Program Details:

American Indian Histories in the National Park Service

The Center of the American West (CAW) and the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies (CNAIS), in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), are embarking on an interdisciplinary project to assess how NPS can expand and deepen the ways it interprets American Indian histories. Our primary goals for the project are: 1) to apply current academic scholarship on American Indian histories (by Natives and non-Natives) to the practical activities of the National Park Service, an institution that conveys history to millions of visitors each year; and 2) to encourage inclusive and rigorous public history related to the traditional land use, displacement, and ongoing survival of American Indians.

In the project's first phase (2016-2017), we plan to invite tribal representatives and other stakeholders to a workshop at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) to discuss the histories of tribal nations with connections to RMNP (anticipated June 2017), and to consider the practical implications of this research for interpretation and tribal collaborations at the Park. We will also discuss how the Park can better integrate existing Native oral history resources into its interpretive programs. From the workshop, we will write a report that identifies key interpretive themes and goals for visitor experiences at the Park, and suggests best practices for ongoing tribal working relationships with RMNP. The workshop and report will support existing RMNP efforts to revise their interpretive plans. They also will shape the development of a large-scale grant proposal for expanding our project on a national scale.

This is a private program by request only, or for a specific audience or group.


In Colorado

Program Partners

Supporting This Program

  • Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Center of the American West
  • Rocky Mountain National Park

Sponsoring Units

Arts & Sciences, College of

  • American West, Center of the

Program Contact

Brooke Neely
Research Fellow

Program Categories


  • Diversity
  • Environmental Issues
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences

Program Types:

  • Workshop


  • General Public
  • Government
  • Tribal Communities (in U.S.)