“Enough Good People”

Lasting Legacies

“The commemoration has changed the course of our nation, bridges of good faith have been built among all people and we must not let them disappear regardless of what has happened in the past.”

Chief Cliff Snider, Chinook, 2006

National Legacies

The Circle of Tribal Advisors and participating Tribal Nations created many significant legacies during the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial that will continue to benefit Indian people for countless generations to come. Among them:

Native Voices Endowment

In partnership with the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, Missouri Historical Society, Oregon Community Foundation, and the Endangered Language Fund, the Circle of Tribal Advisors created a perpetual endowment fund for Native Language Education and Revitalization. With proceeds from the surcharge on sales of the US Mint’s 2004 Lewis & Clark Commemorative Coin, COTA created the $1.6 million Native Voices Endowment: A Lewis & Clark Expedition Bicentennial Legacy for making annual grants to Tribal Language teachers, researchers, and programs. COTA member Tribes and other Tribes along with the Lewis & Clark Trail are eligible to apply for funding.

Lewis & Clark Trail – Tribal Legacy Project www.lc-triballegacy.org

The National Park Service videotaped all programs by Tribal presenters in Corps II’s Tent of Many Voices. Those videotapes form the basis of a new website (www.lc-triballegacy.org), to be launched in March 2010, and series of curriculum guides being created by the Park Service in partnership with the University of Montana Regional Learning Project. In addition, all Tribal presenters will receive copies of their programs to help in preserving oral histories, educating future generations, and contributing to Tribal museums and archives.

Tribal Stories

During the bicentennial, Native People told their own stories in their own ways. That input continues to be far more valuable and interesting than just showing up to be the entertainment – like early bicentennial planners expected us to do. Mainstream scholars and media continue to consult and defer to Tribal historians, scholars, elders, and leaders.


The Tribes stirred things up during the commemoration, primarily in a non-confrontational way. As a result, the general public became, and continues to grow a bit less fearful and more understanding of Native peoples and our issues.

Native Authors

Native authors and poets enjoyed wider publication and readership during the bicentennial. Their books and articles will carry Tribal messages forward for many years to come.

Time Capsule

The Circle of Tribal Advisors and its member Tribes created a time capsule of Tribal involvement memorabilia – films, books, videos, Tribal Flags, signature event items, brochures, programs, maps, articles, commemorative coins, CDs, DVDs, photographs, symposia proceedings, and much more – to be opened by our descendants as planning begins for the 250th Anniversary of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. COTA placed the time capsule with the Missouri Historical Society to keep safe for the next 50 years.

Tribal Legacies, by State and Tribe

TrailTribes.org features the traditional and contemporary culture of nine Tribal Groups.


Nez Perce Tribe

  • Created natural resource protection and restoration projects for the Clearwater/Lapwai Valley and Kamiah Spring.
  • Developed a Nez Perce Tribal directory, including a portfolio of traditional and contemporary skills, to serve as a resource for economic development.
  • Created an annual Nez Perce Children’s Creation Legend Pageant.
  • Hired Tribal culture interpretive staff.
  • Created parfleche educational traveling trunks and a video about Wetxuuwiss and Lewis & Clark.
  • Created interpretive monument honoring the Nez Perce St. Louis Warriors.
  • Planned and carried out, “Summer of Peace: Among the Nimiipuu” National Signature Event, 2006.

Sacajawea Interpretive and Education Center

  • Created Lemhi Shoshone history photo exhibit and compiled oral histories from Lemhi elders.

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

  • Tribal Artisans made thousands of hand-made, traditionally tanned leather pouches for the US Mint commemorative Lewis & Clark coin and pouch set.


Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas

  • Implemented a Kickapoo Language class for adults and created CDs, a brochure, and videotapes of the classes as future teaching tools.
  • Implemented a K-4 Cultural Program.
  • Implemented a Cultural Resource Protection Program.

Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri

  • Created new items for the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri Museum, including a miniature display of a Sac or Fox village, audio tutorial equipment to teach the language of the Sac and Fox Nation to Tribal Members, a museum brochure, and display and storage improvements for museum artifacts.


All Montana Tribal Nations

  • Created the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA) to create opportunities for and promote cultural tourism to Montana’s Tribal Communities.

State of Montana

  • Adopted Indian Education for All to integrate the history, culture, and knowledge of Montana Tribes across the state’s school curriculum.

