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Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
Education Committee Meeting
Montana Historical Society
Helena, Montana
November 22, 2004
1:00 - 3:00 P.M.

I. Call to Order

Mr. Stearns called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and explained that the Commission was established in 1996, and one of its first accomplishments was the development of a Strategic Plan, of which education was a key component. The Commission wanted to ensure there would be a lasting legacy, that there was much Tribal involvement, that projects reflected historical accuracy, and that Montanans were given an opportunity to tell their story. He felt the Commission was moving in a very positive way in all those areas. He noted that the Commission would meet again in Feb. 2005, and he would deliver the Education Committee’s report on this meeting. He also noted the recent e-mail regarding the Schwartz prize for Excellence in Public Programming, given by the Federation of State Humanities Councils to the Montana Committee for the Humanities for its involvement in the “Confluence of Cultures” conference held in Missoula. Mr. Blackwood offered to send a list serve message on the award and work with Tom Cook to issue a press release.

II. Introductions

Mr. Stearns called for introductions. Commission members in attendance were Hal Stearns and Tootie Rasmussen; staff included Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright.

Education Committee members and guests included: Dave Walter, Montana Historical Society; Carla Wambach; Jane Weber, L&C Interpretive Center; Jonathan Matthews, Carroll College; Janet Andrew, Web/Internet Services, OPI; Everall Fox, GEAR UP Program Specialist, OPI; and guest Kelley Gundale, DNRC Urban Forestry Division in Missoula.

Mr. Stearns displayed artwork done by a 3rd grade class in Nebraska, and read several of the messages from the students thanking Mr. Stearns for his teaching them about Lewis and Clark. He said teaching and learning was what the Bicentennial observance was about.

III. Status of Current Projects

A. Confluence of Cultures II

Mr. Stearns explained that a second Confluence of Cultures symposium was being developed that would tie with the Explore! the Big Sky signature event, planned for June 1 – July 4, 2005, in Fort Benton and Great Falls. A speakers bureau was being developed specific to the symposium. Mr. Blackwood noted that the title “Confluence of Cultures” could not be applied to the Great Falls event, as the University of Montana had filed on the name. Jonathan Matthews questioned their ability to file on the name even though he was the author.

Ms. Weber joined the meeting and expressed concern that the Education Committee was not actively involved with the symposium and noted Mr. Jackson had moved to Durango, Colorado, but was handling plans from there. She reported that Mr. Jackson contacted George Horse Capture with the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, regarding a theme for the symposium and Mr. Horse Capture suggested addressing modern-day Indian issues. She reported that Mr. Jackson, Mr. Horse Capture and Dwayne Champaign, also with the Museum in DC, met recently in Great Falls, with Linda Juneau, and Eugene McAllister, president of UGF. Ms. Weber distributed a handout prepared by Chandler Jackson following their meeting that provided the title, “American Indian Nations; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” in addition to 15 proposed symposium panels and a list of individual speakers and topics. The symposium was planned for July 1-3, 2005, on the University of Great Falls campus. Ms. Weber said there was a similar national symposium years ago where Indian people came together to discuss current and future Indian issues. Ms. Weber reported that Mr. Jackson was seeking funding support for the symposium and she suggested that he submit a NPS CCS grant application and also go directly to the Circle of Tribal Advisors as well for possible funding.

Ms. Weber said a conference call took place last Friday as a follow-up to the meeting and said Darrell Martin participated in the call. Mr. Blackwood said this theme was very much in line with where Tribes wanted to go with Corps II presentations. Mr. Stearns agreed to contact Mr. Jackson regarding continued involvement of the Education Committee. He suggested the topic of ‘tribal government’ and ‘Indian law’ as panel topics and Ms. Weber suggested e-mailing Mr. Jackson with additional topics. Mr. Blackwood offered to contact Mr. Jackson and offer letters of support for the grant applications to NPS CCS and COTA. Involvement of the Coordinator of Indian Affairs position in the Governor’s Office was also discussed. Ms. Weber said the next conference call was set for Dec. 9 at 1:00 p.m. and would be hosted through the Interpretive Center. Mr. Jackson would advise her regarding the number of phone lines required, and she suggested that additional lines could be provided for Jonathan Matthews, Everall Fox and Carla Wambach if they desired to participate. Mr. Stearns agreed to follow up with Mr. Jackson regarding their participation. The symposium would be marketed through the Signature Event, Explore! the Big Sky. Ms. Weber expressed concern that the first symposium employed two full-time people and was planned much further in advance than the 2005 event. She said she was unable to co-chair the symposium due to the amount of time she was already devoting to Explore! Mr. Stearns asked what role Linda Juneau was playing, and Ms. Weber suggested asking Mr. Jackson that question.

