The Galt Museum hosted a Hands-On History event Tuesday afternoon inviting the community to come and paint terra cotta pots while learning about native plants species in the area. Tying in with the Galt’s Rooted: How Trees Give Us Life exhibit the museum taught youth and adults about the 71 plants species native to Southern Alberta. While giving them an opportunity to paint their own pots to take home and sow seeds of their own. Exploring the way trees and plants provide for us, the event also taught those in attendance the Blackfoot history behind certain species and the traditional names of them.
Prairie Crocus, a widespread plant species in the prairie grasslands, blooms with a vibrant purple with distinct silky hairs around its body. The Blackfoot believe these hairs were given to the Prairie Crocus, or Napi in traditional Blackfoot language, by the Great Spirit to keep it warm during cold spring nights.
Janae Redgrave, Community Program Coordinator, hosted the event. Teaching all in attendance the importance of certain species. “All parts of the plant (Napi) are poisonous, and the leaves were used, and continue to be used, to help form muscles.” Tying in tradition with scientific fact in her presentation to highlight the plants heritage and role.
Families had a great time sharing and coming together to participate, taking away more than just a pot at the end of the event. “The overarching goal with our programs, is an opportunity for participants to learn local history and do something creative. We have a short history lesson and then we do a hands-on arts and craft activity. Today’s program we talked about our native prairie plant garden in connection with our special exhibit, called Rooted: How Trees Give Us Life. With the focus is on trees and plants.” Says Redgrave.
Hands-on-History is a fun interactive event for all ages running every Tuesday in the summer. Looking to deliver fun historical awareness to the community while presenting activities to keep all entertained. Upcoming events include a branch weaving class and button tree activities, check online for dates and times at galtmuseum.com/calendar.
Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald