Angela Brandt Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
While perusing the livestock and munching on a pronto pup at the Great Northern Fair this week, fairgoers can get not only get an education to go along with their heartburn and oh-so-tasty calories but also help out a local project. Members of the Rocky Boy Tribal History Project are asking for the public’s help in gathering material such as pictures, documents, old newspaper articles or any other relic of the history of Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation and the Chippewa and Cree tribes that can be reproduced with a scanner. The group will share a booth at the fair with Havre Daily News. Included in the booth will be brochures about the project and a scanner to digitally copy the materials gleaned. Participants will be given a digital copy or print out of their item in return for their generosity, project coordinator and Stone Child College educator Matt Herman said. The end product of the project will be a manuscript and DVD that will be reviewed by the Chippewa Cree tribe’s cultural committees and shared with the state’s public schools. Herman said project workers have been busy researching and writing essays, and in fall will begin recording interviews with various tribal leaders and regional history buffs. A two-year one-time state appropriation made the project possible. Grant funding will end July 2007. Herman said the group is “always in the process of collecting materials.” “It’ll be more authentic if we can get the community involved with every step,” he said.
Herman said he urges anyone with materials they are willing to share to bring them to the fair booth. “We will archive anything we can get our little mitts on. We want to hear from everyone,” he said. The Great Northern Fair begins on Wednesday with the return of Royal West Amusements Inc., who will run the carnival after a 14-year hiatus. The company left the fair when its days conflicted with those of the larger fairs. The time of the Great Northern Fair moved a month earlier this year, allowing for Royal West’s homecoming. Opening night will feature a junior rodeo beginning at 5 p.m. Fair events include a Thursday concert by the Pirates of Mississippi, a group of Nashville session musicians who formed a band in the 1980s. The group’s hits include “Feed Jack” and a cover of Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues.” Comstock Lode will be the opening act for the show, which will start at 7 p. m. and cost $8 per ticket. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo will be Friday and Saturday at a cost of $7 a ticket. Both events are set to begin at 7 p.m. at the grandstand. On Sunday, the Jaycee’s demolition derby will start at 5 p. m. Reserved tickets are available for $12 and general admission seats will go for $10 a piece. For more information about the fair festivities and to purchase tickets got at www.greatnorthernfair. com or call the fair office at 265-7121.