First Peoples, Two Countries, Three Voices
Flathead Valley Community College in partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) kicked off their Crown of the Continent Centennial Lecture Series last night.
The evening consisted of a conversation with leaders of the Blackfoot Confederacy, Salish-Pend Oreille, and the Kootenai/Ktnuxa nations. Speakers included Herman Many Guns from the Piikani Blackfoot Tribes, Tony Incashola from the Salish Tribes, and Vernon Finley from the Kootenai Tribes.
It was acknowledged by each of the tribes that this was an ideal space for such a series– the location is known as the Village Center to the Kootenai peoples. It happens to be the center of the Crown of the Continent National Geographic Geotourism Map, as well.
The lecture ended with wise words encouraging all people to work together to protect these resources and the special culture that exists here in the Crown of the Continent. Each tribal member expressed their gratitude for their invitation to the table. Vernon regarded that it is not of their interest that such an event exists– instead it is the interest of each of the audience members that the conversation has taken place, suggesting that it is up to us to continue the discussion.
Speaker: Dr. Jim Byrne
Flathead Valley Community College Continuing Education Center