Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blackfoot and new roots

Sunday, June 21, 2009 - Father's Day
Today is Father's Day, a great Thanks goes out to all those awesome Dads out there...and perhaps those potential Dads, too!

I went into work this morning at 8am. It was a good thing I did, we were hosting a Cultural Awareness Training in the Auditorium. Why you ask? Because the Blackfeet are hosting the Blackfoot Confederacy Conference right here in Glacier National Park. This is both good and not-so-good. Good because we get the chance to experience the culture of the neighboring Blackfeet Indians. The Blackfoot Confederacy Conference is held annually to address and assess issues and news with all 4 bands of the Blackfoot Indians (in both the US and Canada). The local Blackfeet tribe is hosting it this year with the theme "Glacier National Park on Blackfoot Land." Without going into it too much, I'll just say, this is still their land, it just happens to have a National Park on it.'s good because I've already learned a bunch about out neighbors.
Another good thing is, we get overtime! Yeah, Money! Today I will have worked 10 hours of overtime...this is an exceptionally good day because I'm supposed to have the day off, but I'm working. It will be good to get some extra spending cash!

It's not-so-good because it throws a wrench in our smooth interpretation operations. In other words, we are pushed to the limits on staffing. This seems to happen at least once a year here in the park. But, we are fully staffed, and hopefully, prepared for hosting this event on park property. There was some great forethought to this season and we decided early on that we would give everyone an extra week to prepare for their interpretive programs (guided hikes, etc). Well, that was the best decision we could have made!! Thankfully, we are only giving about 7 or 8 programs this week.

That brings me to the "new roots" part of the title of this blog. Everyone on our staff is growing new roots in the park. They have learned about the park resources and therefore started to shoot roots into the ground. Now they are growing deeper and deeper into the park and taking hold of their interpretive programs and abilities. Soon the little green shoots will come up from the ground and burst into the light of day! It's so exciting to see everyone grow in confidence and clarity. I can't wait to see their programs.

Last, "new roots" also refers to the plants that are growing FAST! Many flowers are already in bloom and I can't believe it! The water is roaring down the falls to feed those flowers and the snow is melting at Logan Pass to feed those falls! Check out some of the photos below.

Round-leaved yellow violet

Blue Penstemon

Mariposa Lily

Beautiful St. Mary Falls

Logan Pass sidewalk, much less snow than usual. This is about typical for July snow.

Missing Feathers,
I found these on the sidewalk separated from their host, the Mountain Bluebird

Path to Hidden Lake and Mt. Clements in the distance

Many Glacier Valley June 10, 2009- Interpretive Training

1 comment:

  1. I would say the snow is typical for late June, based on my experience.

    I'd say the same thing about the Blackfeet and Glacier as I would about the Yankton Sioux and Pipestone: they agreed to be compensated for it back then. Anything claim to it now is absurd. It's like me saying that Norway owes me a plot of land because my ancestors lived there. Harsh? Maybe. But look at the trash blowing around Browning, MT and ask yourself if it looks like they, as a culture, really care about the land. Ouch! Burn!


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