CHERRY RIVER, Where the Rivers Mix
Missouri Headwaters State Park
August 23 & 24, 2018: Missouri Headwaters State Park, Three Forks, Montana
CHERRY RIVER, Where the Rivers Mix was a live music and art event, located at the glorious Missouri Headwaters State Park. CHERRY RIVER was a collaboration of Indigenous scholar and musician Shane Doyle and artist Mary Ellen Strom.
The event integrated acclaimed musicians the Northern Cree Singers from Alberta, Canada, and Jamie Fox and the Fox Family Fiddlers, a renowned Métis group from Fort Belknap, MT. The musicians performed on drift boats floating on the three rivers toward the confluence of the Missouri or where Native Peoples called “Where the Rivers Mix.” Doyle and Strom’s project examined the history and ecology of this significant site. The project CHERRY RIVER used the flow of the three rivers as a narrative structure and a cultural bridge.
The CHERRY RIVER’s name change ceremony was central to the project. This mark of respect recognizes the enduring nature of Indigenous history and knowledge on the Northern Plains. The event and name change venerates the ecology of running water and the biotic interactions among plants, animals and micro-organisms that make up the ecosystem of this treasured river.