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.
Nathaniel P. Langford and other members of the 1870 Washburn-Doane expedition “Columbused” Yellowstone by “discovering” it as a “park.”
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.
Leaving brings movement toward something new, toward a fresh sense of being and becoming, as we break free from the stagnant orbits of settled lives.
John (Fire) Lame Deer’s essay about the 1970 occupation of Mount Rushmore highlights a monumental clash between two visions of sacred land.
Though a product of colonial violence, Frank Waters’ Book of the Hopi offers an alternate vision and a critique of our ultimately self-destructive assumptions, values, and modes of living.
An ancient pictograph in a place called Tsegi, what is now Canyon de Chelly National Monument, shows people chasing animals over a hill or maybe a rainbow.
The Bear River Massacre occurred in the same month as Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation; killing Indians had a strategic purpose in the war to end slavery.