Clark Days to Celebrate Native American Heritage - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Clark Days to Celebrate Native American Heritage

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BILLINGS -

If you ever wanted to learn about Native American culture, head down to Pompey's Pillar this weekend for Clark Days.

The event celebrates William Clark's stop at Pompey's Pillar, but this year has a special change.

"We're going to be celebrating our Native American heritage," said Jeff Kitchens, Pompey's Pillar monument manager. "We've partnered with the Native education programs in Billings and we're going to have a lot of the youth out doing the dancing, the drumming, just all kinds of stuff."

There are still pictographs and petroglyphs on the rocks, showing the long history of Native American culture at the site. Clark wrote about the pictographs in his journal to indicate where he signed his name.

"We know that this site was used by a number of Native American tribes given the fact of its proximity to Yellowstone and the general use of the area so it's kind of neat that we were able to come 200 years later and really celebrate that heritage and history"

Visitors can learn about Clark's journey and Native American culture at the monument's interpretive center.

"Their interaction with the Native Americans was tremendous," said Stan Sumrell, a tourist from Tennessee. "And they were actually our ambassadors. Not only were they explorers but they were ambassadors."

Students from native youth clubs at Billings schools will be performing in the dancing and drumming. Clark Days will include historic demonstrations and interpretive tours.

The event starts at 3 PM on Saturday, and runs until 4 PM on Sunday. Saturday night will be the only night all year overnight RV and tent camping is allowed at Pompey's Pillar.

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