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part iv New Perspectives Map 5. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. National Park Service, Department of the Interior. This is the map currently used in the National Park Service brochure for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Along with noting brief sections of “Water Trail,” “Motor Trail,” and “Land Trail,” the map also shows the locations of 83 national, state, local, and private historic sites and recreation areas along the expedition route. W ith the bicentennial of the expedition approaching, interest in Lewis and Clark has grown exponentially. From St. Louis, Missouri to Seaside, Oregon, various states, counties, and cities are planning to cash in on the millions of latter-day explorers who will cruise the expedition route in the next few years. In the words of David Borlaug, president of the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council, the bicentennial “is shaping up to be the tourist event of the 21st century.” All of this reflects an increased focus on the Trail as the appropriate site for commemorating the expedition, but a four-thousand-mile, two-and-a-half-year “event” raises new questions and problems about how to understand and incorporate the lessons of the past. The three essays in this section present very different assessments of the promises and prospects of the Lewis and Clark bicentennial. In many regards , there is much to celebrate—not about Lewis and Clark, but in the opportunities that such a unique commemorative event presents. Fascination in the expedition has led countless individuals and families to “rediscover ” largely unvisited portions of the United States, from the Dakotas to the Columbia Plateau, and in the process learn a great deal about the peoples and histories of these places. Likewise, the bicentennial represents a powerful opportunity for Native peoples to tell their stories and in the process shape the nature and significance of this massive commemorative event. Because two hundred years have profoundly altered the lands traversed by Lewis and Clark, the bicentennial also gives pause for reflection on the expedition’s destructive legacies. Yet it remains to be seen whether such reflection will lead to constructive understanding, or if it will become little more than a brief and unproductive lament. This page intentionally left blank ...


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