Several events are planned in Missoula County Public Schools this week to celebrate American Indian Heritage Day on Friday.

In 1997, the Montana Legislature passed a law designating the fourth Friday in September as “American Indian Heritage Day.” Under this law, schools are required to conduct programs and events during the school day that teach all students about American Indians and their culture.

Public Affairs Director for MCPS Leslie Brasfield says some events that might be of interest to the media and general public include:

Russell school students will participate in special cultural activities on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Students will rotate through activity areas where they learn about Native American languages, tribes, music and dance, art and unique games. Russell School is located at 3216 Russell Street in Missoula.

Special ceremonies and activities for students in the Willard Alternative High School Program. Willard students will be joining activities at the University of Montana on Friday, Sept. 28. Events will include a special proclamation at the Payne Family Native American Center (NAC) east entrance; traditional games such as Ovapi Race at the oval; and art and film discussions with Julie Cajune in room 105 at the NAC on the UM campus. These events begin at Noon.

MCPS Public Affairs Director Leslie Brasfield