Blackfeet Nation

  • Researched historical Piegan trails from 1800 to 1899.
  • Reconditioned a historical Blackfeet trail for public education and visitation and created new signs and a Tribal Handbook.
  • Built a new Blackfeet Tourism and Visitor Center.
  • Created educational programming about their fatal encounter with Lewis & Clark at the Two Medicine River.
  • Tribal artisans made thousands of hand-made, traditionally tanned leather pouches for the US Mint commemorative Lewis & Clark Coin and Pouch set.

Blackfeet Community College

  • Students made thousands of hand-made, traditionally tanned leather pouches for the US Mint commemorative Lewis & Clark coin and pouch set.

Going to the Sun Institute

  • Created, “First Nations Discover Lewis & Clark” oral history documentary.

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

  • Created The Salish People and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, compiled by the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee and the Elders Cultural Advisory Council, published by the University of Nebraska Press.
  • Created a Tribal History Pageant.
  • Tribal Artisans made thousands of hand-made, traditionally tanned leather pouches for the US Mint commemorative Lewis & Clark coin and pouch set.

Salish Kootenai College

  • Created an online Salish language program.
  • Produced a DVD of the Tribal history pageant.

Crow Nation

  • Tribal Artisans made thousands of hand-made, traditionally tanned leather pouches for the US Mint commemorative Lewis & Clark coin and pouch set.

Crow Nation, Little Big Horn College

  • Created “Baashee-duat (They Came by Boat)” and “Ii-chi-wee iitchee (Good Stories)” educational programs.

Fort Belknap Gros Ventre & Assiniboine Indian Community

  • Began a Staff Development Program for non-native residents of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, focusing on raising cultural awareness and personal growth issues.

Fort Peck Community College

  • Made a documentary film, “Assiniboine Chief Rosebud Remembers Lewis & Clark.”

International Traditional Games Society

  • Created a program to engage Indian youth in the games of their ancestors, including workshops for Tribal Games Teachers, crafting of game pieces, holding competitions, and giving presentations about traditional games.

Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians

  • Created a Tribal Language Project and recorded speakers of the Cree Language.

Rocky Boy Chippewa Cree

  • Created a Cree Visitor Information Center.

University of Montana

  • Hosted landmark “Confluence of Cultures” symposium.

University of Montana Regional Learning Project

  • Created documentary films, “Contemporary Voices along the Lewis & Clark Trail,” “Native Homelands along the Lewis & Clark Trail,” and, “Why Save a Language?” and the website, www.trailTribes.org.


Omaha Tribe of Nebraska

  • Gathered historical documents relevant to Lewis & Clark’s visit to the gravesite of Omaha leader, Chief Blackbird, created highway interpretive signage, improved the gravesite/park’s walking trail, and developed a Tribal Brochure.
  • Hosted the 200th anniversary of Traditional Omaha Harvest Celebration.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska

  • Created a Ponca Language Revitalization Program, Ponca Earth Lodge Research Project, and cultural interpretation exhibits.

Santee Sioux Tribe

  • Created “First Encounter” exhibit.

North Dakota

Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation

  • Planned and carried out the “Home of Sakakawea” National Signature Event, 2006.
  • Constructed a traditional Earth Lodge Village.
  • Compiled an oral history, “In Our Own Words.”
  • Prepared Wolf Chief Trail.
  • The State of North Dakota honored Sakakawea by presenting a statue of her to the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington.
  • Tribal artisans made thousands of hand-made, traditionally tanned leather pouches for the US Mint commemorative Lewis & Clark coin and pouch set.

Fort Berthold Community College

  • Purchased books and resource materials relevant to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Tribes and the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
  • Students planted and still tend a traditional Mandan garden.
  • Students learned how to construct a traditional earth lodge.

Three Tribes Museum

  • Made improvements to the museum and created The Ways of Our People exhibit. Produced a play, “This Land I Stand On,” about the loss of Tribal Lands to Lake Sakakawea.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

  • Developed a website and brochures to educate the public, promote historic sites, and make people aware of cultural resource laws.
  • Created a Fort Manuel replica.

Trenton Indian Service Area

  • Began construction of a cultural center to display traditional Metis clothing, a pelt rack, and other items of Metis history, language, and culture.

Twin Buttes Community, Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation

  • Relocated a replica traditional Mandan earth lodge, originally constructed in Bismarck during the Circle of Cultures national signature event, to the Twin Buttes Community.

