Effigy Mounds National Monument

National Parks that Best Tell American Indian Culture and History


There are almost 400 sites in the U.S. National Park system, including parks, monuments, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores and recreation areas. Not all of them have a direct connection to American Indian culture and history, but most do, and most aren’t doing a good job of telling those stories. But some are. Here’s a sampling of sites, roughly from the Great Lakes to the Rockies, that are doing a good—or at least better—job of telling the complete history of their site.

Badlands National Park, South Unit (South Dakota)
Cook Collection, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument (Nebraska)
Effigy Mounds National Monument (Iowa)
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site (Montana-North Dakota)
Grand Portage National Monument (Minnesota)
Knife River Indian Villages (North Dakota)
Nez Perce National Historic Park (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)
Pipestone National Monument (Minnesota)
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (Colorado)
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (many states)

Getting Better
Frijole Ranch, Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)
Mammoth Hot Springs Visitor Center, Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
Persimmon Gap Visitor Center, Big Bend National Park (Texas)

For our feature story on U.S. national parks that lack information about American Indians, click here.

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laughingbear's picture
Submitted by laughingbear on
Why stop at the Rockies? Yosemite NP has a museum, usually with a local Native American presenting live interaction. There is also a village exhibit, including a longhouse that is still in use today. This may actually be one of the best examples of a NP that tells our story.

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