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Conferences, Events and Meetings

The Heritage Project continues its development through the work of students, teachers and community members who create their own projects. The Project continues to be shaped through a regular schedule of meetings where participants share ideas, suggest new directions, discuss obstacles and form plans.

Summer InstituteYouth Heritage Festival | Winter Summit Conference
Washington D.C. Visit


Each summer teachers attend a week-long institute aimed at deepening their understanding of our natural and cultural heritage as well as learning strategies for involving young people in their communities.

2006 Summer Institute, Butte
2005 Summer Institute, West Yellowstone
2004 Summer Institute, Field School, White Sulphur Springs and Harlowton
2003 Summer Institute, Writing and Editing
2002 Summer Institute, 1910 Expedition, Helena
2001 Summer Institute, Field School, Libby

Summer Teacher Institute

Teachers at Ulm Pishkin near Great Falls during summer teacher institute. Each year teachers participate in learning expeditions that feature site visits, using primary sources, cultural documentation, and talks by renowned writers and scholars.

Youth Heritage Festival

Each year the Governor traditionally accepts students' "Gifts of Scholarship" on behalf of the State of Montana. Here, Peggy Bulger, Director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, addresses more than 100 of Montana's high school scholars.

Each spring, selected students from all participating schools meet at the State Capitol in Helena for Montana's premier academic conference for high school scholars. Students present their research to the State of Montana, to be permanently archived at the Montana Historical Society. They also set up displays telling the story of their work in the Capitol Rotunda, and share their academic work with one another.

2005 Youth Heritage Festival
2004 Youth Heritage Festival
2003 Student Conference
2002 Student Conference speech by Superintendent of Public Instruction Linda McCulloch
2001 Student Conference and Governor's Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership

The first week of February, a Summit Conference of participating teachers is convened at the Montana Historical Society in Helena. Teachers discuss the progress of their projects and conduct research in the Montana Historical Society Library, Archives, and Photo Archives. 

February 2-3, 2004
February 3-4, 2003
February 4-5, 2002

Winter Summit Conference

In February each year, teachers gather for a Winter Summit Conference to share their experiences, to consult with heritage professionals at the Montana Historical Society, and to plan and discuss improvements to the Project. 

In May, a select team of student researchers travels to Washington D.C. to report on the Project to the Librarian of Congress and to present a sampling of their work to the American Folklife Center. These students serve as ambassadors for the Project, meeting with Montana's Congressional Delegation, as well as touring the cultural treasures of the nation's capital.

Ambassadors to the Library of Congress

2005: Simms
(Teachers: Dorothea Susag, Josh Clixby, Jenny Rohrer)

2004: Ronan
(Teacher: Christa Umphrey)

2003: Roundup
(Teachers: Tim Schaff, Dale Alger)

2002: Bigfork
(Teacher: Mary Sullivan)

2001: Harlowton
(Teacher: Nancy Widdicombe)

2000: Townsend
(Teacher: Darlene Beck)

1999: Simms
(Teacher: Dorothea Susag, Molly Pasma)

1998 : Corvallis
(Teachers: Phil Leonardi, Annemarie Kanenwisher)

1997: Libby
(Teacher: Jeff Gruber)

1996: Chester, St. Ignatius
(Teachers: Renee Rasmussen, Marta Brooks)

Washington D. C. Expedition

Librarian of Congress James Billington visits with a team of student researchers from Harlowton, Montana, on the balcony outside his office overlooking the national capital.

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Materials on this site (except when otherwise noted) may be used for educational purposes. Please include credit line to the Montana Heritage Project.
A Project of the Montana Historical Society and the
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Sponsored by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation