From July 24-28, the Agnes Vanderburg Snq̓eytn camp in Flathead Reservation revived Salish traditions, reflecting Agnes Vanderburg’s vision from 1971 to preserve indigenous ways. Sponsored by CSKT Project AWARE and Salish Kootenai College, teachers attending could earn OPI Renewal Units.
Malia Vanderburg, Agnes’s t̓úpye’ and camp host, aimed to reconnect the camp’s familial roots, embodying the spirit of knowledge-sharing. Randy Michel, renowned for his 50-year tanning expertise, imparted his skills to eager learners like Lomah Woodcock and Kayla Thomas. Amid challenges, they showcased their commitment to preserving these traditions.
Cameron Decker and his wife, Aspen, introduced cedar bark necklace workshops, bridging the past with the present. These necklaces, reminiscent of traditional baskets, highlighted the camp’s emphasis on tactile learning. Meanwhile, Cristen Morigeau-TwoTeeth introduced pine needle basket weaving, a testament to the rapid adoption of age-old crafts.
Collaboratively run with entities like Salish Kootenai College and Project AWARE, the camp not only preserved traditions but prioritized tribal students’ mental well-being in the Flathead Indian Reservation, underscoring the resilience and evolution of indigenous culture.