Tuesday, December 05, 2006

No Pilgrims in the Flathead

Those of us living in the "colonies", just finished celebrating an annual holiday called Thanksgiving. During the days that preceded this anniversary of Pilgrims and Indians coming together, blogs and websites were crammed with facts and falsehoods about this occasion.

There were no Pilgrims in Montana in 1621, but there were Indians making pilgrimages to sacred places for ritual, and to secular places for hunting and fishing and gathering of plants. The relentless movement westward of a foreign people with their exotic religion, foreigners currently struggling to survive in New England, was not known, not even in rumor, in Montana, in 1621.

Richard Sims is the director of the Montana Historical Society and had a wonderful article about Montana in the year of the first Thanksgiving.

He says that the people who were living in Montana in 1621 were the Kootenai, the Pend d’Oreille (Kalispell) and the Salish, long-established around Flathead Lake but roaming to the east; the Shoshone coming up periodically from the Great Basin country; and the Crow just arriving from the Dakotas. When examining the early histories of these early peoples, recall that no horses were in sight. No horses would appear in Montana for nearly a century. Read Mr. Simms’ complete article here…

Montanans celebrating Thanksgiving

In the event you missed an earlier posting, you need to see this... you just gotta love the people (and bears) in Montana.

I hope your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. Here in the land of Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park, some people dined with “strange” guests. Check out how the Montana Grizzly Encounter celebrated this special day.

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