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Bitterroot College to host presentation, panel on Salish history, culture

MISSOULA — Bitterroot College University of Montana, in collaboration with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Humanities Montana, has developed two days of programming to provide accurate information for the community and local leaders regarding Salish history and connection to place, both past and present.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, Tony Incashola, Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee director, will present “The Medicine Tree,” a public lecture and cultural education on Salish-Pend d’Oreille worldview, values, stories, beliefs and contemporary connections.

On Thursday, May 22, Bitterroot College will host an invitation-only field trip to the Medicine Tree area for community leaders. At 7 p.m. that same evening, a facilitated panel discussion will focus on accurate information relating to historic and contemporary issues affecting the tribes and the Bitterroot Valley community.

Both evening events are free and open to the public. They will be held in the Montana Room of the Bitterroot River Inn, located at 139 Bitterroot Plaza Drive in Hamilton.

The program is designed to clarify the significance of the Salish belief systems relevant to the Medicine Tree and surrounding areas south of Hamilton. The presentation and panel will provide the community with an opportunity to hear traditional stories within a discussion of worldview. Elders will explain the significance of “place” from an American Indian and ethnogeographic perspective.

The information session and panel discussion will provide an opportunity for the community to listen and engage in dialogue focused on building relationships and understanding between cultures and increasing knowledge of the Salish worldview related to respect for the traditional stories, the Medicine Tree and place.

For more information call Bitterroot College Director Victoria Clark at 406-375-0100 or email victoria.clark@umontana.edu.

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