New initiatives at Yellowstone National Park put the spotlight on the area’s native people

In his 2001 book, “Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation,” historian Karl Jacoby wrote that supporters of Yellowstone National Park’s formation “persisted in describing the region as existing in ‘primeval solitude,’ ” filled with countless locations that “have never been trodden by human footsteps,” despite the fact that, evidenced by their trails, the Crow, Bannock, Shoshone, Blackfeet and Nez Percé, among other smaller tribes, hunted and gathered in the area. Jacoby wrote that “the authors of the early accounts of the Yellowstone region literally wrote Indians out of the landscape, erasing Indian claims by reclassifying inhabited territory as empty wilderness.”

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