Northern Plains Heritage Foundation

  • Held, “Finding Sacagawea: A National Symposium on an American Phenomenon.”


Kaw Nation

  • “Voices of the Wind Peoples’ Pageant.”

Osage Nation

  • Created an Osage Tribal language program that began small but now has over 400 students. The Osage language is now also taught in the Pawhuska public schools.
  • Created a Lewis & Clark education program for the Osage Tribal Museum.
  • Created a traditional style wicki-up to illustrate Osage history and culture.
  • Planted a traditional Osage tree-within-a-tree in Saint Louis’s Forest Park.

Otoe-Missouria Tribe

  • Fostered greater understanding and collaboration between traditional and contemporary Tribal Elders and Leaders.
  • Created Native Americans/Lewis & Clark documentary.

Shawnee Tribe

  • Created a Shawnee Lewis & Clark Commemorative Coin.


Clatsop–Nehalem Confederated Tribes

  • Established a Clatsop–Nehalem Tribal office in Astoria, OR, including space for a cultural center, Tribal information center, store, and Tribal offices.
  • Created an educational program and workshops on Tribal language, carving, history, and religious practices.
  • Compiled “Coming Home: The Legacy of the Cedar People,” oral history preservation.
  • Carved a traditional 32-foot ocean-going cedar canoe.
  • Held a Naming Ceremony and “brought out” their canoe – “Dragonfly” – during a traditional Potlatch.
  • Created a video, A Clatsop Winter Story, the story of Lewis & Clark’s winter stay, through the eyes of the Clatsop people.

Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon

  • Created a program to train Tribal members in the Tribe’s traditional Native crafts, including basketry and dance projects.
  • Created a portable Grand Ronde Lewis & Clark exhibit.

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

  • Partnered to create the Homeland Heritage Corridor historic route, maps, signage, and Auto Tour CD.
  • Created a living culture village, Naami Nishaycht, at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute.
  • With the help of the Washington State Historical Society, borrowed their original Treaty of 1855 from the National Archives and Records Administration for six months so their Tribal members could view it during the 150th anniversary of the treaty signing.
  • Created a Tribal history book, Wiyaxayxt € as days go by € Wwiyaakaa’awn, Our History, Our Land, and Our People – The Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla, published by Tamástslikt Cultural Institute in cooperation with the Oregon State Historical Society and University of Washington Press.
  • Created “Lewis & Clark: A Tribal Legacy” teachers’ workshops.
  • Reprinted The Cayuse Indians.
  • Tribal Artisans made thousands of hand-made, traditionally tanned leather pouches for the US Mint commemorative Lewis & Clark coin and pouch set.
  • Coordinated Institute of Museum & Library Services Native language education project.
  • Conducted one symposium and two convocations of scholars, elders, and students on Lewis & Clark treaty topics.

The Museum at Warm Springs

  • Created “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” exhibit.
  • Created River Eagle Canoe construction project.

Wisdom of the Elders

  • Compiled “First Nation People Discover Lewis & Clark” oral histories.
  • Created Turtle Island Storytellers Network and Online Directory Partnership.
  • Produced Wisdom of the Elders radio program and curriculum.

South Dakota

All South Dakota Tribes

  • Created the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) to create opportunities for and promote cultural tourism to South Dakota’s Tribal communities.
  • Created the Native American Scenic Byway along South Dakota’s Tribal Communities. The Byway crosses the reservations of four Tribes of Lakota Sioux: Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River, and Standing Rock. Its many memorial markers, monuments, museums, and historical sites commemorate the heritage of the Sioux Nation and help visitors to view history from the Native American point of view.

Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA)

  • Planned and carried out The Oceti Sakowin Experience National Signature Event, 2004.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

  • Developed a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Tribal resource handbook.
  • Established a Cheyenne River Tribal CultureFest.
  • Instituted natural resource protection and signage at Rousseau Creek Tribal Park.
  • Tribal artisans made thousands of hand-made, traditionally tanned leather pouches for the US Mint commemorative Lewis & Clark coin and pouch set.

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

  • Restored interpretive and informational signage for the Narrows, a recognized Lewis & Clark historic site on the Lower Brule Reservation.
  • Developed the Tribe’s Buffalo Interpretive Center and programs.
  • Created an annual symposium on surviving Lewis & Clark and taking care of the Missouri River.

