Welcome to our page! I'm Lyndon Conroy, the product of an English -Welch gold seeker who came to Montana in the 1870's and a Crow Indian woman. I have been fascinated with my heritage since my youth and enjoy teaching and learning about the history of western North America.
Back in 1995, I was contemplating a study in early east coast American history when it occurred to me that where I live, is among the least visited, least spoiled regions of North America. It was then that I thought that it would be great to be able to share the history of southeastern Montana and northern Wyoming with others who might be interested. So I formed Frontier Adventures of Montana. Since then we have taken guests who have ranged from New York to Oregon and from Portugal to Hawaii, all over our region to examine not only the Plains Indians wars but also the culture and recreational opportunities of Montana. Our new adventure promises to be an exciting one-of-a-kind excursion which not only allows you to follow in the footsteps of very famous explorers, but will also let you learn how people survived in the west at that time. Our camp guests are experts who enjoy meeting new people and sharing their knowledge with them. Let us take you back in time, on a long, beautiful Montana river. It will be a journey you won't forget!
Our Camp Guests:
Alma Snell - Crow historian and ethno-botanist
Alma is 7/8 Crow Indian; was born and raised in Crow Agency, Montana. Alma's life as an ethno-botanist started very early as her mother passed away soon after she was born. As is custom, her Grandmother, Pretty Shield, raised her. Pretty Shield and Alma spent many springs, summers and falls roaming the surrounding foothills of Crow Agency digging roots, picking plants and berries for medicinal use and as a food staple. As Alma grew, her knowledge for plants grew. Alma's Indian name is Bea-ah-zee-taa, which means Well Known Woman. Alma has lived up to and honored her Indian name many times over. Alma and her husband Bill Snell make their home in Ft. Smith, Montana.
The Smithsonian Institute has appointed Alma to the Advisory Board to the National Museum of the American Indian. She received the key to the city of Indianapolis by the Governor of Indiana. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding presentations throughout Montana and Wyoming.
In Alma's presentation, audiences receive a special treat as a blend of humor and history is shared in addition to learning about "prairie turnips, rosehips, bitterroot, yarrow, echinacea, and many other plants. Alma is the author of Grandmother's Grandchild published by the University of Nebraska Press.
Alma and her son, Bill Snell Jr. have established the Pretty Shield Foundation in honor of Pretty Shield, promoting culture, education and value of tradition. Pretty Shield had a special place in her heart for children.
Frank B. Linderman, author of Pretty Shield-Medicine Woman of the Crows told her story through an interpreter using sign language.
Phillip Whiteman Jr. - Cheyenne historian and traditionalist
Phillip Whiteman Jr. a nationally known Cultural Consultant, Presenter, Storyteller, Horseman, Champion Grass Dancer, and Rodeo Saddle Bronc Rider is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe from Lame Deer Montana. His father is a chief of the Northern Cheyenne Council of 44 and his mother (now deceased) was a Cheyenne Warrior Woman of the Elk Scraper Society. He believes strongly in his spiritual ways and he tries to incorporate it into every aspect of his life. Phillip's personal and professional objective is to promote cultural integrity throughout Indian country and the world. Phillip's reputation has grown rapidly. His motivational presentations have been received well in schools and national conferences throughout the plains and the northwest.
He has been a familiar face in the powwow arena since he was a small boy. He dances "old style" grass dance. His dancing career has taken him from the powwow arena, to the Broadway stage in New York City, Wild West Shows, the inaugurations of both President Clinton and Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado and countries throughout Europe.
He is a two-time World Champion Saddle Bronc rider and a nineteen-time Indian National finals qualifier. He is a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Phillip founded his own "Medicine Wheel Model to Natural Horsemanship and Horse Therapy Clinic, where he uses a cultural concept to address the dimensions of the horse and how it can help us in all areas; emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally.
Several years ago, Phillip was instrumental in starting a commemorative run, tracing the path his Cheyenne ancestors followed on their heroic return from forced incarceration in Oklahoma to their home in the southeastern part of Montana. It is a relay run which begins near Ft. Robinson, Nebraska and culminates at Busby, Montana on the Northern Cheyenne Reserve. This incident (memorialized in the 1960's film Cheyenne Autumn) has become worthy tradition among the people of our American Indian culture.
Mr. Whiteman has been featured in Western Horseman magazine, Pro Rodeo Sports News, the Billings Gazette, and many other newspapers. He has been featured on ABC's Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer and interviewed for the "On the Road Again" radio program, and National Indian News. He was inducted into the All Indian Hall of Fame in Anadarko, OK. and featured in the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Quebec, Canada.
Jeff Hooker - Paleontologist/Geologist
Jeff is a native Montanan who has studied geology and paleontology from an early age in the great outdoors of Montana. He was Jack Horner's first graduate student at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman. His research centered around the largest "herd" of dinosaurs ever unearthed in Montana. He received degrees in geology and biology from Montana State University and was a preparator at the Museum there for several years. He directed the first "Field Paleontology Summer School" for the Museum in the early 80's. He has led numerous National Science Foundation funded expeditions into the wilds of Montana and Wyoming working primarily with elementary and secondary teachers. He is currently the Director of Information Systems at Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer, Montana and owner of Bighorn Wireless Internet Inc of Colstrip and Hardin.
Maria Buckalew - Brain tanner
Maria Buckalew, BS, MSW, has been brain tanning deer, elk and buffalo hides for over 15 years. She was inspired to learn brain tanning when she discovered how easy it was to bead on brain tanned hides. Compared to commercially prepared hides, brain tanned hides are of much higher quality and durability. The fact that it is also a scarce commodity factored into her decision to learn how to tan hides using brains. Maria has also beaded in Native American styles of beadwork. The styles include lazy stitch, applique' stitch, and gourd or "peyote" stitch. She has used these styles of beading to decorate many traditional and modern articles used in Indian Country today. Some of these articles include Cheyenne mocassins, pipe bags, cedar bags, peyote fans, dancing fans, gourd rattles, and war bonnets. One of Maria's fans can be viewed at the Jimmy Little Coyote Museum at the St. Labre Mission in Ashland, Montana
Bob Morgan - Traditional bow maker and flint knapper
Originally from South Dakota, Bob Morgan came to Montana twenty some years ago and stayed. A creative person, Bobís art takes many forms. He started out working with metal, cutting shapes and designs from sheet metal to make silhouette art. He became interested in the primitive art of flint knapping in 1998. Bob had read an article about making a self-bow and decided to give it a try. He took his bows to the annual meeting of the Montana Bowhunters Association and hooked up with other self-bow enthusiasts. Bobís contacts there introduced him to the art of flint knapping. His passion for the art has never wavered.
Bob owns and
operates a heating and refrigeration business in Colstrip, Montana.
In the evenings he teaches the art of bow making and flint knapping in
adult education classes at the local high school. Bob is married and has four
He enjoys the
outdoors, hunting, and fishing with his family and friends.
ďIím fifty-four years old and still playing with rocks and sticks.Ē
Bob jokes when he is asked about himself.
Bob Garritson - Mesolithic Tool Presentation