Sequoia National Park is Western Mono Land

Sequoia National Park

{Sequoia National Park originally posted by US Interior) Sequoia National Park is the homeland of the Nyyhmy (Western Mono, Monache) Nation. Living for hundreds of years in the valleys of the Sierras, the Nyyhmy were pushed onto a series of Rancherias in the early 20th century as the result of decades of logging, settlement, and environmental preservation. Today, the Nyyhmy people of the western Sierras live on the Big Sandy, Cold Springs, Northfork, and Table Mountain Rancherias and at Tule River Reservation. Visit the Sierra Mono Museum in Northfork to learn more. 

While it is easy to think of logging and preservation as opposite sides of a land management spectrum, it is also important to see the way they each can be complicit in environmental injustice. At the end of a year when both human rights and environmental laws have been under attack in the United States, it is important for advocates to remember this history and learn from it. We need to approach future conservation intersectionally, in a way that honors both the land and the people who depend on it. #publiclandisnativeland 

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is Delaware Land

{Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area originally posted by US Interior} This beautiful national recreation area on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania is the homeland of the Delaware (Lenape) Nation. Since archeological sites are a major component of the park, the website and even US Interior Instagram - which almost never acknowledges Native history - talk about Delaware history here. However, what seems to be often overlooked, especially with the emphasis of archeology and the white archeologists who “excavated” Indian graves in the area, is that the Delaware are still around and an active community not only in their reservations in Oklahoma, but also in their homeland. Recently two Delaware tribes - the Delaware Nation and the Delaware Tribe of Indians - as well as the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans now in Wisconsin have developed in partnership with NPS a summer camp for youth from their communities. This gives these kids a chance to learn about and connect to their homeland as well as remind local settler communities that these people have not disappeared, merely been displaced. If you want to want to learn more, check out Kyle Harris’s 2016 documentary “The Water Gap.” #publiclandisnativeland

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is Miami and Potawatomi Land

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

{Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore originally posted by US Interior} Neekawikam means dunes or sandy water in Myaamia, the Miami language. Indiana Dunes has been the home of many indigenous people, most recently the Miami and Potawatomi who lived in the area at least by the Beaver Wars in the late 1600’s. The website for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore begins its history of the park in the 20th century, decades after the Miami and Potawatomi were removed to reservations in Oklahoma (kiiloona Myaamiaki - Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Citizen Potawatomi Nation) and at various midwestern reservation for the Potawatomi. Telling history this way hides the rich cultures, colonial conflicts, and violent removals that have taken place in these spaces and replaces them with purely environmental histories., challenging indigenous claims to space. Don’t forget, outdoor communities, that all environmental spaces are also cultural spaces that have been shaped by their indigenous people. #publiclandisnativeland 

Great Falls is Powhatan Land

Great Falls Park

{Great Falls Park in Virginia originally posted by US Interior} Great Falls Park on the Potomac River is in the homeland of the Powhatan Confederacy. Many of the descendants of the confederacy still live in the area and are part of a number of different nations, however due to a racist Virginia law in the 1920’s, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, the descendants of the Powhatan confederacy were forced to legally identify themselves as either “white” or “colored,” a form of bureaucratic genocide. This week, after decades of activism and political work, the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan and the Nansemond tribes of Virginia finally gained Federal Recognition, allowing them to access funds made available for housing, medicare, and education. #Publiclandisnativeland

North Cascades National Park is Native Land

{North Cascades National Park originally posted by US Interior} The North Cascades are the homeland of many different contemporary Native Nations including the Nooksack, Upper Skagit, Sauk-Suiattle, Colville, and Yakama in the U.S. as well as the Sto:lo and Nlakapamux in Canada. 

In the mid 19th century, the state of Washington was eager to make treaties with the tribes as quickly as possible to allow for white settlement of the area - sometime without tribal representatives even there. North Cascades is land ceded in the Treaty of Point Elliott and the Treaty with the Yakima. While members of the Upper Skagit and Sauk-Suiattle nations did sign the Point Elliott Treaty, the Nooksack were included despite not signing and expected to move to reservations with the other tribes. Likewise, members of tribes that became the contemporary Colville Nation like the Chelan, Entiat, Methow, and Wenatchee people were never party to the Yakima Treaty, but were still expected to leave simply because their homeland was on the land ceded in the treaty by other nations. 

In reality, most people didn’t leave their homes or move to reservations until forced out by other events and policies like the gold rush, boarding schools, termination, and the eventual creation of reservations closer to home in the 1970’s and 80’s, but contemporary resource conflicts still exist - see part two of this post. #publiclandisnativeland

Redwoods National Forest is Yurok Land

Redwoods National Forest

{Redwood National Forest. Photo by @runs_wild} Guest Post from Jacklyn Holzhauser @runs_wild: “Yurok is Karuk for down river people, our lands stretch from the three sisters rock formation below Crescent City Ca down the coastline to Trinidad Ca, and up the Klamath river from the mouth to the Klamath Trinity tributary. Our people were lucky that after prosecutors and settlers came to the area we weren't removed from our ancestral lands. We still hold our traditional ceremonies and have our language.


