The absence of Indigenous Histories in Ken Burns's the National Parks: America's Best Idea

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The National Parks begins in 1851 and ends with Alaska in the 1970s, yet almost entirely erases Indigenous history from the landscape, allowing Native Alaskans, Indigenous Hawaiians, and American Indians no foothold or voice in the modern story of the parks. This is remarkable, considering that all of the parks were established on Indigenous homelands and that Native people and politics continue to be intertwined with the recent history of the parks. The experiences of Ojibwe people in the Great Lakes suggest that the creation of national parks in their homeland was part of a broader colonial history of appropriating Indigenous lands and resources, and extended the damaging policies of the Indian assimilation and allotment era farther into the twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Historian
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Keywords

  • American Indians
  • Isle Royale
  • National parks
  • Ojibwe
  • Voyageurs

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