Native America Speaks Program Enters 25th Season at Glacier
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406-888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park will host a variety of educational programs about local Indian culture through its Native America Speaks program which enters its 25th season at the park this summer.
As part of the Native America Speaks program, Blackfeet, Salish, and Kootenai tribal members share their knowledge of the history and culture of Native America, through free 45-minute presentations. Programs are offered in the campgrounds at Many Glacier on Tuesdays; Two Medicine on Wednesdays and Fridays, and Rising Sun on Thursdays. Programs start at 8 p.m. during most of the summer; however, beginning August 22nd, programs will begin at 7:30 p.m. Programs are also offered throughout the summer at Apgar campground. Program days in Apgar vary throughout the summer; all Apgar programs begin at 8 p.m.
This season’s Native American speakers include: Kenneth Eagle Speaker, a Blackfoot/Blackfeet from southern Alberta and Browning; Vernon Finley, a member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe who works on the Kootenai Cultural Committee; Jack Gladstone, a Blackfeet singer/songwriter from St. Mary and Kalispell; Ernie Heavy Runner, a Blackfeet singer/songwriter from Browning; Darrell Norman, a Blackfeet artist from Browning; Darrell Kipp, a Blackfeet member who specializes in language and the role that language plays in sustaining a culture; and Curly Bear Wagner, a Blackfeet historian from Browning. Gen Huitt, a Pend d’Oreille singer/songwriter from St. Paul, Minnesota, also gave two special performances this year.
On July 26, there will be a special “Lewis and Clark” program offered by Jack Gladstone at Two Medicine at 8 p.m.
An additional program is offered by the Two Medicine Lake Singers and Dancers who provide insight into contemporary and traditional Blackfeet history and culture through narration and fancy, jingle, traditional, and grass dance demonstrations. The Two Medicine Lake Singers and Dancers are led by Joe McKay and Ray Croff. They will perform at the St. Mary Visitor Center at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from June 28 through August 9.
Jack Gladstone, a Grammy-nominated Blackfeet singer/songwriter, will also present his popular “Legends of Glacier” program, which uses slides and live music to discuss and honor Native American contributions to American culture. “Legends of Glacier” programs will take place in at the Lake McDonald Lodge Auditorium at 8:30 p.m. on the following dates: July 7, 12, 14, 20, 25; August 4, 24; and September 1. The program will also be performed at the Many Glacier Hotel at 8 p.m. on July 16, 30; and August 6, 13.
All Native American interpretive programs offered at Glacier National Park are made possible through a generous donation from the Glacier Natural History Association (GNHA). As an official partner of the park, the association is authorized by the National Park Service (NPS) to sell educational materials and publications in the park visitor centers and ranger stations. Each year the association contributes a generous portion of their revenue to the park to support interpretive and educational programming.
As part of an initiative at St. Mary Visitor Center to broaden the interpretation of Native American history and tradition within Glacier National Park, tickets will be sold again this year for both the Two Medicine Lake Singers and Dancers and “Legends of Glacier” performances. The proceeds from these programs will support the Native America Speaks interpretive initiative.
Tickets for the Two Medicine Lake Singers and Dancers are only available at the St. Mary Visitor Center on the day of the performance. Prices are $8 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. Tickets for “Legends of Glacier” will be sold beginning the morning of each performance at Lake McDonald Lodge and Apgar Visitor Center for Lake McDonald Lodge performances. Tickets for performances at the Many Glacier Hotel will be on sale at the door to the Lucerne Room at 7:15 p.m. on the night of each performance. Tickets are $7 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under.
Did You Know?
The "Backbone of the World" is the Blackfeet tribal name given to the greater Glacier National Park ecosystem.