journal notes

October 1999    Issue No. 1 Vol. 2


The first Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Conference attracted 176 participants who rated the statewide gathering a success. Lewistown hosted the September 26-27 gathering that was highlighted by a provocative break out session on "The Hidden Story," Montana's Indian perspective and thoughts about the expedition and the upcoming bicentennial event, and Ritchie Doyle's historical interpretation of Captain William Clark which opened the conference. Plans are underway for the Year 2000 bicentennial conference. If you were unable to attend the September gathering, there are a limited number of conference Resource Directories still available. Call the Bicentennial Commission office, 443-2109, to request a copy.


  • Trail States Coordinating Meeting - Nov. 2 & 3, 1999 - Portland, Oregon
  • Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission meeting - Jan. 11, 2000 - Helena
  • Fifth Annual National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Planning Workshop - Apr. 26-28, 2000 - Kansas City, MO
  • Passages 2000 Conference - March 1-3, 2000 - Lewiston, Idaho

    Furthering education and understanding of all aspects surrounding the Lewis & Clark Expedition is a key goal of the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission. To achieve this goal, the Commission has established an Education Committee comprised of bicentennial commissioners, the Governor's Office, Office of Public Instruction, museum representatives and teachers. This committee has involved itself in a series of strategic planning meetings that have resulted in a list of goals and focus areas (listed below). The committee's next step will be the creation of an action plan outlining implementation strategies.

    • GOAL #1 - To be an effective clearinghouse and network for Lewis & Clark information for present and future generations.
      • Focus Area #1A - To develop and implement an endorsement process for educational resources to ensure accurate, honest, and responsible portrayal of the expedition and the people they encountered.
      • Focus Area #1B - To develop and implement an electronic database system (Intranet Site) for the central compilation and distribution of pertinent Lewis & Clark information.
    • GOAL #2 - To encourage educational activities through all age levels to commemorate the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial.
      • Focus Area #2A - Encourage all higher educational institutions, (including public, private and tribal) to develop related courses, seminars, workshops or elder hostel programs based on subject matter unique to the local area or its people, by 2003.
      • Focus Area #2B - Encourage all K-12 institutions (including public, private and tribal) to integrate the story of Lewis and Clark and the people they met into curriculum by 2004.
      • Focus Area #2C - Encourage museums, libraries, historical institutions and organizations (including public, private and tribal) to integrate the story of Lewis and Clark and the people they met into their programming by 2004.
      • Focus Area #2D - Encourage the development and implementation of a distinguished educator Lewis and Clark immersion program by 2003.
    • GOAL #3 - Encourage development of Indian education resource centers at Lewis & Clark facilities.
    • GOAL #4 - To promote the Lewis & Clark story and the people they met to the general public and the service industry.
      • Focus Area #4A - Develop a "Lewis & Clark 101" education packet.


    The Commission is currently reviewing and scoring proposals from management firms interested in helping it draft a Montana Bicentennial master plan and create a product licensing and sponsorship program. The proposals were solicited through the state's formal solicitation process.

    The master plan will be designed to articulate how the many elements critical for a successful and memorable bicentennial commemoration will be intertwined and coordinated. The key elements of such a plan would include marketing, education, special events, Native American participation, statewide communication and coordination, legacies and product licensing and sponsorships. The Commission envisions the master plan will be completed by mid-2000.

    The product licensing and sponsorship program is projected to be a significant source of funding for Montana's Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Observance. The product lines will be designed to include quality Montana-made products and be distributed through Montana retail outlets. The sponsorship program will be structured to include local, state, regional and even selected national businesses and corporations.


    The Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission now has a Web Site to assist with its communication and coordination efforts. The new Intranet site - -- was developed in partnership with Travel Montana. It will be used to facilitate the connection of interested communities, agencies, tribes and individuals to a wide range of information related to various components of the Lewis & Clark Expedition in Montana. The site is in its early stages of development so please check it out and then let us know how we can improve the site to most effectively serve your needs.


    The Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative's (MTRI) Lewis & Clark Focus Team has been working with a contractor for the past six months to create a Lewis & Clark Interpretive Strategy for Montana. MTRI, an interagency coalition representing federal and state agencies with tourism and recreation programs and interests, has been working on this strategy as one of the Montana efforts to develop a statewide legacy for the upcoming Lewis & Clark Bicentennial.

    The contractor, Heritage Design from Colville, WA, has completed an in-depth analysis of Montana's existing Lewis & Clark signage to determine what parts of the Montana Lewis & Clark story were being told effectively, and which were not. The completed interpretive strategy, expected for public release by the end of 1999, will offer suggestions for developing interpretive sign "story boards," graphic designs that provide and encourage an attractive and consistent look for Montana's Lewis & Clark interpretive signing, and sign structure in varying sizes and costs for communities, agencies or organizations to consider.

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    Commission headquarters: 600 North Park, Helena
    Mail: PO Box 201203, Helena 59620-1203
    Phone: 406-443-2109 FAX 406-841-4004


    How many visitors will travel the Lewis & Clark Trail during the Bicentennial? What are their expectations? No one can answer these questions with any surety now, but two research projects are getting underway to help us respond to these important queries. On the national level, Montana is partnering with the other 10 trail states and key federal agencies to contract a research firm to conduct a study that will assess the nation's interest and awareness of the historic Lewis & Clark Expedition and the upcoming bicentennial. The University of Montana's Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research (ITRR) will also be gathering Lewis & Clark themed visitation estimates for Montana, as well as developing a profile of Lewis & Clark vacationers in Montana. Look for results of these research projects in the next few months.


    Plans are being finalized for a community grants program offered by the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission. The grant program will provide funding to assist Montana communities in their respective Bicentennial planning efforts as well to further select project implementation. The program will compliment existing grant programs offered by such agencies as Travel Montana, Montana Dept. of Transportation, US Forest Service and the National Park Service.

    NOTE: In an effort to better position Montana communities for upcoming grant funding opportunities from the state and federal level, the state Commission is now in the process of creating a statewide priority list of Lewis & Clark-related infrastructure projects through soliciting input from local communities and area-wide bicentennial planning groups. For more information on how you can participate in this effort, please contact the Commission office in Helena.