The Friends of Fort Owen is sponsoring a free lecture by historian Sally Thompson, “A Strange Story of John Owen and Father De Smet, Spring 1859,” on Thursday, January 10 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the community room at the North Valley Public Library, 208 Main Street, Stevensville.
“A Strange Story of John Owen and Father De Smet, Spring 1859” is about two contemporaries, each acting as an agent for the U.S. Government, who escorted “Indian chiefs” from the Bitterroots to Fort Vancouver in April 1859. Their conflicting records of the story provide some interesting details about life at that pivotal time in regional history, while leaving some significant unanswered questions.
Come hear Sally Thompson tell this unusual story through an illustrated PowerPoint program, followed by a lively discussion and refreshments.
Thompson has spent over 40 years working with the native tribes of the West. Trained as an anthropologist (PhD, CU, Boulder, 1980), she has worked as an archaeologist, ethnographer, and ethnohistorian. Her main interests are native groups of the region, old maps and Jesuit records from the Rocky Mountain Missions. While director of the Regional Learning Project at the University of Montana (2001-10), she interviewed over 200 elders and educators from 37 tribes and used the results in three documentaries and several classroom DVDs, in addition to three websites. She worked collaboratively with Kootenai and Blackfeet elders on a book about their traditional seasonal rounds through Glacier National Park published in 2015 – “People Before the Park.” A recent article, “John Owen’s Worst Trip,” appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Montana, Magazine of Western History.
For more information call Margaret Gorski at 406-552-2072.