MISSOULA, Mont. -

Friday was a colorful and celebratory day at the University of Montana. It was American Indian Heritage Day.

A drummer and traditional dancers entertained students, faculty and visitors to UM.

Blackfeet, Salish, Cree, Shoshone and scores of other Native tribal members gathered at the Payne Center at the University.

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom issued a proclamation.

It was a day of prayer, food and games, and a time to honor education and accomplishment.

"As an individual, as an Indian man, who has an education and advanced degree" said UM doctoral student, Vernon Grant, "it's our responsibility to address the needs of our people."

The day began with a sunrise ceremony.

There was an "M" trail hike and a teepee rising.