CLARKSVILLE — The Center for Cultural Resources at Indiana University Southeast will host a Lewis and Clark commemorative event Oct. 2 at the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center that will include a variety of educational aspects.
The Handshake Event is to recall the partnership between Meriwether Lewis and William Clark that began at the Falls of the Ohio with the historic handshake in 1803.
Co-founder and co-director of the center, Claudia Crump, is in charge of planning the event, with the help of the center’s intern Keziah Jones. The Handshake Event is funded by the Lewis and Clark Expedition Commission.
Crump emphasized that this event is not so much a celebration as it is a commemoration of the handshake between Lewis and Clark, recognizing that there are negative impacts of the two-year expedition the handshake led to.
“The bottom line of all of this is let’s protect that statue,” Crump said of the Lewis and Clark handshake statue at the park. “That statue stands for much more than just negative impacts, there are also, just what can we learn from negativism?”
Jones shared a similar sentiment when it comes to learning about historical events.
“You can’t focus on the negative so much that you miss all the positive and forget the importance of something as significant as the Lewis and Clark Expedition and all the good that came from it,” Jones said.
To focus on different perspectives during the time of westward expansion, the event will include an ongoing slideshow that discusses what this time was like for the Clark family, indentured servants, indigenous people and women. The slideshow is accompanied by a chat session that will allow people to discuss the topics being shared.
“That’s what we’re trying to do is to look at things in a different way to make sure that we’re more than just centered on ourselves,” Crump said.
Crump said that a lot of the activities are targeted for children to learn about the historical event.
“I’ve always thought that through our youngsters, and their parents for the most part, that is the way we have to develop our understanding,” Crump said, noting that the area is under-appreciated locally in its historical and geological impact.
A trail will be set up at the event using informational plaques, discussing different parts of Lewis and Clark’s journey.
Three 10-foot-square maps of Floyd, Clark and Harrison counties will be incorporated into the event, with local guides to point out the areas connected to Lewis and Clark.
A Rock Creek Academy teacher wrote a play for the event called The Greatest American Camp Out, that will be performed twice during the event by students. A musical preview will be performed on the front patio to gather people and bring them into the play.
The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information can be found on the IU Southeast Center for Cultural Resources Facebook page.