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Archive for the ‘Nimipoo Tribe’ Category

Vernon Carroll in Traveler's Rest Museum, standing next to a quote from the Lewis and Clark journals. Photo courtesy Debbie Lee

Vernon Carroll in Traveler’s Rest Museum, standing next to a quote from the Lewis and Clark journals. Photo courtesy Debbie Lee

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Episode 43 (15:00)

Thank you for joining us for the forty-third episode of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project. In this episode, titled “Ancient Communities of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness,” we hear from Vernon Carroll, whose job it is to interpret history for visitors to the Bitterroot Valley at Traveler’s Rest. From showcasing a museum dedicated to Lewis and Clark, to cultivating interest in the Native tradition of educational storytelling, Vern brings the past of this important area to life.
Vernon Carroll, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe, was born in Cut Bank, Montana, and worked as a cattle rancher there alongside his father, maintaining a lifelong interest in the history and culture of the native peoples who lived in Montana. His ranch itself boasted three buffalo jumps and numerous tipi rings, among other native sites and artifacts. His love of history led him to work for a year as the interim manager of the Glacier County Museum in Cut Bank. In 2002, he retired from ranching when he was hired as the pioneer Interpretative Specialist at the Traveler’s Rest State Park in Lolo, Montana.

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Matt Root in 2011 holding a reproduction of a Native American spear. Photo courtesy of Debbie Lee

Matt Root in 2011 holding a reproduction of a Native American spear. Photo courtesy of Debbie Lee

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Episode 37 (13:34)

Thank you for joining us for the thirty-seventh episode of the Selway-Bitterroot History Project. In this episode, titled “Shards of the Past,” Matt Root talks about archaeology in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Since 2000, Matt has owned Rain Shadow Research, whose projects have included working with the Ni’mi-poo tribe to locate the sites of former villages or sacred gathering locations.

Matt Root earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in anthropology and archaeology from the University of Kansas, and a Doctorate in anthropology and archaeology from Washington State University. He has worked in archaeological research for thirty-six years, with the past thirteen years focused on Idaho and Washington. His company reports on archaeological sites for dam relicensing, or for Idaho Power to determine the locations of important sites for preservation or excavation.

Here, Matt tells about the process of locating an important site within the boundaries of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, and what it means to wilderness users today.

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Dale Dufour, 2011

Dale Dufour, 2011

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Episode 33 (13:35)

Thank you for joining us for the thirty-third episode of the “Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project.” In this episode, titled, “Travelers’ Rest,” Dale Dufour tells us about Lewis and Clark’s famous journey through the Bitterroot mountains. Dale graduated from the University of Illinois in the 1960’s and began work in the forests of the Pacific Northwest just after the passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act.

On September 14, 1805, Clark wrote in his journal of the exhausting trip:
“9 miles over a high mountain steep & almost inaxcessible much falling timber which fatigues our men & horses exceedingly, in stepping over so great a number of logs added to the steep assents and [descents] of the mountains . . . rained and snowed & hailed the greater part of the day all wet and cold”

Before entering the mountains, the Corps of Discovery stayed at a camp in the Bitterroot Valley that they called Travelers’ Rest. This area had been used for many years by the Native Americans as a campsite. The Corps stayed at Travelers’ Rest upon their return journey as well, making this site one of the landmarks of the expedition. In 2001, after archaeologists used the now-published Lewis and Clark journals to determine more precise locations for the camp sites used on the historic journey, Dale began volunteering at Travelers’ Rest State Park telling visitors about the Lewis and Clark journey, and detailing the findings of recent archaeological discovery. Listen as he describes the route they took through the mountains, aided by the Nimiipu and Salish Indians.

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Wyakin Songs

Nez-Perce-Indian-Woman

Nez Perce Woman

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Episode 30 (8:42)

Thank you for joining us for this special thirtieth episode of the “Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project.” Any historical study of an area like the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness would be incomplete without inclusion of material from the first tribes to inhabit the land. In this case, the bands known as the Nimipu, or Nez Perce, lived in and near the area now known as the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Their spirit, names and influence permeates the land, which thanks to preservation efforts, still retains its pristine inspiration just as it once did when these native songs were first sung there hundreds of years ago.

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