Montana Heritage Project
Comes to Seeley Lake

Sharon Teague, left, and Lisa Pena examine photos in the Archives at the Montana Historical Society.

From left, Addrien Marx, Lisa Pena and Sharon Teague at a luncheon held at the Capitol Rotunda in Helena.

Seeley Swan Pathfinder
February 19, 1998

Seeley Lake Elementary has been invited to join with nine other communities in the state to participate in the Montana Heri tage Project, funded by a grant from the Liz Claiborne/Art Ortenberg Foundation. According to Principal Dan White, goals for our school with this project include making school relevant through community involvement, mentoring between community members and students, and a look at jobs of the past and jobs of the future for our area.

On February 5th and 6th three elementary teachers, the principal, and Addrien Marx (representing the future Seeley Lake Museum) attended the Winter Summit Conference of the Montana Heritage Project in Helena, Montana.

Highlights of the conference were hands on training and research in the library and photo archives of the State Historical Society, demonstrations of ongoing projects in other communities, and a guest appearance by Governor Marc Racicot. The Governor commended the project for providing "...a sense of con nection - of belonging to something good and decent." He went on to say, "Maybe this could not happen every place, but in Montana, because of our rural character...being involved without being invasive...that attitude allows us to be successful in this project...We are in a position of pro viding a model to the rest of the nation of what America used to be."

Dave Walter of the Montana State Historical Society Museum emphasized the importance of our students' research. Finished student materials will be accepted and permanently housed at the Historical Society. Mr. Walter feels the Montana Heritage Project is an integral part of his job.

Visitors from Alberta, Canada shared stories and multi-media productions of their Heritage Projects with our group. In Canada, Heritage Fairs are a part of a national initiative - a multi-media education program that actively involves Canada's young people, schools, heritage institutions, businesses and community organizations in a contemporary celebration of Canada's shared past and traditions.

A Heritage Fair is planned for this spring. This event will give us a chance to show the community what historical research methods were learned and the end products chosen to enlighten others with the knowl edge learned. It will also be a forum for individuals, organizations, and businesses to share stories, artifacts, and photos from their collections relating to our community's past. If you have stories and photos to share with students researching Seeley Lake's heritage, please contact Sharon Teague, Linda Bowers, Lisa Pena, Kay Mahoney or Addrien Marx for further information regarding the Montana Heritage Project.


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