Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

An Indigenous couple marries on the beach at Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park. Many of the United States' National Parks are places of historical, cultural, and sacred meaning for Native communities. (Photo used with the permission of Desirée Shelley Flores)

How Native Americans Bring Depth of Understanding to the Nation’s National Parks

On National Park Service Founders Day, the museum looks at the changing relationship between Native Americans and the National Park Service through the eyes of three Native rangers and interpreters: “I think Native interpreters steeped in their own tribal cultures are inclined to go the extra mile to educate the public about other vantage points of an historical event or issue,” writes Roger Amerman (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma). “I worked extremely hard to tell a complicated story. Even when I was off the clock, I was still thinking of how to add to the story of my park.”