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.
|"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 & 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
"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
"One of the best overall views of this subject yet seen. . . . 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
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.