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Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument
Release Date: 07/12/11
Contacts: Connie Jacobs (406) 622-4020    

Upper Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center Hosts Family “Cultural History” Day on July 23

The Upper Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center (701 7th Street in Fort Benton) is continuing its summer season of special programming in recognition of the Center’s 5th anniversary. 

On July 23, 2011, the Center will host a cultural history “Family Day”, with Native American presenters; a special speaker from Montana Humanities who will conduct a program about homesteading; and a variety of related children’s activities. 

Ruby and Videl Stump – Tribal Traditions

At 11 a.m. Cree tribal elders Ruby and Videl Stump will present a program called “Cree Tribal Traditions: Then and Now.” They will talk about their tribe’s lifeways, including dress, food and traditional stories. The Stumps were born, raised and still reside on the Rocky Boy Reservation, and enjoy sharing their tribal heritage with others.  

“Concerned about their tribal history becoming lost, Ruby and Videl share stories and information in programs throughout Montana,” said Connie Jacobs, Director of the Upper Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center. “I am very pleased they will be part of Center’s 5th anniversary special programming this month.” 

The Stumps travel throughout Montana conducting Native American programs in schools. The Stumps also assist the college in Havre with special tribal presentations. They have also provided cultural programs to the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and juvenile detention centers. 

 Hal Sterns – Homestead Dreams

At 1 p.m. historian and storyteller Hal Stearns from the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program will present“Homestead Dreams: From High Hopes to Lingering Legacy.” 

“Montana has always been a state marked by boom and bust—the fur trade, cattle on the open range, the gold and silver, coal and oil rushes. But no moment in our history has left a mark quite like that of the -honyocker- or homesteader,” said Stearns.
In his program, Stearns, from Helena, describes the American West’s last great agricultural land rush and what followed; illustrating his talk with a myriad of signs left on the landscape.
Stearns’ program is provided by Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau. Partial funding for the Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana’s Cultural Trust and from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Stearns has been an educator for more than 30 years. He has been honored as Montana’s teacher of the year and as an outstanding U.S. history teacher.  

Educator Credits

Both presentations are free and open to the public; each lasts approximately one hour. The programs are available for educator credits through Montana’s Office of Public Instruction. Forms will be available at the Center that day.  

For The Youngsters

To coincide with the programs, a special teaching trunk, on loan from the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper, Wyo., will allow children and their families to explore the cookware, toys, clothing and other materials settlers who traveled West during the 1800 and 1900s used. The Interpretive Center also offers a Junior Explorer Activity booklet; inside youngsters will discover a variety of activities, including ones related to Native Americans and homesteaders. 

Admission Fees Waived

The admission fees to the Center will be waived for everyone attending the July 23 Family Day activities. 

Future Events

The Center will host another Family Day event on Saturday, August 6th featuring Arla Eckert of the Great Falls Audubon chapter. She will conduct a program about birds and butterflies of the Missouri Breaks region. 

For more information on these special days of programming, please call the Upper Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center at 406-622-4000.   You can also visit the facility’s website at
Again, the Center is located at 701 7th Street in Fort Benton, Montana.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument   701 7th Street      Fort Benton, MT 59442  

Last updated: 06-28-2012