Six students from St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montana, recently visited the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and our Plains Indian Museum. The students—Trinity Rides the Bear, Deron Gros Ventre, Taylor Dennis, Mollie Bement, Asia Strange Owl, and Fawnshay Rowland—studied beadwork and learned essential museum practices by going through all the steps needed to make an exhibit case. Over their two-day visit, the students researched, chose, and prepared three collections objects for display.
The students also visited with museum educators to learn about Skype lessons, museum interpretation, conservation, and mountmaking, and visited the raptor muse to gain experience with the Center’s diverse areas of expertise. This post was also a result of their time with the Information Technology department. Their experience is part of a collaborative program between St. Labre and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Philippe, the museum studies teacher, said, “For me, it’s always interesting to see the students have first contact with museum professionals.” Cecilia, museum studies teaching assistant, “I really enjoy when we get here—and it’s always been this way with every group we bring—initially they are wondering, maybe a little reluctant, but when they look at the artifacts, particularly the ones in the vaults, their faces light up and they are looking at the work so intently, especially when they are looking at objects from their own tribes, I think it’s really eye-opening for them. It’s a really wonderful learning experience.”
Many thanks to the St. Labre teachers, students, and administration for their participation and support of this unique program.