Even well-meaning opinions by voices presuming to be immune from the racist elements of their whiteness cannot avoid the histories embedded in their language, attitudes, and perspectives.
Rev. Edwin J. Stanley’s 1873 tour of Yellowstone made him a witness to “the scepter of the irrepressible white man” in the divine right of Manifest Destiny.
The “best idea” of creating national parks involved eradicating the previous meanings and uses of these places that had sustained indigenous cultures for centuries.
Tracing the historical origins of the national park idea can be frustrating. In truth, no single individual can take credit for the idea of national parks.
Montana’s leading citizens sought to civilize Yellowstone by claiming it as a park, not a wild and dangerous land but a place of democratic enjoyment and wonder for generations to come.
Nathaniel P. Langford and other members of the 1870 Washburn-Doane expedition “Columbused” Yellowstone by “discovering” it as a “park.”
Devil’s Slide north of Yellowstone National Park has unsettled the religious imaginations of visitors since the nineteenth century.
Warren Angus Ferris visited Yellowstone in 1834 as the first tourist to experience the thermal features, and the first person known to use the Icelandic word “geyser” to describe them.
Horace Albright’s legacy enjoys high esteem, but many of the precedents he set for the National Park Service have contributed to problems that parks now face.
John (Fire) Lame Deer’s essay about the 1970 occupation of Mount Rushmore highlights a monumental clash between two visions of sacred land.