We'll explore how "people" and "place" shape decision and group dynamics through the historical experience of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark among the Indians during their famed expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific Coast — and back — from 1804 - 1806. Our parallel experiential and historical trip will focus on how Captains Lewis and Clark made strategic decisions amidst Native peoples and their traditions in the Rocky Mountains while developing conceptions of people and place that would inform American westward expansion in the years to come. While this meticulously documented historical expedition will guide us, we'll also rely on experiencing place through a Native American lens.
Phase One (5-6 Days)
Starting in the Rocky Mountains in Helena, Montana. We will see the Gates of the Rockies, travel along forest roads and camp across Lemhi Pass, then paddle the Salmon River, as Clark did as men from the Lemhi Shoshone nation led the Corps. We'll examine how "place" changes over time as we discover landscape continuity and changes since the vivid accounts in the journals.
Phase Two (3-4 Days)
This phase will focus on mountain survival and decisions under pressure. We’ll begin our journey at Traveller's Rest State Park to learn about the famed Lolo Trail, along with the Corps' Shoshone guides and horses, then backpack along the rugged Nimipuu Trail in the Bitterroot Mounts, following traditional Nez Perce trails along a 6,000 - 7,000 spine of the Bitterroots. We'll read the Corps' extensive journals while we journal on our own. We'll examine navigation skills, along with Native conceptions of maps, geography, and travel.
Phase Three (2 days)
This phase will involve people and place in history. We'll spend time with members of the Salish-Kootenai Confederation to learn about modern issues affecting their nation, focusing on the Hell Gate Treaty of 1855 and native rights to rivers, fisheries, and hunting grounds. Tribal representatives will lead us as we hike, swim, and experience the place that affected a people so significantly.
Phase Four Reflections (4 days)
We'll reflect on Leadership along with people and place in history. We'll paddle along the Missouri River from Loma, MT to Judith’s Landing as we camp and hike in the exact location of the Corps. Experts will accompany and lead us on various hikes in landscapes that will "place" ourselves in a natural landscape in which we can engage in critical lessons of culture, people, and place.