Synopses & Reviews
Many national parks and monuments tell unique stories of the struggle between the rights of native peoples and the wants of the dominant society. These stories involve our greatest parks—Yosemite, Yellowstone, Mesa Verde, Glacier, the Grand Canyon, Olympic, Everglades—as well as less celebrated parks elsewhere. In American Indians and National Parks, authors Robert Keller and Michael Turek relate these untold tales of conflict and collaboration. American Indians and National Parks details specific relationships between native peoples and national parks, including land claims, hunting rights, craft sales, cultural interpretation, sacred sites, disposition of cultural artifacts, entrance fees, dams, tourism promotion, water rights, and assistance to tribal parks. Beginning with a historical account of Yosemite and Yellowstone, American Indians and National Parks reveals how the creation of the two oldest parks affected native peoples and set a pattern for the century to follow. Keller and Turek examine the evolution of federal policies toward land preservation and explore provocative issues surrounding park/Indian relations. When has the National Park Service changed its policies and attitudes toward Indian tribes, and why? How have environmental organizations reacted when native demands, such as those of the Havasupai over land claims in the Grand Canyon, seem to threaten a national park? How has the Park Service dealt with native claims to hunting and fishing rights in Glacier, Olympic, and the Everglades? While investigating such questions, the authors traveled extensively in national parks and conducted over 200 interviews with Native Americans, environmentalists, park rangers, and politicians. They meticulously researched materials in archives and libraries, assembling a rich collection of case studies ranging from the 19th century to the present. In American Indians and National Parks, Keller and Turek tackle a significant and complicated subject for the first time, presenting a balanced and detailed account of the Native-American/national-park drama. This book will prove to be an invaluable resource for policymakers, conservationists, historians, park visitors, and others who are concerned about preserving both cultural and natural resources.
Selected as one of the best environmental books for 2001 by planeta.com""One of the best overall views of this subject yet se7en. . . . A well-researched and fascinating history detailing the often-tense relationship between American Indian tribal communities and the massive bureaucracy of the National Park Service." The Public Historian"Former National Parks Director Russell Dickinson once said that he didn't know of 'a single major national park or monument . . . in the western part of the United States that doesn't have some sort of Indian sacred area.' . . . This study by two scholars of Indian cultures argues against 'the stereotypes of Indian-as-ecologist/Indian-as-victim.' " Washington Post Book World"Almost every chapter was a surprise and an education. . . . This book causes us to reexamine present-day stereotypes, but it is not so much about Indian stereotypes as it is about the National Park Service and environmental stereotypes. We have long held certain values about wildlands in high esteem, sometimes to the exclusion of the rights of native peoples. Fortunately, this is a trend that is reversing, and American Indians and National Parks also seeks to encourage the progress that is being made. . . . It is the accurate appreciation of these histories and optimism for future successes that make this book a must for any professional working on wilderness preservation issues." Environmental Practice
From Yellowstone to the Everglades, many of America's national parks and monuments have been the scene of conflict between native peoples and park officials over issues such as hunting rights, craft sales, cultural interpretation, and sacred sites. This book examines the evolution of federal policies toward land preservation in our parks and explores some of the provocative issues surrounding park/Indian relations.
To investigate these issues, Keller and Turek traveled extensively throughout the parks and conducted more than 200 interviews with Native Americans, environmentalists, park rangers, and politicians. In American Indians and National Parks, they tackle a significant and complicated subject for the first time, presenting a balanced and detailed account of the Native-American/national-park drama. Their book will prove to be an invaluable resource for policy makers, conservationists, historians, park visitors, and others who are concerned about preserving both cultural and natural resources.
About the Author
Robert H. Keller is a retired professor of history, formerly with Western Washington University, where he taught federal Indian policy and law. He lives in Bellingham.