As an aside, Ms. Weber addressed a program developed by Eugene McAllister at the UGF where all freshmen were divided into groups of cohorts to deal with Lewis & Clark issues as they progress through their four years of academic study on the campus. This first year they would be dealing with how to forge a community. The overall purpose of the program was to build community leaders. By their 4th year, students were expected to be doing community service projects they have developed and implemented.

B. 2003 Lewis & Clark Educator’s Resource Guide

Mr. Blackwood referred to the 2nd edition of the Lewis & Clark Educator’s Resource Guide published by The Watercouse, MSU, Bozeman, noting that copies had been distributed by the Commission to community and school libraries.

C. Lewis & Clark Guide Training

Mr. Blackwood said it was his understanding that there would not be any further Lewis & Clark guide training sessions scheduled through the Lewis & Clark Training Academy in Great Falls. However, he noted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planned to hold general training sessions. Ms. Weber confirmed that she would not be doing additional workshops aside from the COE workshop with Ken Wilk.

IV. Arbor Day Event - 2005

Mr. Stearns said he became well acquainted with people at Nebraska City, Nebr., during the time he lived in Nebraska, and explained that Sterling Morton was responsible for establishing Arbor Day. Today Nebraska City is known as “Tree City USA.” Mr. Stearns proposed a tie-in with Arbor Day and the plants and trees that were noted by the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Mr. Blackwood said Bob Harrington with the Forestry Division of DNRC, stopped into the Commission office recently and when Mr. Blackwood raised the possibility of the Arbor Day tie-in, Mr. Harrington said DNRC had also been interested in a similar project. Mr. Blackwood discussed with him the possibility of working with OPI to involve teachers and students, and Mr. Harrington said maybe DNRC could come up with some tree seedlings, but would need to know very soon in order to allow sufficient growing time.

Mr. Blackwood invited Kelley Gundale to provide her initial thoughts on the possible project. Ms. Gundale said the Forestry Division worked with communities to create sustainable community forestry programs in city parks statewide. She said they had an educational component and celebrated Arbor Day annually on the last Friday in April. For the last two years, they have invited the Governor to attend the celebration where they talk about the importance of Arbor Day and the benefits of trees in communities. She said the nation-wide program, “Tree City USA” has four criteria that communities must meet in order to be participate and 39 Montana cities are now designated as “Tree City USA” cities. Over 100 Montana communities celebrate Arbor Day and her agency provides grants for tree plantings. Ms. Gundale said they were considering a project that involved obtaining tree materials from a site where Lewis and Clark had been and growing seedlings in their nursery for distribution to schools along the Trail. She also spoke about their poster contest where students competed within their own school and the best poster was chosen and submitted on for national competition. Ms. Wambach related her experience of planting trees with grade school students.

