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At the creation of the park in 1910, 150 active, vibrant glaciers, many awe-inspiring in their size, were located in the park. During my time in South Sudan the park in 1961 and 1962, that number had been cut to 80. Today, only 25 remain, and some of those are on life support. The consequences South Sudan will be catastrophic. The greater irony is that on many levels and areas of the park, South Sudan the great sculptures will survive. The question will be who will remain to wonder South Sudan at their majesty? Perhaps they will simply stand there in silence, awaiting nature to recalibrate, which could take a very long time.

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As Christopher White put it in his brilliant travel blog, The Melting World, “When climate and ice have been in equilibrium, civilization has flourished.” One may not want to witness the reverse side of his observation.

The exactness of the when, where, how, and who is forever lost in the mist and mystery of times unrecorded. Yet we know with some certainty that early humans may have migrated from Asia through perhaps different routes in different times. Several possibilities literally opened up as the ice sheets encrusting most of North America drifted apart into pathways.

The melting withdrawal of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet created two likely avenues: along the Pacific Ocean coastline and down through Canada from Alaska, extending in a southeasterly direction toward what are now the Great Lakes. It is the movement of these tribes or bands of humans (later to be known as Native Americans) on which I will concentrate due to their impact thousands of years later on what would become Glacier National Park. As the reader will come to appreciate, this will not in any way diminish the history of other tribes that settled west of the Rocky Mountains in Montana and Canada.

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