The Center of the American West (CAW), the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies (CNAIS), Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), and representatives from the Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Colorado, the Ute Indian Tribe of Uintah and Ouray in Utah, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Colorado, are carrying out a project aimed at promoting better representation of tribal nations at the National Parks.
In the project’s first phase (2016-2018), we facilitated two workshops with tribal representatives, park officials, and CU Boulder faculty and students. From these meetings, partners identified next steps for the project, and NPS officials and tribal representatives requested that CAW and CNAIS continue to orchestrate this project. In the project’s second phase (2018-2019), we collaboratively gathered and assessed existing research, tribal resources, and other materials for summary documents on each tribe's history and connections to the park region. In the project's current phase (2019-2020), we are using the summary documents to develop new interpretive exhibits and programs at the park. These activities will guide Rocky Mountain National Park staff as they share information about tribal nations with the 4.5 million annual visitors at the park.
In the future, we intend to build upon this work to include other NPS units, scholars, and tribal stakeholders throughout the West.