In a project partially funded by the National Park Foundation under a grant program associated with the fall release of the Ken Burns/Dayton Duncan âAmericaâs Best Ideaâ series, students and staff from the neighboring Crow reservation recently spent a week at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
The project focused on telling stories addressing the central role of Bighorn Canyon NRA in Crow history and modern tribal identity. Students worked with the archaeologist from Bighorn Canyon and professors from Indiana University, Northwest College and St Cloud State University. They visited the ancient Bad Pass Trail and several stone circle sites, receiving detailed training in the archeological skills necessary to map stone circles (teepee rings). They also listened to visiting tribal elders tell stories about the area and its history.
Of the 27 Crow students and staff in the program, 23 had never visited the park before.
At the conclusion of the program, park staff and Crow participants had a greater appreciation for and understanding of the rich history of the area and those who tell itâs stories.