FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:Joan Moody, Dept. Interior
March 7, 2003
Jeff Olson, Lewis & Clark NHT
|(WASHINGTON) - In the nation's capital today, Secretary of the Interior
Gale Norton, Federal agency officials, American Indian leaders, and the
U.S. Army's 1802 Color Guard previewed a traveling Lewis and Clark museum
opening on the Mall for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial commemoration.
Within sight of the Washington Monument, and beneath a 53-foot color mural featuring Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Sacagawea with her baby, the participants showcased "Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future."
The Corps of Discovery II - named after the original Corps of Discovery led by explorers Lewis and Clark -- opens to the public tomorrow and remains in Washington until March 24. (Admission will be free with daily programming from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) The federal interagency exhibition then will continue on its four-year odyssey along the route taken by the Expedition 200 years ago -- extending from Virginia to the Oregon coast. The Bicentennial runs from 2003 to 2006.
"Today is a special day in the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition because the centerpiece of the Bicentennial commemoration is opening in the nation's capital at a time when our nation faces enormous challenges," said Secretary Norton. "The Expedition faced unexpected challenges in uncharted territory. We can learn many lessons from Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, York and all the tribes along the way," she noted. "Together they embodied the American spirit and many qualities of character that will help our nation with extraordinary challenges in the days ahead - not only the 'courage undaunted' of which President Jefferson spoke but also the perseverance, loyalty, sense of mission and other qualities that helped them travel 8,000 miles in 28 months."
Corps of Discovery II features living history programs with significant involvement of American Indians and local communities. The Secretary emphasized that Corps II also highlights cooperation among two dozen federal departments and agencies. It is a joint effort of federal and state agencies, private and nonprofit organizations, and American Indian tribes (See the following list of federal agencies.) Under the auspices of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the National Park Service is providing funding, exhibit design and production, transportation, and support staff.
The event on the Mall today featured members of some of the tribes visited by Lewis and Clark as well as the Official U.S. Army Color Guard of 1802 representing the Jeffersonian Army of Meriwether Lewis. Top agency officials present included National Park Service Director Fran Mainella and Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Aurene Martin.
Gerard Baker, superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and a tribal leader, welcomed all participants. Darrell Martin, a Montana State Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana, delivered a prayer to start the opening. Well known American Indian dancers and singers included the Mystic River Singers and dancer Joe Bearstail.
After March 24, the Corps of Discovery II is scheduled to head to other eastern states in 2003, with the next stop in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, where the Lewis and Clark Expedition received Army supplies. The list of sites in the Eastern states that will be visited in 2003 follows. During 2004-2006, the Corps of Discovery II will visit communities from Illinois to Washington State. For more information about the exhibit and tour locations, see the list or contact the National Park Service at 402-514-9311 or www.nps.gov/lecl.
The agencies also have cooperated on publications and an interagency website at www.lewisandclark200.gov. Many Lewis and Clark and agency websites can be accessed from this interagency address. In addition, those interested in exploring the Expedition route can click on a map for details from each state and relevant point of interest.
STATES FOR 2004-2006 FOLLOWING THE PATHS OF LEWIS AND CLARK:
Department of Agriculture
Department of the Army
Department of Energy
Department of the Interior
Department of Transportation
Department of the Treasury
Environmental Protection Agency
Institute of Museum and Library Services
National Archives and Records Administration
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities