The Yellowstone Gateway Museum (YGM) will host the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program “Montana Indians Today: 13,000 Years and Counting” with Dr. Ruthann Knudson on Wednesday, November 5. Knudson will give her one-hour program to Gardiner School students at 7:55-8:55, grades 9-12; and 8:58-9:58, grades 5-8. Programs are held in the Gardiner School multipurpose room and all are welcome to attend the free presentation. Funding for the Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana’s Cultural Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Montana’s seven Indian reservations include 12 tribes. Many of Montana’s tribes have lived within this area for at least 13,000 years, according to traditional oral, historical, and archaeological information, including the Kutenai and Salishan people in northwestern Montana, Blackfeet and Gros Ventre on the eastern Montana plains, and the Shoshone and Bannock in southern Montana. By the early-1800s several tribes were shifting south. The Cheyenne people moved from the Great Lakes area into eastern Montana in the early 19th century. The Sioux, Assiniboine, and Cree were pushed into Montana in the 18th and 19th centuries. Knudson helps audiences understand modern reservations, tribal politics, and socioeconomics by exploring the history of habitation in the state, federal conquest of the tribes, and the sociocultural diversity bred by disease, boarding schools, modern transportation, and communications.
Knudson is the owner of Knudson Associates, a cultural resource and interface management business in Great Falls, Montana. She is an adjunct faculty member teaching “Montana Indians” at Great Falls College MSU, and is the executive director of the Friends of the Museum of the Plains Indian.
This presentation is part of Cultural Perspectives of Land Use in the Gardiner Area which features expert speakers who will cover land use from multiple perspectives, including Indian Education for All topics. The presentations are given during the 2014-2015 school year. The larger project is funded in part by a recent Humanities Montana grant, Gardiner School, YGM, and the Friends of the YGM. Please call 406-222-4184 for more information.