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Before the Horse: Northern Rockies Lifestyles

with Kae Cheatham

author, photographer and researcher

Indian people of the Northern Rockies are most often considered part of the American Indian Horse Culture; yet their history existed long before the modern horse appeared 280 years ago. Cheatham talks about those centuries before the horse, when the extensive use of dogs was most prevalent. She gives details about the size of lodges, village layout, and the use of dogs as draft animals. To illustrate the program, Cheatham uses maps and photos, as well as animal replicas, with their bundles and sledges (travois). She discusses how and why people traveled and hunting procedures. Throughout the program, Cheatham challenges young people to show the knowledge they already have through questions and problem solving. She stresses the resourcefulness of the region’s first immigrants, and encourages people to re-think how ancient cultures are perceived and the importance of this history.