Mr. Stearns asked Ms. Gundale if they planned to celebrate Arbor Day on April 29, 2005, noting it was the anniversary date of the Expedition’s entrance into Montana, and would be marked by the Confluence event that weekend at Fort Union on the Montana/North Dakota border. Mr. Blackwood said most of the activities would be on April 30 and May 1, and did not know if the governor-elect had been invited to attend or whether anyone was handling his scheduling at this time. He raised the possibility of asking the Governor to issue a proclamation from Helena, noting his presence would not necessarily be necessary at the Confluence event. Mr. Stearns suggested reading the April 29 entry from the Journals for students. Ms. Weber asked Ms. Gundale if they would consider taking the theme of the Expedition entering Montana as their statewide theme and Ms. Gundale responded that they were very flexible. Ms. Weber said she also had experience with students and tree plantings, and had actually sent trees home with students if they promised to plant them. She worked in the past with the County Extension Office to provide trees and asked if Ms. Gundale could work with them to obtain seedlings. Ms. Gundale said they had approached the BLM to obtain some cuttings from black cottonwood trees at Decision Point to grow in their nursery. As far as obtaining seedlings for all students, she said they would need to partner with another organization to help supply the required quantity. Ms. Weber also suggested providing yellow willows or Ponderosa pine. Ms. Gundale said it depended on whether the Committee wanted the seedlings to be historically significant, i.e., cuttings from a tree that Lewis and Clark camped near, or if they could be a species commemorating the Expedition to Montana. Mr. Blackwood said there was a large pine tree at Travelers’ Rest, and Ms. Gundale said she was aware of it. Mr. Stearns said the Forest Service had dated the tree to the time of the Expedition. Ms. Weber suggested referencing Paul Cutright’s book, A History of the Lewis and Clark Journals, for possible species. Mr. Stearns said Monticello was a source of seeds and Mr. Matthews added that it would be great to bring back to Montana seeds from the species gathered here by Lewis & Clark. Ms. Rasmussen proposed using the same Arbor Day theme for both 2005 and 2006. Ms. Weber asked how soon seeds would need to be planted in order to have decent plants by April. Ms. Gundale said it depended on the species and she would have to discuss it with their nursery manager; however she thought it was their intention to grow 500 to 1,000 black cottonwood seedlings. DNRC sends poster contest packets to 5th grade students and she estimated the mailing list at about 470 schools. She cautioned that seed collection was difficult and said it would take time to grow seedlings. Ms. Weber suggested not getting caught up in obtaining seeds from historic trees, and suggested instead that because Ponderosa pine was a common species planted for natural forest re-vegetation, seedlings could be easily obtained. Ms. Gundale cautioned that the seedlings provided by their nurseries were quite small and they had to use caution and not compete with members of the Montana Nursery and Landscape Association. She said she would have to consult with Bob Harrington and their nursery manager to see if it was feasible to provide sufficient numbers of seedlings for schools statewide. Ms. Weber was in support of going off-Trail and encouraging all Montana schools to participate. Mr. Stearns proposed assembling a small informational packet to accompany the seedlings, including a description of the importance of the particular species and a mini-lesson plan. Ms. Wambach said she already had lesson plans in place in her teaching trunks. Mr. Blackwood said the key to making the project successful was engaging teachers and asked how to accomplish that with minimal involvement. Ms. Gundale offered that DNRC sends out curriculum and information on the poster contest to teachers well in advance of the Arbor Day date. She said each school submits their winning poster, and from those DNRC selects a winning poster that is reproduced in color and sent back to all participating schools. In addition, for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners DNRC provided framed posters, plaques, and planted a 12 to 15-foot tree at the school, along with a sign. She said they would welcome additional participation. The mailing had already gone out to teachers for the 2005 contest and the theme was “energy” which had nothing to do in particular with Lewis and Clark. She explained that their national organization sets the theme without much input. Mr. Stearns asked if the tree species had been identified for 2005 and Ms. Gundale said it had not and was a totally separate issue from the poster contest. The large trees for planting at the winning schools would be selected based on the location of the schools. Ms. Weber asked if another mailing was planned to encourage school tree planting and Ms. Gundale said that a postcard mailing was sent to communities, in particular, to tree board members, encouraging them to plant trees. She said schools from a “Tree City USA” community could apply for $400 in grant funds; otherwise they could apply for a $150 grant. She said some schools have participated in the grant program in the past. She did say that a reminder postcard mailing was planned to encourage schools to participate in the poster contest. Ms. Weber asked if there would be a way to coordinate between the state nursery and other non-private nurseries to encourage them to grow certain L&C species identified by the Committee. Then a postcard mailing could be prepared that would let schools know about the availability of the trees in their local community. Lesson plans could be tied to this project and sent out to schools. She asked if DNRC would potentially be able to assist the Commission with this project. Ms. Gundale responded she did not see why not. Ms. Weber said schools would call the nursery directly and order their own seedlings. Ms. Gundale offered to contact DNRC’s nursery manager to determine how many state or county nurseries might be able to participate. She felt the main issue would be locating a seed source and funds to cover their costs. Ms. Weber questioned whether the Forest Service could help through the Coeur d’Alene nursery. Ms. Wambach suggested UM’s Forestry Division and the Helena National Forest as potential partners.

