No Longer Circling the Wagons: Many National Parks Get Indian
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National Park system operates nearly 400 sites. Most are directly
connected to American Indian culture and history.
Unfortunately, the NPS usually leaves out the Native stories. If the
stories are included, they're often told through the eyes of other
people. The NPS also tends to talk about the deeds of settlers and
ignores the impact those actions had on American Indians.
Among the worst offenders:
Indiana Dunes National
Tells of the Potawatomi tribe through the eyes of a
white man. It does not tell the story of how the the
Potawatomi ended up on a “Trail of Death” westward,
across the Mississippi.
National Historic Site
Details about soldiers’ lives dominate the NPS story. The
"Buffalo Soldiers" are a major feature.
Indian exhibits get less space than Henry O. Flipper,
the first African American to graduate from West Point.
Scotts Bluff National Monument
Includes a covered wagon and part of the original Oregon Trail.
The park has 62 documented archaeological sites but does
not tell how Indians used them before white man arrived.
Museum and Visitor
Tells the story of the emigrants.
American Indians appear in an exhibit entitled, “The
White Emigrants Met the Mounted Hunters of the Plains.”
Fort Laramie National Historic
Tell the story of soldiers’ lives in a frontier
The park has restored
many large military building, but there're just one tipi
and one Native story.
Also included are gravestones of Indians who died in the Battle of Greasy Grass,
a.k.a. Little Bighorn
Roosevelt National Park
the story of Theodore Roosevelt, the natural environment
and the wildlife. It largely forgets the Indians who
Read about the best National Parks:
National Parks that Best [and Worst] Tell
American Indian Culture and History
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