We were asked, “What makes Montana special?”, and the answer for us (although the answers are many!) is: “Our Children!”. Each of our students were then each given either an outline of our State, or an outline of our State’s Flower, the Bitterroot Flower (which has much to do with our history and heritage) . All of our students (and two older “student volunteers”) were provided with finger paints, pictures for reference, and then were asked to create an ornament to their liking. Each painting, like each child, is different from the other and represents our State, history, and cultural heritage. Montana transitioned from a territory to a State in 1889 and is home to twelve tribal nations: Assiniboine, Blackfeet, Chippewa, Cree, Crow, Gros Ventre, Kootenai, Little Shell Chippewa, Northern Chyenne, Pend d’Oreille, Salish and Sioux. We celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on the second Monday of October every year and strive to keep our history and cultural heritage present within our schools and communities. Our State Flower plays a large role in the representation of our history and heritage. The Bitterroot flower is a perennial wildflower that grows close to the ground and has an exquisitely pink bloom with very delicate petals. Historically, many Montana tribes used the bitterroot as an important part of their diet. When cleaned and dried the root of the flower was a nutritious supplement to game meat. It was also boiled, crushed and mixed with deer fat, moss or berries and formed into patties that could be carried on hunting expeditions and war parties. Our State is also well known for its natural treasures. From the breathtaking mountains, to our vast wildlife and abundant natural resources, we celebrate the beauty of our state and the tourism that our natural wonders bring to our economy. We are the third least populated state in the United States, and have nearly twice the number of cows than humans. We are also home to the world’s first National Park “Yellowstone National Park”, where visitors can learn about our amazing geysers, waterfalls, rivers, animals, and super volcanoes.