[MUSIC] Understanding mountain building today requires careful study, but it also requires the ability to imagine the larger and longer picture of the year's history. The importance of these qualities is obvious when we consider the long progression of thinkers, that have come to mountain landscapes in hopes of understanding their past. In this context, the theory of plate tectonics is a spectacular culmination of human ingenuity 200 years in the making. This is just one story, rooted in a very particular cultural tradition. And there are many other stories that can provide us with important insights as well. Here's Bill Snow. >> [FOREIGN] Good day. My name is Bill Snow, and I'm from the Stoney Indian Reserve, in Manithan Alberta, in the Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. I'd like to read a passage from the book, These Mountains are Our Sacred Places, by my late father, Chief John Snow. Long ago, my ancestors used to go to the mountaintops to pray. They were deeply religious, sincere and traditional oriented people who followed, observed and upheld teachings, customs and beliefs of our forefathers, respected the creations of the Great Spirit, and lived in harmony with nature. Indian traditions and oral histories say that my people were always present in this part of the Great Island, the native name for the North American continent. Roaming along the foothills out onto the prairies to the east and deep into the Rocky Mountain country to the west. [SOUND] In order to understand the vital importance the mountains had and still have to my people, it is necessary to know something of our way of life before the coming of the white men. It is not enough to say the mountains were the stony traditional of place of prayer, because our life was not a fragmented one with a compartment for religion rather our life was one in which religion and reverence for nature, which revealed religious truth, was woven throughout all parts of the social structure, and observed in conjunction with every activity. We talked to the rocks, the streams, the trees, the plants, the herbs and all nature's creations. We call the animals, our brothers. They understood our language. We, too, understood theirs. Sometimes they talk to us in dreams and visions. At times they reveal the important events or visited us on our vision quests to the mountain tops. Our teaching has always been that everything was created for a purpose by the great spirit. We must therefore respect all things of creation and learn as much as we can. These are lessons hidden in creation. That we must learn in order to live a good life and walk the straight path. [MUSIC] Century after century the rugged Rocky Mountains sat in their majesty and nature seemed to say, your thought must be as firm as these mountains if you are to walk in a straight path. [MUSIC] Your patience and kindness must be as solid as these mountains if you are to acquire understanding and wisdom. The old Stoney medicine man has said. You must continue to go to the sacred mountains. You must fast and pray for many days and nights. And perchance, you will see a vision upon the mountains. Before he went to the beautiful land of the spirits beyond the sunset, the old man with the century of experience, wrote these words: You must search, and search, and you will find ancient truths, and wisdom, that shall guide you in the future. He continued. My grandfathers told me these things when I was a little boy. And in my youth it was told to me over and over again by the campfire in the tribal encampment. So it has been imprinted on my heart ever since. Upon these loft behights, are great spirit revealed many things to us. Some of my people received powers to heal, they could heal the physical body with herbs, roots, leaves, plants and mineral hot springs. They could also heal the broken and weary soul, with unseen powers. Others received powers over the weather, these gifted religious men and women could call for a great storm or calm the weather. They could call on the winds, rain, hail, snow or sleet, and they would come. From these mountain top experiences, my fellow tribes men and women were given unique tasks to perform to help the tribe prepare for things to come. Therefore the Rocky Mountains are precious and sacred to us. We knew every trail and mountain pass in this place. In the olden days some of the neighboring tribes called us the People of the Shining Mountains. These mountains are our temples, our sanctuaries and our resting places. They are a place of hope, a place of visions, a place of refuge. A very special and holy place where the Great Spirit speaks with us. Therefore, these mountains are our sacred places. >> Over the course of this lesson, we've crisscrossed the globe a few times. And we've discussed some extraordinary land forms. You'll now have the opportunity to return to your own personalized mountain world, and try to identify where we've been. Laura Redmond has a great tech tip about how to dress for success in the mountain back country. And finally, don't forget to complete the end of lesson quiz. Good luck. And we hope to see you next time for our lesson on mountain climate.