Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH DAKOTA In a historic move, the US Department of the Interior on Thursday recommended the establishment of the nation's first tribal national park.
Lakota Dancer and Park Ranger
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis on Thursday announced the release of the final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for the South Unit of Badlands National Park that recommended the tribal national park.
If implemented, the Department of the Interior would partner with the Oglala Sioux Tribe, based in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The Native News Network was unsuccessful in its attempts to reach Oglala Sioux Tribe's officials for comment.
“Our National Park System is one of Americas greatest story tellers,”
“As we seek to tell a more inclusive story of America, a tribal national park would help celebrate and honor the history and culture of the Oglala Sioux people. Working closely with the Tribe, Congress, and the public, the Park Service will work to develop a legislative proposal to make the South Unit a tribal national park.”
View from Sheep Mountain
The South Unit of Badlands National Park is entirely within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. The Park Service and the Tribe have worked together to manage the South Unit's 133,000 acres for almost 40 years. If a tribal national park is enabled by Congress through legislation, the Oglala Sioux people could manage and operate their lands for the educational and recreational benefit of the general public, including a new Lakota Heritage and Education Center.
The General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement reflects the goals of the National Park Service's recently released 'A Call to Action' plan for the Service's next 100 years that emphasizes a system of parks and protected sites that more fully represent our nation's natural resources, history and cultural experiences. The tribal national park would seek to promote an understanding of Oglala Sioux history, culture, and land management principles through education and interpretation.
posted April 27, 2012 6:00 pm edt