The Road to Roadschool

We first began roadschooling with a purpose a little over 2 years ago. We continually drive year after year between Alberta and Nevada so it made sense that roadschooling was our next step. The amount of knowledge that the kids obtained through visiting actual places was astonishing. I even found myself retaining more information than just reading about it in a book. This new found love of learning through exposure, 2 kids who are amazing at travel and myself who is terrified of flying, led to our first roadschool trip- Whitefish! Months before we left for Whitefish, we began studying the Blackfoot tribe as well as the geography and geology of the region. A and H are very much into indigenous culture, so this trip seemed very fitting. The Blackfoot people reside very close to our home in Alberta, and we are fortunate enough to receive first hand knowledge from them. One of the stories that stuck out most for the kids when studying the Montana Blackfoot, was the legend of Chief Mountain. There were many legends including one in which the top of Chief Mountain being the only thing left unsubmerged when the earth flooded. Another told of how tribe members would scale the mountain when on a vision quest, adorned in beautiful regalia. Their favorite though, based on the scary factor, was when a young Piegan warrior left his wife behind at their camp to go avenge the murders of their tribe by another. The wife begged him to stay but he insisted this needed to be done. The Piegan’s ended up defeating their enemy but the warrior did not make it home to his wife. Now, filled with rage and sadness, she left camp and climbed with her baby up Chief Mountain. Her tribe members noticed what she was doing but could not stop her from jumping off the high mountain with her baby. In the end, all 3 of them were buried beneath Chief Mountain amongst the rocks. The legend says you can see an outline of a woman holding her baby on the face of the mountain. This was reason enough to go see it for ourselves. Once Chief Mountain comes into view, it is truly breathtaking. There is nothing for miles and yet this giant mountain resides in the middle of the land. I definitely encourage others to look into the Blackfoot people and their culture. There are just too many neat stories to tell!

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