Commission contract with someone to work with the Tourism Regions to produce the needed product. Mr. Blackwood suggested that 2-3 hours of initial planning is needed to define the work that will be contracted. Mr. Kipp suggested taking on a "cookbook" approach where people from across the state, the Chapters, Tribes, and individuals, could submit their favorite Lewis and Clark "informational recipe" from their area. Someone would then be hired to compile the information. Mr. Stearns suggested a meeting with Jeri Mae Rowley and a sub-committee. Mike Cavey offered to serve on the committee. Mr. Blackwood agreed to contact Geri Mae, set up a time and place for a meeting, and send a meeting notice to the entire Education Committee. Mr. Stearns suggested inviting Forest Service representatives as they also have a need for this type of product. Mr. Cavey asked if other interested people could be invited and this was agreed to.
Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Matthews to address his concerns regarding the Symposium. Mr. Matthews said after reflecting on his commitment, he does not feel he can do his job well at Carroll College and be the sole lead of this project. He has spoken already with Mr. Blackwood and Erika Walker about his concerns. Mr. Matthews asked whether the hiring of an Administrative Assistant would help with the workload of planning the Symposium. He cited his own workload and lack of experience in planning an event of this magnitude as the reasons for not serving as the primary point person, but he did reaffirm his offer to assist with the Symposium.
Mr. Kipp said the purpose for the Symposium is to expand thinking with regard to Lewis and Clark. He would like to see a contemporary element introduced that addresses what has changed between the time Lewis and Clark were here and today; what will happen in the next 100 years. Subjects could include the change in womens' rights, Native Americans' rights, as opposed to dealing only with the accuracy of the historic elements. He feels this would provide a refreshing, invigorating, and dynamic approach to Lewis and Clark. Mr. Stearns agreed, saying he would like to see a "free-wheeling" symposium that opens peoples' minds. Ms. Weber agreed that she is tired of hearing the same old information quoted right out of the journals; that there needs to be a separation between the "101" and the Symposium to reach a higher intellectual level of evaluation and some projection into the future.
Mr. Blackwood provided review saying the Symposium was proposed for the Spring of 2001 as a way to touch on many of the Education Committee's goals. It was agreed at the last meeting that at the next Education Committee meeting, the group would begin to address what the Symposium might look like. Ms. Weber proposed several "what if?" questions that could provide a basis for discussion during a segment of the Symposium. Mr. Stearns said this could provide the impetus for getting the intellectual enthusiasm started with teachers and scholars. Mr. Kipp said this would provide a different perspective, similar to his and Jeanne's presentation in Lewistown last September. He added the Native American view is sought because it comes from a different perspective. He said one of the original reasons for a Symposium was to garner Tribal College involvement and suggested getting back in touch with them now and suggesting they plan smaller symposiums in preparation for the one in 2001. The best speakers from their programs could be incorporated into the Spring 2001 Symposium. Mr. Stearns called for volunteers to serve on a sub-committee to discuss how to move forward with planning the Symposium. Mr. Kipp, Mr. Matthews, Ms. Wambach, and Ms. Walker volunteered. Ms. Weber offered to ask Sue Buchel if she is interested. Mr. Blackwood said that at the 12/2/99 committee meeting it was agreed that no separate subcommittee was necessary, as the full committee wanted to be involved. Ms. Gallas suggested dedicating the next Education Committee meeting to working with Jeri Mae and the subsequent meeting would address the Symposium. She said at that time the decision could be made whether to hire a contractor or divide the tasks internally. It was agreed for each sub-group identified today work on their respective tasks and report back during the March 7th meeting of the full committee. Mr. Cavey asked about the intended audience, saying the elementary educators will need a different offering. Mr. Stearns suggested a segment for them that addresses the hands-on materials, such as trunks. Ms. Walker raised the question of funding, and Mr. Stearns explained that the Montana Committee for the Humanities is very interested in being a co-sponsor of this Symposium. He said the subcommittee will also have to address additional sources of funding. Mr. Kipp suggested assigning the task of contacting community colleges as well as other education institutions for their reaction before the next meeting. Ms. Weber offered to contact Bob Doerk.
The full L&C Bicentennial Commission meets next on June 15.
The next Education Committee meeting was set for March 7, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Helena, location to be announced.
"L&C 101" Committee: Mike Cavey, Hal Stearns, Carla Wambach, and Jeanne Eder. Clint Blackwood will visit with Geri Mae regarding an interim meeting on January 24 or 25 or Febr. 11 and will confirm with the group.
Symposium Committee: Jonathan Matthews, Carla Wambach, Darrell Kipp, Jane Weber, Erika Walker, and Sue Buchel to make some outreach efforts prior to the March 7 meeting. No interim meeting was set.
Web Page Committee: Clint will contact Stephanie Hanna to develop a first cut of the page design and send it to Erika Walker, Jane Weber, Jonathan Matthews, and Jeanne Eder. Then a conference call could be arranged to discuss. No other meeting was set.
The meeting adjourned.
"L&C 101" UPDATE:
On January 25th, Mike Cavey, Hal Stearns, Jeri Mae Rowley, Karen Johnson (MSU Communication Services Division), Laurie Heupel, John Cronholm (Gates Chapter of the L& C Trail Heritage Foundation), Clint Blackwood, and Jeanne Eder met to discuss options for a L&C 101 program.
Discussion centered on the audience of a L&C 101 program, and to what level of detail should such a program try to achieve. Was the program's main focus on front-line employees, teachers, and/or the general public? After much discussion it was agreed that initially the 101 program would focus on being a short, but very informative video that would offer an overview of L&C in Montana. Supplemental printed material could be included to summarize pertinent facts, etc. about the Montana journey. Additionally, it was suggested that local L&C chapters and other "experts" could be called upon to highlight local area L&C events, etc. as training is conducted in specific locations around the state. As time and budget allows the program could grow into a more advanced format that could be more detailed for additional audiences.
As the meeting concluded, Jeri Mae Rowley agreed to take the lead on this project by drafting a program concept paper that could eventually be referenced for fund raising efforts. Jeri Mae will e-mail a first draft of a proposed program overview to the "101 sub-group" for comment by the end of February. A copy of the resulting revised proposed overview will be sent to the full Education Committee prior to its March 7th meeting.
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