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PABLO - The annual tribally sponsored celebration honoring the Flathead River on the Flathead Reservation is scheduled Tuesday through Thursday. Schools across the reservation will participate, and the public is invited

"We hope that every school on the reservations participates," said Richard Janssen, information and education specialist for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Pablo. All reservation schools except Hot Springs participated last year, Janssen said.

The three days of activities will feature resource specialists and educators engaging participants in discussions of water quality, resource management and how everyday activities affect the river and its ecosystem. Other activities and presentations will include native games, fisheries, health, recreation and native plants.

"These short presentations inform the students and public on the role the tribes are taking to preserve the river and what can be done to reduce impacts on the ecosystem," Janssen said.

The celebration is held in conjunction with National River Clean-Up Week.

The traditional site for the river honoring was moved permanently to one-half mile south of the former site west of Moiese because of significant and needless human impacts. The site was trashed by vandals last year, causing the move to the new site.

The new site is about half-mile south of Crow Creek.

"Cleanup of the site is nearly complete, and numerous volunteers have spent hundreds of hours cleaning up the river corridor," Janssen said.

Janssen said thousands of Flathead Reservation youths have attended the tribally sponsored event in past years. The public can attend any or all three days, and volunteer chaperones are welcome. For more information, call Janssen or Penny Kipp at 675-2700.

Reporter John Stromnes can be reached at 1-800-366-7186 or at jstromnes@missoulian.com.

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