Jeannette Wolfley on the Return of Natives to National Parks

Jeanette Wolfley has published “Reclaiming A Presence in Ancestral Lands: The Return of Native Peoples to the National Parks” in the Natural Resources Journal.

Here is the abstract:

For Native peoples, sacred sites and other traditional cultural properties are of critical importance to the preservation of their culture, society, and overall tribal sovereignty. Often these traditional cultural resources are part of present day national park landscapes. Today, tribes have unprecedented opportunities to reclaim a presence on their aboriginal lands, and in turn the National Park Service has an opportunity to ensure that parks remain a sanctuary for the practice of native traditions by accommodating and prioritizing native interests in the implementation of Indian policies and government-to-government obligations. This Article provides an overview of the tribal-NPS relationship, a discussion of the National Park Service Indian policies, and the application of trust obligations to accommodate tribal interests in the national parks. This Article advocates that the National Park Service should prioritize tribal interests to enable tribal peoples to access aboriginal lands where timehonored traditions and practices are celebrated and life is renewed.