Fire – A Native American Tool for Sculpting Canoes to Landscapes by Dale Swedberg

On September 24, 2017, Dale Swedberg of the Washington Prescribed Fire Council will present Fire – A Native American Tool for Sculpting Canoes to Landscapes. This presentation is at 5:00 to 6:30 pm at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center at TwispWorks.

Native Washingtonian Dale Swedberg received his BS and MS in Wildlife Biology from WSU. As Manager of Sinlahekin Wildlife Area for 16 years, Dale came to the realization that he was responsible for managing fire dependent fish and wildlife habitat. He studied fire use by aboriginal peoples throughout the world and concluded that modern societies have become disassociated from the knowledge of fire dependent ecosystems.

Dale is a passionate advocate for restoring ecologically appropriate fire to resume its fundamental and integral part in creating and sustaining a healthy resilient ecosystem supporting a diversity of wildlife species.

Dale has provided a reading list for those who are interested. Click here for the reading list on native burning uses.

“… [E]verything we know about environmental history suggests that people have been manipulating the natural world on various scales for as long as we have a record of their passing.”

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Unceded Territories: A Brief History of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

On August 27, Anthropologist Karen Capuder, PhD, will present Unceded Territories: A Brief History of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, at the Interpretive Center from 5 to 6:30. Dr. Capuder is an Archaeologist with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation History/Archaeology Program (CCT H/A), where she conducts ethnohistorical and ethnographic research and engages in consultation with various local, state, and federal agencies.Dr. Capuder is Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) and French through her mother and Irish through her father, and her family is from Akwesasne. Prior to coming to work with CCT H/A, Dr. Capuder earned her Master of Arts Degree in American Indian Studies, with a concentration in federal Indian law, from the University of Arizona in 2006. She subsequently earned a second Master of Arts degree in 2009 and a Doctorate in 2013, both in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington in Sociocultural Anthropology in 2009, and a Doctorate in Sociocultural Anthropology, also from the University of Washington, in 2013. Dr. Capuder’s previous work centered on collaborative anthropological research with cultural and spiritual leaders from the Nisqually and Skokomish Tribes. In her spare time, she enjoys gathering plant foods and medicines, engaging in cultural activities in the Mohawk community of Kanatsiohareke and in Native communities throughout the Pacific Northwest, fishing, and gardening.

On the day of the talk, there will be a botanical tour of the Methow Native Plant Garden at 3pm with George Wooten.

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July 30 – Protecting Methow Valley Archaeological Resources by Aaron Naumann

On July 30, Archaeologist Aaron Naumann will present: Protecting Methow Valley Archaeological Resources. This is a conversation about the ethical, legal and practical aspects of protecting Methow Valley archaeological resources. The event is from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center at TwispWorks.

Aaron Naumann is a Mi’kmaq descendant originally from Maine, who has worked closely with Native American tribes to protect cultural resources for the last 20 years. He received a BA from Beloit College in Wisconsin, a MA from Michigan State University and is a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington. He has experience working for academic institutions, US Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Consulting firms, and is a Senior Archaeologist for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

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Carlton Complex Fire 3 Years Later: An Update on Wildlife & Vegetation Recovery

Learn how wildlife and vegetation are recovering from the 2014 Carlton Complex Fire from Kristina Bartowitz, Conservation Biologist with Pacific Biodiversity Institute.

Kristina Bartowitz working in the shrub-steppe

Kristina Bartowitz working in the shrub-steppe

Kristina has a MS in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development and a BS in Zoology and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She studied and worked abroad on conservation science projects in Panama and Costa Rica for over a year. She has diverse expertise in conservation biology, botany, wildlife biology, ecology, statistics and GIS analysis.

The talk is on Sunday, June 25, 2017, from 5:00-6:30PM at the MVIC building, 5th & Glover Streets on the TwispWorks Campus. No Admission Fee – Donations are appreciated

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Fire Ecology & Management in NC Washington

What is going to happen in the Methow Valley after the fires of 2014 and 2015?

Come to the Interpretive Center May 28 to hear Susan Prichard, UW Research Scientist, discuss her research on fire ecology and management in our area. The event is from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center at TwispWorks.

Susan Prichard is a research scientist at the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and studies fire ecology and forest management issues. Her main interests are in the effects of fire and other disturbances on forests, climate change and wildfires, and restoration of fire-adapted ecosystems.

Her current research projects include post-fire burn severity assessments following large fires in north-central Washington, evaluation of past fire mosaics on wildfire management, and mapping fuels and vegetation for prescribed burn planning and smoke management.

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Welcome to the Methow Valley Interpretive Center, home of Methow Field Institute. Here you can find out about our events, activities and facilities that highlight this area’s rich cultural and natural history. We are located on the TwispWorks Campus at 210 5th Street, Twisp, Washington. We are open Saturdays from 10 to 5, and Sundays 12 to 5. Beginning June 2, we are open Fridays as well from 12 to 5.

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What the bugs tell us about streams

Father Joe Fortier, Entomologist, will talk about Aquatic Insects and Biomonitoring in the Okanogan Highlands, from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center at TwispWorks. His talk will accompany an insect collection to remain up all season.

  • Can insects tell us whether our streams are healthy?
  • How many insects are in our region?
  • How do insects that live on the stream bottom live and breathe?

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Crafting Nature Camp

Crafting Nature Camp will be held June 26-30th from 9am until noon for children ages 5-8. There will be an opportunity to learn from local experts about Native Americans, geology, plants, animals, and how to have fun with nature. The native garden will host fun activities where the kids will learn about and use local plants. There will be arts, crafts and primitive skills along with nature walks at the confluence of the Twisp and Methow Rivers. The camp is free. Email us at or call Joey at 206-331-0557 to sign up.

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Native Plant Garden Tour

Wander around the Methow Valley Interpretive Center’s Native Plant Garden and hear about the many medicinal and edible uses of the plants we find there. We will meet on April 29, from 11 am until 12:30. Space is limited to 12. Reserve your spot by contacting the trip leaders. Rosalee & Xavier de la Forêt or 997-0545. This event is free, donations to the Methow Valley Interpretive Center are encouraged.Bitterroot

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Jeannette Armstrong – The People to Be: Nsyilxcn language and Story

Native (Okanagan) author, poet and educator, Jeannette Armstrong, will present a talk, The People to Be: Nsyilxcn language and Story. The talk will be on March 26 at the Merc Theater in Twisp, from 7 to 9pm. Suggested donation, $12. 997-4904 for more information.

Jeanette ArmstrongDr. Armstrong will talk about indigenous knowledge systems, in particular the human-to-land relationship and the way it is expressed in the Nsyilxcn language. Through teaching stories, these knowledge systems are available to all people and learning institutions.

In these times of climate change and social discord, the public can benefit from indigenous knowledge projects such as those at En’owkin Centre in Canada and through the University of British Columbia Indigenous Studies.

Dr. Armstrong is an internationally known Native author, educator, artist and activist, born on the Penticton Indian Reservation in British Columbia.

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