Evidence exists in the Glacier National Park region suggesting humans have lived in the area for over 10,000 years.
By the time the first European explorers arrived, in the early 1800s, several native tribes inhabited the area. While the Blackfeet controlled the vast prairies east of the mountains, the Salish and Kootenai lived and hunted in the western valleys. The Kootenai people, in particular, were skilled hunters, trappers, and fishermen, caring for the land that facilitated their life.
When visiting this incredible place, we like to think about those who have come before us, especially the stewards of the land we are now able to enjoy. The following is a Kootenai oral tradition about their reverence for the grizzly bear: