President's Message, by Robert Luppi
recent months much has transpired relative to the Bear Paw, Big Hole and
Canyon Creek battlefields here in the great state of Montana.
Bear Paw Battlefield held its annual commemoration ceremony on Oct 1,
marking the 134th anniversary of that fateful historical battle where
Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce made their surrender to General Howard and
Colonel Miles and their military. About one hundred fifty people attended
the all day event at the battlefield, including a large contingent of Nez
Perce, as well as neighboring landowners and local and regional families.
Various ceremonies were conducted to honor the Nez Perce war dead buried
at the battlefield and also deceased family members. A drum group and a
pipe smoking ceremony were included as part of the commemoration and a
picnic lunch was held on site as provided by representatives of nearby Ft.
After years of planning and preparation, the Big Hole National Battlefield
is very pleased to announce that on November 15, 2011 the Visitor Center,
after substantial renovation, had been re-opened to the public with new
exhibits, panels and displays. Included in the displays were photos not
previously displayed in the Visitor Center as well as Nez Perce artifacts
and commentary relative to the battle and its causes, with an emphasis on
Nez Perce interpretation. It is expected that there will be some further
additions to the center before the grand opening that is scheduled for
next Spring. Invited at that time will be the Montana Governor, its
congressional delegation, the Nez Perce tribal members, the members of our
Friends organization and the general public.
We are very excited to announce that Bob Reece, our Friends adviser and
webmaster, and the President of the Friends of the Little Bighorn, with
the great assistance from Jim Thorn of nearby Billings, archeological work
by Doug Scott at the Canyon Creek battlefield, and Jerome Greene's book
entitled "Nez Perce Summer 1877", is formulating a photo tour of the
important events of that battle which will be placed on our website.
Google Earth was used as an additional resource, which assisted greatly in
further understanding for locations of important events of the battle as
well as the general movements of the Indians and the soldiers. "The Battle
of Canyon Creek: A Photographic History and Battlefield Tour" will give
the viewer a pictorial history of the events of that battle with important
notations/descriptions added by Mr. Reece. Look for it in December 2011 on
Further news concerning the three battlefields will be provided to our
Friends members via our forthcoming newsletter.