Our current land base is from the mouth  of the river and one mile on each side of the river and 44 miles up river. Our language is from the Algonquin language family. We are currently the largest tribe in California with over 5,000 enrolled members.” #publiclandisnativeland

Channel Islands National Park is Chumash and Tongva Land

Channel Islands

{Channel Islands National Park originally posted by US Interior} The Channel Islands are the homeland of the Chumash - on the islands within the park - and Tongva people on the southern islands. These two nations lived on the Channel Islands and throughout coastal southern California for thousands of years before the Spanish arrived. In Chumash, the Channel Islands are called limuw (Santa Cruz), wi’ma (Santa Rosa), tuqan (San Miguel), anyapakh (Anacapa), shooynga (San Nicolas), kiinkenga/xaraashnga (San Clemente), pimuu’nga (Catalina). After contact with the Spanish in the 1540’s, Chumash and Tongva communities were disrupted by disease and missionization. Mexican independence and eventual American settlement of California led to severe land loss. Today, the Chumash have just one 127-acre reservation in Santa Ynez and the Tongva, although formally acknowledged as the indigenous people of Southern California, have not been federally recognized. 

Despite this, both nations are striving for cultural resurgence with the Tonga fighting for formal recognition and the Chumash revitalizing traditional seafaring with the tomol crossing to the islands. #publiclandisnativeland

Gates of the Arctic National Park is Nunamuit Land

Gates of the Arctic

{Gates of the Arctic National Park originally posted by US Interior} Gates of the Arctic National Park and the Brooks ranges is the homeland of the Nunamiut, an Iñupiat people who live within the boundaries of the park in the village of Anaktuvuk Pass. Even more than parks in the lower 48, Alaskan national parks are portrayed as true wildernesses, unpopulated and unchanged, when in fact they are the most likely to have people living in them. Gates of the Arctic is a beautiful natural area, but it is also a cultural landscape influencing and influenced by the indigenous people that call it home. #publiclandisnativeland 

Yellowstone National Park is Tukudeka Land

Yellowstone National Park

{Yellowstone National Park originally posted by US Interior} Today is the 146th anniversary of the founding of Yellowstone National Park, the first park in the system. For much of the park’s history, a myth circulated around it that American Indians never lived in or even entered the park out of superstitious fear. It turns out this was fake news intentionally circulated by the park to reassure tourists that they would be safe from “hostile Indians” in the area and, like many of these wildernessing narratives, justify their own presence in the area. 


In reality, Yellowstone is the homeland of the Tukudeka or Sheepeater Shoshone who are now enrolled in the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho. Pressure from outdoor tourism and eventually military force in the Sheepeater War drove the Tukudeka from the region. Today five tribes have recognized treaty rights to hunt in the park - Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Nez Perce Tribe, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation - and a total of 26 have connections to it. #publiclandisnativeland

The Iditarod National Historic Trail is Dena'ina, Deg Hit'an, Inupiaq, and Yup'ik Land

Iditarod Historic Trail

{Iditarod National History Trail originally posted by US Interior} The annual Iditarod Dog Sled Race is currently underway in Alaska! Known as an important dog sled trail during the Alaska gold rush and the famous “Great Race of Mercy” when medicine for diphtheria was taken to the children of Nome, the trail was originally a dogsled and snowshoe trail created by Alaska Natives to connect a number of interior villages. It goes through the land of the Dena’ina, Deg Hit’an, Inupiaq, and Yup’ik people and the word Iditarod comes from the Deg Xinag word hidedhod meaning distant place. #publiclandisnativeland 

Congaree Land

Congaree National Park is Congaree Land

The Congaree Swamp is the homeland of the Congaree nation, southeastern farmers known for the tame cranes that roamed their villages. Like many tribes at the time, a devastating smallpox epidemic after contact with Europeans killed nine out of every ten people in their communities. [pause and just think about that for a minute]. Just when the communities were beginning to recover, they joined an effort with the Cherokee, Muskogee, and other tribes to push the Europeans out of South Carolina in the Yamasee War. This war was restating on both sides, but the Native coalition eventually lost. Following the conflict, slave traders in South Carolina took half the remaining community and sold them into slavery in the West Indies. I just want to say that the fact that the Congaree survived as a people through any one of these events is a testament to Native resilience, but finally, in order to survive, the remaining people gave up their land and joined the nearby Catawba nation, which remains a contemporary federally recognized tribe today. 

Kanaka Maoli 'Aina

The Nahuku Rainforest in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is part of the ‘Ainu or ancestral homeland of the Kanaka Maoli. This area is famous for the network of lava tubes from Kilauea, which are popular destinations for tourists to the national park. However, many of these lava tubes are also sacred spaces for the Kanaka Maoli, used for burials. Some Kanaka Maoli believe no lava tubes should be entered or built upon because we don’t know which were used for burials and which weren’t. Even those that weren’t used as burial sites, however, often have cultural significance and history. The geological history of these spaces is important to talk about, but the national park also needs to acknowledge their cultural significance and address how the ways they tell the story of this space erases Kanaka Maoli presence. {I had trouble finding much information on this, so if you know more and feel comfortable sharing, please do!}#publiclandisnativeland 

Blackfeet Land

Glacier National Park is Blackfeet Land

Straddling the Rocky Mountains in northern Montana, Glacier National Park was carved out of the ceded land of several different Native Nations, the largest of which is the Blackfeet Nation. The Blackfeet homeland includes the eastern half of Glacier and much of the Montana plains. Despite being confined to a reservation as the result of several treaties with the U.S., the Blackfeet did not give up resource rights to their ceded land, which means, legally, the Blackfeet have overlapping resource jurisdiction in much of Glacier National Park. Conflicts stemming from these overlapping jurisdictions are common on public land throughout the U.S., often the result of different conceptions of land and property both at the time of the treaties and in the present. The Blackfeet in Glacier are no different and despite fighting to greater power in the management of the park’s resources, the Blackfeet are still barred from fully exercising their treaty rights in their homeland. #Publiclandisnativeland