Winter Storytelling is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors.

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Winter Storytelling at Travelers' Rest celebrates the Salish tradition of sharing stories during the long, dark winter. 


In 2020, a diverse group of scholars and storytellers will speak to the theme of Journey Stories, a poster exhibit currently on display at Travelers' Rest State Park.


Saturdays at 11 a.m. in January and February.  Cost is $5 per person; members are free depending on level of support.

December 31, 2019 - First Night Missoula

3:30 p.m. at the Union Club Ballroom

Mariah Gladstone has been recognized as one of the top 25 Under 25 leaders in Indian Country and as a Champion for Change by the Aspen Institute.  She began developing her own recipes at the age of two and gradually started incorporating indigenous foods. She developed Indigikitchen, an online cooking show, to share her passion for native foodways



January 4

Salish Stories with Tony Incashola.  Tony was born in St. Ignatius, Montana, home of the mission which gives the name Mission Valley to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Reservation lands south of Flahead Lake. Tony was raised by his maternal grandparents, who taught him Salish as his first language.  Tony served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967, including a tour of duty in Viet Nam. Since 1995 he has been the director of the Salish Pend d'Oreille Cultural Committee.  Mr. Incashola also served on the Tribal Council from 1990 to 1993.  In 2001, Tony became the first Native American to offer an invocation in the United States Congress.


January 11

Bill Taylor talks about how railroads shaped Montana.  Bill Taylor is a retired Missoula high school teacher after 35 years of service. He has also worked as Onboard Manager for the Montana Rockies “Daylight” train. He and his wife Jan have written five books on the history of railroad construction in Montana and its relationship with the mining of precious metals, coal and copper. The Taylors will co-host the national convention of the Northern Pacific Railroad History Association in September 2020.



January 18

Ednor Therriault’s first book, Montana Curiosities, covered roadside attractions, unique events, and a couple hundred weird people, places and things across the state. Ten years and five books later, he continues to explore the state and bring home interesting stories.  Under the pseudonym Bob Wire, Therriault has written and recorded five albums of original music, and traveled around the state for 25 years playing guitar in honky tonks and festivals, entertaining crowds and picking up local knowledge along the way.


January 25

Two years ago, Phil Burgess came to Winter Storytelling with a work in progress, pinch-hitting for a speaker who had to cancel.  He returns having polished that work into a new program called Evelyn's Water: The Woman Who Sang with Ferlin Husky.  Phil Burgess is a veteran, poet, storyteller, ex-gypsy, ex-therapist, and ex-cabdriver living in Missoula who still nourishes and honors his eastern Montana roots. He is the author of the collection of poetry Badlands Child, and Penny Postcards and Prairie Flowers.



February 1

Sneed B. Collard III is the author of more than eighty award-winning books.. Sneed has evolved through several life-history stages on his way to becoming one of today’s leading children’s authors. In 2006, Sneed was the recipient of the Washington Post Children’s Book Guild Children’s Nonfiction Writer of the Year Award for his body of work. Warblers and Woodpeckers: A Father-Son Big Year of Birding, has just been named a Montana Book Award Honor Book. This humorous memoir follows the adventures of Sneed and his son Braden through Montana, Arizona, Texas, California, and even the Galápagos.  This account not only shares the passion of birding and travel, but celebrates the special bond between parents and their kids.


February 8
Stephen SmallSalmon, star of The Last Beyond, talks about his journeys as an actor and as an elder of  the Pend d'Oreille people.  Stephen is one  a very few tribal elders who remembers the old days when everyone spoke "Indian" and traditional culture was part of everyday life.  Today, Stephen works hard to keep language and culture alive, teaching at Nkwusm Salish language school and serving on the Salish Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee.  He continues to dance at powwows, wearing elaborate dance outfits that he creates by hand.

February 15
Ellen Baumler presents Untold Stories of Montana Minorities.  These stories open a dialogue about minorities in our communities, both past and present. African American, Chinese, Japanese, and Jewish pioneers helped anchor Montana in myriad ways. Each group made lasting contributions and left significant legacies revealing a state history as diverse and as compelling as its topography.  Baumler earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in English, classics, and history. She was the Montana Historical Society’s interpretive historian from 1992 until her retirement in 2018. 


February 22
Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, daughter of late historian and best selling author Stephen Ambrose, is an accomplished researcher in her own right. She coauthored Lewis and Clark Companion: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Voyage of Discovery with  Clay Jenkinson, and wrote Why Sacajawea Deserves the Day Off and Other Lessons from the Lewis & Clark Trail.  Stephenie received two degrees in history from the University of Montana.  Her passion for conservation and resource preservation has led to her serving on various boards and councils including the Lewis and Clark Trust, the American Prairie Reserve and the Montana Preservation Alliance.  She currently serves on the Board of the Montana State Parks Foundation.

February 29

Chris La Tray is a writer and a walker. His first book, One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large (2018, Riverfeet Press) won the 2018 Montana Book Award and a 2019 High Plains Book Award.  His next book, Becoming Little Shell, will be published by Milkweed Editions in late 2020.  Chris is Chippewa-Cree Métis, and is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He lives near Missoula, MT.



March 7 

Living historian Jennie Pak portrays Lucia Darling in  "Guns, Gold Dust and Grammer School."  Lucia was the niece of Sidney Edgerton and an early school teacher.  The Edgerton family traveled to Bannack, Montana from Ohio in 1863. They kept journals about the trip west, the rapid growth of the area following the gold strike in July 1862,  and how people moved around the region from Fort Benton to Salt Lake City.  Lucia will share stories of the early Montana Territory and some of its most colorful characters, like Henry Plummer.


March 14

Retired archaeologist for the Lolo National Forest, C. Milo McLeod, shares "Secrets of the Jocko Lake Fires."  Milo worked in cultural resources management for over 40 years.  For 28 years, he managed the Lolo National Forest’s Heritage Resource program, including ensuring compliance with  the National Historic Preservation Act; developing public outreach programs such as Passport in Time, and conducting determinations of eligibility and listings for the National Register of Historic Places.  Milo has worked closely with American Indian groups, specifically the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes as well as the Nez Perce Tribe on issues specific to cultural resource management and traditional cultural properties.