NEAR ULM — First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park hosted two outdoor activities on Saturday.
The eighth annual Buffalo Kite Festival featured kits designed by Native American artists. Visitors learned about the buffalo art featured on the kites, and have an opportunity create their own kite and watch as it takes flight over the buffalo jump.
Blackfoot tribal member Don Fish performed an opening ceremony to start the activities, and the festival featured original designs from Native artists, including DG House (Cherokee), Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Flathead Salish), Angela Babby (Oglala Lakota), Rabbit Knows Gun (Crow), and others.
A news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks says the Festival is a cooperative effort of Montana State Parks along with Terry Zee Lee (founder of SkyWindWorld) and Drake Smith. Zee Lee has worked with Native American artists from around the United States to develop unique buffalo-themed kites, and SkyWindWorld is a nonprofit agency that organizes and sponsors kite flying events, workshops, and traveling exhibits at locations in Montana and Canada.
The park also hosted a group hike to discuss local species of plants.
The hike started at 1:00 p.m. and participants slowly hiked the three-mile loop from the Visitor’s Center to the top of the Buffalo Jump and back down.
Along the way, they came across many different types of plants native to the Central Montana region, like Sage and Buffalo Berries.
“Honestly, we just want to get people out to the park.,” said Kylee Meyer, AmeriCorps Education & Interpretation Steward. “We think it’s a fantastic place to be and we love it and adore it, and we want to make sure that everyone else knows that it’s a really cool place to take a walk, take a hike, but also learn about cultural and historical value of the park as well.”
First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park is located 3.5 miles north of Ulm, just off Interstate 15 at Exit 270.