Mr. Stearns asked about cost estimates and who would make the decision to issue a second mailing and/or mail the seedlings. Ms. Gundale could not estimate the of mailing seedlings, and said the postage would depend on the size of the curriculum packets. She estimated the cost of mailing their curriculum packet, letter and poster to 500 schools at about $250. Mr. Blackwood clarified that this mailing was an introduction to the poster contest, and Ms. Gundale agreed, noting it had already been mailed for the 2005 program. Ms. Weber added that a 2nd mailing to teachers was needed that contained a curriculum and the encouragement to plant certain species related to the Expedition. Mr. Blackwood asked how this program would be drawn into Arbor Day, and Ms. Weber suggested encouraging schools to plant their seedlings on April 29th. She suggested the Commission could provide a certificate to schools that verified they had planted a Lewis & Clark species.

Mr. Stearns recommended that Kelley Gundale, Bob Harrington, Margaret Gorski, and the Missoula nursery manager meet with him on Dec. 2 or 3 in Missoula. Carla Wambach agreed to provide Mr. Stearns with curriculum samples prior to the meeting and he offered to bring his Cutright book as a reference. As a means to save postage, Janet Andrew offered to post the documents on OPI’s web page for downloading by interested teachers. Kelley Gundale agreed to contact DNRC’s nursery manager to determine potential sources of nursery stock and costs prior to the meeting. Mr. Stearns asked if it would be possible to tie the program with all Montana nurseries. Ms. Weber suggested arranging the program so that if someone purchased a large tree from a private nursery, the school would receive seedlings donated by the state nursery. Mr. Blackwood asked if each fifth grade class or each student would receive a seedling. Ms. Gundale said they provided one tree per class and Ms. Weber suggested contacting County Extension offices to obtain additional trees. She suggested Ms. Gundale contact the Extension offices to ensure they were growing the selected species. Ms. Gundale said she would like to talk with her nursery manager to determine if this program was feasible and what was available in terms of seedlings, and would then contact Mr. Stearns via email prior to the Dec. Missoula meeting. Mr. Stearns agreed to serve as the chair for the Arbor Day committee. Ms. Weber suggested that Mr. Stearns contact Margaret Gorski, (406) 329-3587 and ask her to contact the Coeur d’Alene nursery to determine what seed species were available. Mr. Blackwood cautioned that Mr. Harrington said they would need sufficient time to grow seedlings. Ms. Gundale said they also needed to consider regionally appropriate species as well as the specific numbers needed. Ms. Weber suggested that the lesson plan could be enhanced with color images of the selected species and posted on OPI’s webpage. Ms. Andrew agreed to check with Steve Meredith and Linda McCulloch regarding OPI’s participation in enhancing the lesson plan and posting the information on their webpage. Ms. Gundale suggested linking the two programs together on the reminder postcard mailing that her office already planned to mail. Mr. Stearns agreed to communicate back to the state Commission office following the meeting. Ms. Gundale offered to send a draft plan to Mr. Stearns prior to the meeting and said she would be pursuing the Governor’s attendance at the Arbor Day activities. Mr. Stearns said it would be a natural tie-in to have the Governor at the Confluence Event. He also said he would like to see a Native American tie-in with the project. Ms. Gundale suggested providing a card with each seedling that gave a brief natural and cultural history. Ms. Weber suggested this information should be included on the website as a part of the teacher packet. Mr. Fox said that Jan Lombardi should be OPI’s contact with this committee effective Jan. 2005. Ms. Rasmussen asked if this activity would be planned again in 2006, and the group agreed to consider it. Mr. Stearns said this event could bring about a resurgence of Arbor Day as a major event in Montana.

