“They have a heritage to share with the other students and those of us who know nothing about their true culture; it gives them a sense of pride. We set up a little fire inside the tipi and do a little cooking, some storytelling.” The Sparrow’s Choice
Last week was river honoring for the Salish and Kootenai tribes. There is a lovely spot along the Flathead River set up for sharing and educating local school kids each May. There was a tipi for each of, I believe, ten “stations” where students could learn fish and water bug identification, about local trees, Native American stick games, about power provided by our local dam, and touch animal hides and bones brought by the Forest Service.
There was a raptor rescue organization, the station I visited the most.
An elder from the tribe sat at his big powwow drum and when he played and sang the kids moved on to the next station. The only thing that damped the activity was rain the second day, but in between squalls the field was alive with happy children.
Not one to sit still, I had to explore. The river is running fast these days with runoff. I tromped up and down where the willows didn’t block my way and ate lunch in the shade of a juniper.
I’d heard about an old flume up in the hills and it was an easy search. It and the scenery were worth the short hike. This not an hour from my house, unbelievable to me. I spent a couple of hours of up there and will likely hike up there again given the chance!