CHERRY RIVER, Where the Rivers Mix


August 23 & 24: Missouri Headwaters State Park

CHERRY RIVER, Where the Rivers Mix is a live music and art event, located at the glorious Missouri Headwaters State Park. CHERRY RIVER is a collaboration of Indigenous scholar and musician Shane Doyle and artist Mary Ellen Strom. Live musicians will perform 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 examines the history and ecology of this significant site. The project CHERRY RIVER uses the flow of the three rivers as a narrative structure and a cultural bridge. Musicians on the rivers will include Métis fiddlers, the Fox Family from Fort Belknap, a Native round-dance drum and singing group and traditional string players from European lineages.

CHERRY RIVER is the Indigenous place name of the Gallatin River. Lewis and Clark designated the river to be called the Gallatin in 1805. The name CHERRY RIVER honors and describes the numerous chokecherry trees that grow along the river’s banks. This riparian tree and its tart berry fruit, was an essential staple for every tribal group on the Northern Great Plains for over 13,000 years, and continues to provide an indispensable sustenance for bees, birds, small mammals and bears throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

The CHERRY RIVER’s name change ceremony is a central scene of the project. This mark of respect recognizes the enduring nature of Indigenous history and knowledge on the Northern Plains. The act venerates the ecology of running water and the biotic interactions amongst plants, animals and micro-organisms that make up the ecosystem of this treasured river. There will be a celebration with food and drink following the event.

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Tickets for CHERRY RIVER, Where the Rivers Mix can be reserved (at no charge) beginning on August 1, 2018.