V. L&C Day in Montana Schools – 2005 & 2006

Mr. Stearns said he had met previously with Jan Lombardi and Janet Andrew regarding the possibility of a Lewis & Clark Day in Montana tied with National History Day. He proposed a mini-course day where the whole school could be involved. He referred to the recently announced “Save our History” grant program and said the History Channel was very involved. In reviewing their website, he found many examples of innovative ideas that teachers could incorporate into the classroom. Ms. Andrew said Ms. Lombardi supported a L&C Day in Montana, and suggested that interested schools could download information from OPI’s website. She asked about the possibility of a proclamation from the Governor’s office for April 29, 2005, which would provide coordination with the Arbor Day celebration and the Confluence event.

Mr. Stearns reported on his recent visit with Governor-elect Schweitzer where he learned of the Governor’s plan to establish a program called “Corps of Recovery.” The program is built on a Lewis & Clark theme and addresses how to recover dollars for Montana. Plans call for a coin to be minted with palladium from the mine at Nye, Montana.

Mr. Blackwood agreed to work with Arnie Olsen regarding the process to obtain a proclamation from the Governor. Ms. Gundale added that the Arbor Day proclamation was the only one mandated that the Governor must sign.

VI. MCH Speakers Bureau Presentations/Coordination with Local Schools

Mr. Stearns asked if everyone had received the 2004-2006 MCH Speakers Bureau publication, and noted it contained a section specific to Lewis & Clark speakers. Mr. Blackwood asked Ms. Andrew to issue an e-mail update to let teachers know of the publication and provide a link to the MCH web site. Mr. Stearns explained that MCH covered all of the expenses for Speakers Bureau members, with the exception of $50. Mr. Blackwood also suggested directing teachers to the “Performing Arts Showcase Directory” which was available in print or from the Commission’s “What’s New” section of their web page,

Mr. Blackwood asked if the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles delivered a presentation at the Fall MEA convention, and Ms. Andrew did not know. Mr. Stearns suggested contacting his brother Jim, as he recalled him mentioning a St. Charles speaker. Ms. Andrew noted the link on OPI’s webpage to the Discovery Expedition’s site. Ms. Wambach commented on the daily Journal entries in local newspapers and Mr. Stearns said Eric Newhouse with the Tribune was responsible for their publication. Ms. Weber noted that Interpretive Center staff provided proofing services for Mr. Newhouse.

Ms. Wambach noted the upcoming Corps II visits and questioned how the information could be disseminated to schools in advance, as students will be on summer break during the visits.

VII. Corps of Engineers & Great Falls Interpretive Center Workshops

Mr. Stearns reported on his recent telephone conversation with Ken Wilk regarding the Corps of Engineers’ plans for a series of workshops available to teachers, interpreters, docents, Chambers of Commerce, and anyone interested in Lewis and Clark. Since 2002, the Corps of Engineers has worked with communities to provide three annual workshops where the communities furnished the location and a packet of local materials and the Corps provided speakers. Sites were selected on their intention to hold an event the year following the workshop. He noted several past locations; New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis where attendance varied from 60 – 200 people. Mr. Stearns announced the following four workshops, noting they were free of charge: 1) Hood River, Feb. 23-24, 2005, 2) Billings, March 23-24; Missoula, April 26-27 or 27-28; and Great Falls, May 3-4 at the L&C Interpretive Center. Jane Weber said she was responsible for securing tribal presenters for the Great Falls workshop, probably Crow and Blackfeet. Mr. Stearns explained that generally a reception was planned the evening of the first day. Ken Wilk had informed Mr. Stearns that he would be issuing a final list of presenters by early December. Mr. Blackwood offered to work with Tom Cook to issue a press release on the workshops and said a list serve message would be sent once the final details were known. Mr. Stearns expressed a desire to partner with OPI for continuing education credits if possible. Janet Andrew offered to send a list serve announcement from OPI once the dates were finalized. Everall Fox explained the process for certifying the continuing education credits, and Mr. Stearns agreed to visit with Mr. Wilk regarding their process for continuing education credits in other states.

VIII. Next Meeting

No date was chosen for a next meeting.

IX. Adjourn

Mr. Stearns closed the meeting by questioning how to keep people informed of statewide happenings, as he was learning of Montana events through Phyllis Yeager in Indiana. Janet Andrew suggested the use of “News Links” as a possible tool and provided their email,

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.



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