Native American history should be better represented in Yellowstone National Park because people need to know about Native cultures. This is important because they used many of the historical sites to live, and use material for them to survive back then.
Dr. Shane Doyle, a Crow historian with knowledge of many Native American cultures in and around YNP, talked to my class about Crow history in the park. He told us many oral stories that have been told from generation to generation. The stories were educational and very interesting. Dr. Doyle showed us many places that multiple tribes used, like Mammoth Hot Springs and Sheepeater Cliff. He also talked about Obsidian Cliff in his stories because it was a historical place that Native people used to make blades.
At the Old Faithful visitor center, there is a quote from the Eastern Shoshone Cultural Council that reads, “The earth is more alive where geysers and hot boiling water are present. Because of its geyser basins and thermal areas, Yellowstone is considered to have a lot of medicine and be a powerful spiritual place.” This quote is very important in the park because it’s actually a Native American quote that is represented in the park and the quote is telling us that these geothermal areas are a big part in Native American history and culture. This should be better represented so people know that these sites are very important in history and the wildlife, so people will learn to respect the area.
Some local tribes want to see more information about their tribe’s culture and history in Yellowstone National Park. Dr. Doyle talked about how the park could do more and how Yellowstone doesn’t really distribute information about Native cultures.
At Old Faithful, we talked to Ranger Jon Nicholson, who really didn’t know a lot about Native history in the park. And that is the thing, they need to know about the history and the culture about Natives peoples. All park rangers should know these histories.
There are no exhibits about Native people in Yellowstone, and that is a problem since there is so much information about the history and how they lived in the park before the park became the park. I think that people should know that they have done a lot of things in the past to the lands. They have made markings on things, they have left artifacts , and there is just stories they can tell us.
There are some people that will not agree with me who are probably just not interested in this topic and don’t think that they are a big part in the history of Montana. That isn’t true in my opinion because the Natives have done many of things that made history very interesting. I just want to see more artifacts or history in the park so people can learn about the Native
Another thing in this argument, some of the Native Americans probably don’t want to give out the facts or stories because that they want their stories stay within their tribe. But they should. The stories can really help people understand more about the park. There are ways that they can add the information in the park, but they need to put some effort into it so people can enjoy the full history of Yellowstone National Park.
Native American History in YNP by Morgan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.