People Before the Park
The Kootenai and Blackfeet Before Glacier National Park

by Sally Thompson
and Kootenai Culture Committee
and Pikunni Traditional Association

published by Montana Historical Society Press

  • Step out of a world governed by clocks and calendars and into the world of the Kootenai and Blackfeet peoples, the two tribes whose traditional territories included the land that is now Glacier National Park. In People Before the Park, the Kootenai and Blackfeet tribes share their traditions: stories and legends, foodways and hunting techniques, games, spiritual beliefs, place names, and other aspects of traditional life.

247 pages, 7 x 10, 95 b/w photos, 30 illustrations, 2 map(s), index, appendix, 26 softcovers per case

ISBN 10: 1-940527-71-6
ISBN 13: 9781940527710

July 2015





People Before the Park
The Kootenai and Blackfeet Before Glacier National Park

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Sally Thompson has spent over thirty years working with the Native tribes of the West. Trained as an anthropologist (PhD, University of Colorado - Boulder), she has worked as an archaeologist, ethnographer, and ethnohistorian along the Rocky Mountains and in the Southwest. She has a particular interest in collaborating with tribes to implement unique cultural preservation strategies particular to each tribe or region.
The Kootenai Culture Committee, established in 1975, has as its mission protecting, preserving, perpetuating, and enhancing the language, culture, and traditional lifeways of the Kootenai people. The Kootenai Culture Committee is based on the west shore of Flathead Lake in Elmo, Montana.
The Pikunni Traditional Association represents ceremonial leaders from the Blackfeet Reservation. Its purpose is to assist in keeping a positive and peaceful balance in the circle of life, emphasizing physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

Praise for People Before the Park: The Kootenai and Blackfeet Before Glacier National Park

Staggered by the beauty surrounding them, visitors to Glacier National Park struggle to imagine what this place meant to those who knew it best, the Native peoples who traveled its passes and lakes for centuries on end. How did the people who made their homes here understand its history and boundless resources? What was—and is—the Native reality behind our modern understanding of nature? This book offers dozens of fascinating answers to those questions.

The balanced partnership of Sally Thompson and her Kootenai and Blackfeet colleagues has produced a splendid array of lessons, stories, and insights that collectively transport us to a new world of understanding and appreciation. People Before the Park will transform the way you experience and understand this magnificent place.

—Frederick E. Hoxie, Professor of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, author of This Indian Country: American Indian Activists and the Place They Made

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