About the Return to Foretop’s Father
A project of the Wyoming Interfaith Network (WIN), the Return to Foretop’s Father is directed by Grant Bulltail and organized by Mary L. Keller (historian of religions at the University of Wyoming) and made possible thanks to our collaboration with the Nature Conservancy Heart Mountain Ranch. Mr. Bulltail is concerned about the human impact on ecology and seeks to restore a sacred connection between people and Heart Mountain as a way to ceremonially promote a good life. This annual gathering is an opportunity to remember the mountain’s power and the human responsibility to honor that power through the offering of a Pipe Ceremony.
With a focus on youth participation, the Return to Foretop’s Father is an opportunity to promote Apsáalooke (Crow) youth awareness of their cultural heritage on the mountain. Mr. Bulltail hopes to promote enjoyment of the beauty of the mountain, the discipline of hiking that strengthens body and soul, and the collaboration of like-minded people to remember and restore our shared relationship to the mountain. While we focus on Heart Mountain, we understand this ceremonial gesture to be symbolic of larger issues in our time regarding human activity and our responsibilities to the land. This year the project is funded by a Bargain Box grant and individual donors. Contributions are tax-deductible through WIN, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
This year’s theme is “The Art of Returning” and is meant to emphasize the social arts we are developing that promote a good life as we forge an alliance to restore Crow cultural heritage on the contemporary landscape of 21st century economic and ecological realities. Also, this theme allows us to look back at the posters, programs, and memories of eight years of gathering, to consider the public advertising and the “behind the scenes” arts of hosting the event.
Directions: All Thursday evening events take place at Heart Mountain Road, Common Ground Ranch, 2020 Lane 13 H, ½ way between Cody and Powell, WY. Turn at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center Rd, and stay on the paved road as it leads toward Heart Mountain, turning left at 2020, and traveling south for 100 yards to the big house, where you can park and walk the next quarter mile down past the right of the house, or drive down if a steep hike on a dirt road is not advisable, and you can park in the camping ground parking lot. Give yourself a half hour to arrive from either town.