Deserae Yellow Horn
Image: Deserae Yellow Horn, an interpretive guide and member of the Blackfoot people, tells the story carved on the wall in Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park.
(Photo: Callum Snape www.callumsnapephoto.com Courtesy of Canadian Geographic http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/travel/travel_magazine/may14/exploring-milk-river.asp)
For the summer of 2015 I am doing my second Museum Studies internship. My first involved working on a variety of projects at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery and my second internship is with Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. I have spent two previous summer seasons working at Writing-On-Stone as a First Nations Interpretive Intern, however, this year I will be joining the park as a full time interpreter.
As a full time interpreter I will be assigned more on-site programming such as the Rock Art Tours which are provided to the public twice a day throughout the season. The Rock Art Tours are guided hikes lasting one to two hours in length; this includes a bus ride into an archeological restricted area where the public view original First Nations rock art that are between 100 and 13,000 years old and given sessions on Blackfoot history; the Blackfoot Nation is the tribe that inhabited the area around Writing-on-Stone before the settlers arrived.
Public programming given inside the Interpretive Center at the park usually takes two hours, however, this summer there could be a possibility of shortening the programs to one hour as this is more of an orientation into the park with less information on the Rock Art and surrounding tribes that bordered Blackfoot territory such as the Crow, Shoshone, or the Atsinna. It allows the public who are not able to attend a two hour tour at regular times to gain a better experience of the park.
I will also have some work assigned within other departments such as Information, Bookings, and Gift Shop. Working in these departments will allow me to explore other areas besides my main position and give me a better understanding of further areas the public may experience. In particular, the bookings section will allow me to gain more knowledge in an area generally taken care of by management. The Information section will also allow me to have more interaction with the public in which I can gain feedback on public programming.
Throughout the summer I have also been invited to give programming in other areas such as Park Lake Provincial Park and Pincher Creek for their National Aboriginal Day activities. I look forward to the summer at Writing-On-Stone.