About Origins Montana

The mission of Origins is to provide heritage tours of historical and archaeological sites, as well as museums, ghost towns, and archives, to give clients an experience that will generate an understanding of the American West’s dynamic cultural heritage and that will cultivate citizen science and heritage stewardship. Our current itineraries feature Chinese and Chinese American historical and archaeological sites and we will provide local guides who include top professionals in their discipline. We have marketed Origins Montana to Chinese Nationals and Chinese Americans, as well as anyone else who is interested. Each itinerary will offer traditional Chinese catered lunches and bilingual (English, Mandarin) tours and presentations.

During the summer of 2019, we are conducting a pilot program, offering summer camps for children [and adults if they are game to join the fun]. While these summer camps will certainly explore Montana’s Chinese heritage, our goal is to ensure that campers have a broader sense of the Missoula Valley’s ancient heritage, emphasizing the tools and stories that can be used to understand past, present, and future impacts of humans on the landscape in the region.


Origins Montana and its owners and scholars are committed to discovering, preserving and protecting cultural heritage places, as well as to foster educated and informed decisions relevant to such places.

We will donate a portion of our proceeds to the University of Montana’s Department of Anthropology to support student research projects and scholarships, as well as archival and curation requirements associated with archaeological expeditions.


Photo from the Mansfield Library’s K. Ross Toole Archives and Special Collections. Title: Teepees pitched in front of Hell Gate Canyon; Subject: Hellgate (Missoula County, Mont.) – Teepees; Description: [Salish] Indian tents (tipis) pitched in front of Hell Gate Canyon, area where Missoula, Montana, is now situated. Mount Jumbo and Mount Sentinel on either side. See also 83-0040.(Image featured in the Re-Photographing Missoula exhibit, see umt010583); Collection: University of Montana Museum; Photo Number: 72.0012.