Oglala Sioux Tribe Parks & Recreation Authority

  • Created interpretive programming, Lakota Renaissance since Lewis & Clark.

Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota

  • Created Ihanktowan Cultural Adventure living history tipi encampment, a play, Our Story, An Ihanktowan Cultural Adventure, arts and crafts workshops, an art market, and video production about the Yankton Sioux Tribe.


Monacan Indian Nation

  • Leveraged the Tribe’s participation in the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial into a leadership role for the expression of Virginia Tribal perspectives in the 2007 commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.


Chinook Indian Tribe

  • Researched and cataloged historic documents and materials about the Chinook people, created a Tribal archive, trained Tribal staff to maintain and care for the materials, compiled oral history interviews, and created Tribal history presentations.
  • Planned and carried out Chinook cultural festival.

Cowlitz Indian Tribe

  • Created a Tribal language renewal project, researching, assessing, and assembling existing resources for the Salishan language family.
  • Researched information on Lewis & Clark’s interactions with the Cowlitz people for the development of Tribal history educational programs.
  • Created a canoe carving project to carve traditional Cowlitz canoes.
  • Created and outfitted a traditional Cowlitz drum group.

Wanapum Indian Tribe

  • Created and began touring an educational exhibit about Wanapum culture, including a nearly full-sized Wanapum tule mat lodge, tule mat tipi, and traditional salmon drying racks.
  • Hand-made traditional tools to carve a traditional Wanapum canoe and launched the canoe in the Columbia River.

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation

  • Created exhibits and brochures for the Yakama Nation Cultural Heritage Museum, Before the Shey’apu, with information on the Yakama people, culture and natural resources, and The Shuyapuma (White People) Came from the East.

Tribal Legacies Since the Bicentennial Concluded

The following extraordinary Tribal Legacies had their origins in relationships that developed, programs that were initiated, and awareness that was raised during the commemoration. We applaud and congratulate those who created each of the following continuing legacies.

Osage Nation – Purchase of Sugar Loaf Mound

At the end of July 2009, after more than 200 years in exile until being invited back to the Saint Louis area to participate in the bicentennial, the Osage Nation of Oklahoma purchased Sugar Loaf Mound – the last mound of the ancient Cahokia Mounds complex that was held in private ownership and yet undestroyed by the advance of America’s westward expansion. Cahokia was the largest civilization north of Mexico City in pre-Columbian times. Acquisition of Sugar Loaf Mound gives the people of the Osage Nation a literal, physical connection to their ancient history and ancestral homeland.

Celilo Village Redevelopment

In 2008, after decades of neglect, the US Army Corps of Engineers, at last, kept its 50-year-old promise to rebuild Celilo Village, which had been forced to relocate when the Dalles Dam flooded Celilo (the great Wy-am) Falls in 1957.

Virginia Indian Tribes – Federal Recognition

In the summer of 2009, the US House of Representatives voted to extend federal recognition to six Virginia tribes: the Monacan Indian Nation, Upper Mattaponi Tribe, Rappahannock Tribe, Chickahominy Indian Tribe, Chickahominy Indian Tribe-Eastern Division, and the Nansemond Indian Tribe. The bill for recognition now moves to the US Senate.

Cowlitz Indian Tribe – Annual Participation in Tribal Canoe Journeys

With traditionally carved, ocean-going canoes created during the bicentennial, the Cowlitz Tribe participates in the Tribal Canoe Journeys, a drug and alcohol-free program that brings together Tribal canoes from around the Northwest coast.

The Episcopal Church – Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery

Also in the summer of 2009, the Episcopal Church adopted a resolution repudiating the centuries-old Doctrine of Discovery, established by European monarchs and the Catholic Church, that awarded claim to indigenous lands to those non-Natives who first “discovered” them. In this way, Europeans, and later, Americans laid claim to the Native homelands of the Americas and other non-European, non-Christian areas of the world. The Episcopal Church has called on the United States and Great Britain to “disavow and repudiate publicly, the claimed validity of the Christian Doctrine of Discovery.” Tribal leaders quickly extended that call to Pope Benedict XVI.

Native Voices Language Grants

Since its establishment by the Circle of Tribal Advisors, National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, and the Missouri Historical Society in 2006, the $1.6 million Native Voices Endowment, administered by the Endangered Language Fund, has made grants to Tribal language programs and individuals.

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