Editorial: Honor Montana's Indian heritage

"Sunshine swept away a cloudy morning last week just as a group of Montana State University Billings students - including members of the Winnebago, Blackfeet, Chippewa Cree, Northern Cheyenne and Crow tribes - finished raising a tepee in the center of campus. A fire was started inside, just in time for the arrival of guests of honor, Montana Board of Regents Chairwoman Lynn Hamilton and Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns.

Students presented Hamilton with a brightly colored blanket.

The tepee presentation preceding a Board of Regents meeting was a prelude to American Indian Heritage Day, which will be observed on Friday. It was also a fitting reminder that Montana educators have a unique responsibility to teach about Montana's Indian culture, history and contemporary issues. Article X, Section 1 of the Montana Constitution says: "The state recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity."

Why have an Indian heritage day?

For all Montanans, the day is an opportunity to learn more about each other and to better understand how our great state came to be what it is.

Get the Story:
Gazette Opinion: Take a look at past, future on heritage day (The Billings Gazette 9/25)

Another Story:
Schools celebrate with activities (The Great Falls Tribune 9/25)

Montana Office of Public Instruction - http://www.opi.state.mt.us