Glacier’s human story does not begin with the creation of the park. Just as the geologic events that created the landscape have been going on for eons, human history in this area has a much longer history than visitors often know. This project will provide a link to the area’s tribal heritage and will help visitors place Glacier National Park into a broader context of Montana’s cultural history.
For several years the park has been in consultation with the Kootenai Cultural Committee to provide interpretation highlighting tribal use of the Avalanche Creek area. The committee and members of the Kootenai tribe singled out the winter crossing of the Continental Divide above Avalanche Lake by Chief Paul David as the most important story to share with the public in this area of the park.
As a result, the park will install 4 or 5 small wayside exhibits along the boardwalk on the west side of Avalanche Creek. These waysides will tell the Paul David story using Kootenai oral history and through original artwork. The hardware has already been acquired and the basic text has been crafted from the oral history. This project will allow Ray Radigan, the same artist who created the other panels on the Trail of the Cedars to paint the artwork for the new panels in the same watercolor style.