First time visitors to Montana are often struck by the scenic vistas, the rugged mountains, pristine rivers, and of course the abundant wildlife. Montana, however, offers much more than an outdoor adventure experience. Home to over 900,000 residents, Montana’s diverse population includes people from all walks of life, from cattle ranchers and miners, to working artists and high-tech entrepreneurs. This diversity of interests represented in Montana creates an excellent place for dialogue and interaction among the many groups that populate our beautiful state. Environmental topics like forestry, mining, and air and water quality are constantly up for debate and renewal, just as issues of public access and recreational opportunities remain on the forefront of Montana’s headlines.
Montana has eleven Indian tribes living on seven reservations. Together they make up about six percent of Montana’s population. Before trappers and settlers came west, Indian people roamed freely across the state, following the huge buffalo herds that once covered the plains. Each tribe has unique customs and traditions. While Montana’s Indians have worked to adapt to the changing world around them, they have kept the rich culture and traditions of their past. This rich heritage contributes to the distinct flavor of Montana. Their culture is celebrated through dance, songs, games, language, and religious ceremonies. Annual tribal events include rodeos and powwows. Beautiful arts and crafts reflect a special connection between Montana Indians and nature.
WorldMontana® is a member of Global Ties U.S. (formerly National Council for International Visitors) based in Washington, D.C. We are one of 95 U.S., non-profit centers dedicated to promoting global understanding through citizen diplomacy. One of the ways we try to foster global understanding is by facilitating the International Visitor Leadership Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. In Montana, we host approximately 150 international leaders through this program each year.
WorldMontana® staff, based in Helena, arrange meetings between these international visitors and their professional counterparts to discuss common interests and to share ideas. These appointments often lead to continued contact overseas with mutual benefits. When appropriate, the WorldMontana® guests visit schools in the community to share their culture with our students.