National Signature Events – return to main NSE page
#10 Explore! The Big Sky
Great Falls and Fort Benton, Montana
Explore! The Big Sky, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Lewis & Clark Expedition’s arduous portage around the Great Falls of the Missouri, was held at Great Falls and Fort Benton, Montana, during June and July 2005 and featured substantial tribal programming.
Tribal programming includes:
Opening Ceremony: Tribal flag procession.
American Indian Nations: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Indigenous symposium speakers include: Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Colorado); Commander John B. Herrington (America’s first American Indian astronaut); Dr. Kevin Gover, former Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and present Executive Director of the National Museum of the American Indian; Onondaga Nation Chief Oren Lyons; Tex Hall, Chairman of the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation and past President of the National Congress of American Indians; Suzan Shown Harjo, Director of the Morning Star Institute; Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills; Elouise Cobell, lead plaintiff in the Indian trust fund lawsuit Cobell v. Kempthorne; Darrell Robes Kipp, founder of the Piegan Language Institute at Blackfeet; and many others from more than 35 tribal nations.
Concerts by Native Entertainers: Rita Coolidge (Cherokee), Jack and Mariah Gladstone (Blackfeet).
Tribal Encampment: Coordinated by Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance.
International Traditional Games Society: Indigenous games, horse events, demonstrations and competitions.
Sweet Willow Indian Market.
Native American Life Skills Demonstrations.
Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future.