Zion records Teton Canyon residents’ stories

Posted February 22, 2019

This story ran in the Choteau Acantha on February 20, 2019.

In 2018, the Old Trail Museum, with the help of the community in providing matching funds, applied for and received a grant from the Montana History Foundation to conduct oral interviews of people of the Teton River Canyons.

The resulting Teton Canyon Oral Interviews project is phase one of the three-phase Teton Canyon History Project, which will document the lives and history of people and their associated structures and buildings of that area.

Conducted by Candi Zion, the oral interviews are a compilation of the memories and knowledge of people from the South and North Forks west of Choteau on the Rocky Mountain Front. Their lives are not unlike the two forks of the Teton River at the confluence near the WWII internment camp constructed steel bridge. They are inextricably connected to each other by acquaintance, residency, employment, a passion for the Front and the history of the people that lived there.

The interviewees examine the early history of the canyons; Ginny and Sherm Abbott talk about the Old North Trail that runs down the Front and others discuss the Metis who fled the Riel Rebellion and associated suppressions in Canada in the 1870s and 1880s.

Interviewees Bud Bruno and Al Wiseman are direct descendants of those early settlers. They and others relate the lifeways of the Metis; self-sufficiency, medicinal plants and remedies, their occupations as horse breakers, ranch hands, woodhawks, builders and service members in the military and the Metis South Fork Settlement/Cemetery.

Follow this link to keep reading.