Since I began moderating this blog more than a year ago, I’ve posted nearly every day – something that has made for a rich and intensive learning experience.
Numerous prayer offerings tied to aspens blow in the wind in the foothills of the mountains of Glacier National Park. For millennia, Native peoples used the area around Glacier for spiritual guidance as well as a variety of other needs. (Kurt Wilson/Missoulian)
But now it’s time for a little break, for a family trip to Glacier National Park
It’s a place that, as this story by the Missoulian’s Michael Jamison showed, has a long and tangled history with the tribes around it. Note that these days, they live around it — despite the fact that the region is their ancestral territory.
The park in recent years has done much to acknowledge that history, scheduling talks by Native American speakers nearly every night. So the learning experience, even on vacation, will continue. That’s a good thing.
In the meantime, if you’re on vacation — or even just have this weekend off — here are a couple of interesting events:
The 133rd Commemoration of the Big Hole Battle will take place Saturday in southwestern Montana when Nez Perce veterans and tribal elders honor all who have fought and died on the battlefield through pipe and empty saddle ceremonies. Commemorative activities will begin at approximately 10 a.m. near the Nez Perce Camp, a 3/4-mile walk from the lower parking lot. Bring water, sunscreen and a folding chair or blanket. A minivan will be available to assist those with small children and/or walking limitations. Tours of the battlefield also will be available.
Also this weekend, the Big Hole summer speaker series will feature Michael Penney along with Nez Perce Nation Drum. Their presentations will take place at the battlefield contact station following the commemorative events and at noon Sunday. A campfire program will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the May Creek Campground, located seven miles west of the battlefield on Highway 43. Admission to all the events is free.
Weaver Colleen Biakeddy stands in front of her loom at last year's Navajo Festival . (Photo by Michele Mountain, 2009, MNA)
And Flagstaff, Ariz., is hosting the 61st annual Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture. It runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at the Museum of Northern Arizona, 3101 N. Fort Valley Road, and will feature the following, according to the Flagstaff Daily Sun:
– More than 75 Navajo artists, performers and artisans will gather at the festival, bringing their work to market and sharing what makes it distinctive. There will also be kids’ activities and food.
- A dedication to the late Alice Nez Horseherder, a lifelong sheep herder and weaver from Hard Rock in Arizona’s Black Mesa region. She died in 2009 at the age of 102.
- Performances by Blackfire, an award-winning alternative/punk/Native rock band that tackles socio-political messages. Blackfire, made up of siblings Klee, Clayson and Jeneda Bennally, has fans around the world.
- The Pollen Trail Dancers will perform colorful social and storytelling summertime dances, including the Dance of the Holy People, the Corn Grinding Dance, the Sash Belt or Weaving Dance, the Basket Dance, and the Bow and Arrow Dance.
- Grammy-nominated flutist and guitarist Aaron White will perform original songs and talk about the history of the Navajo flute.
- Radmilla Cody will serve as emcee in the Heritage Insights tent and sing traditional Navajo songs. Also, the film “Hearing Radmilla,” the story of Cody, the first bi-racial Miss Navajo Nation.
- Clarence Clearwater, who is known for entertaining passengers on the Grand Canyon Railway, will perform traditional and contemporary songs.
Festival admission is $7 adults, $6 seniors (65+), $5 students, $4 Native people, $4 children (7-17), and free to museum members. For more information, call 774-5213 or visit musnaz.org.
We’ll be back midweek next week!