This summer, I'll be embarking on a cross-country road trip where I'm lucky enough to see friends I haven't seen in over a year, friends I've never met in person, and a host of national parks.
I want to acknowledge the privilege that comes with being able to take the time to do this trip, the safety I feel in this country, and the ability to see such amazing geographic marvels and landscapes. All of these national parks only exist because they, like most of this country (only excluding reservations), were stolen from indigenous people as they were forced into small fractions of the land area that they once called home for generations before what is now America was colonized (with a fraction of their people left due to genocide).
Something I'll be doing in addition to my travels is researching and donating to organizations tied to indigenous people and the land I'll be traversing, and I highly encourage you to also consider supporting similar organizations when you have the ability to travel to the geographic marvels this country holds. Indigenous people deserve the land that was stolen from them, and monetarily supporting organizations that support them don't even scratch the surface to repay a debt all Americans owe. Reach out if you have any additional suggestions or if you want to continue this conversation.​​​​​​​
Land Acknowledgments
I will be in the homelands of those mentioned below, along with many many others that I will be passing though. I want to offer my gratitude and respect to the Indigenous people and their ancestors whose ecological practices, rich culture, and history made the land what it is.
I make these acknowledgements aware of the continual and ongoing violations of territorial rights, water rights, food access rights, sacred sites, and rights to representation.
Land Acknowledgements are important to partake in the practice of actively resisting the continual erasure Indigenous people face, and are tools to further connect oneself with the history that is bound to the land in which one travels.
I attempted to list all of the recreation areas I visited or camped at on this trip, but this is a non-exhaustive acknowledgement of all the land I traveled on as a guest.
Acadia National Park
The Wabanaki, or "People of the Dawnland" is a confederacy of four Indian tribes, the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot. The island on which Acadia resides, Mount Desert Island, or Pesamkuk, is and has been central to Wabanaki traditional homelands for thousands of years.
Arches National Park & Canyonlands National Park

Blue Ridge Parkway

Badlands National Park
There are many associated tribes to the land on which Badlands National Park resides. These associated tribes include the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Blackfeet Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Crow Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Northern Arapaho Tribe, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe/Oglala Lagota Nation, Omaha Tribe, Ponca Tribe, Roseebud Sioux Tribe, Santee Sioux Tribe, Sisseton-Whapeton Oyate, Southern Cheyenne and Eastern Arapaho Tribes, Spirit Lake Dakota Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Tribes, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, and the Yankton Sioux Tribe. The southern unit of the park is on Tribal Trust land, and is held for the use and benefit of the Oglala Lagota Nation. The Pine Ridge Reservation of the Oglala Lagota Nation is located to the south of the park. The land is covered by the Memorandum of Agreement (between the park and Oglala Lakota Nation), Ft. Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868 (between the US Government and the Sioux and Arapaho Nations).
Bitterroot National Forest

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The historic residents of the Cuyahoga Valley, the Whittelsey villagers, had disappeared from the region, presumably before European settlement. The region became a temporary residence for various Indigenous peoples of the area, including the Lenape and Seneca Nations, as they were forcibly removed from their homelands. 
Glacier National Park
The land that contains Glacier National Park was once home to the Blackfeet Nation, which is made up of the Piegan, Kainah, and Siksika peoples, before it was signed away in an agreement that was understood by the Blackfeet to be a lease, but was written by the government as a land cession. The Blackfeet Indian Reservation is located adjacent to the northeast corner of the park. The land is covered by the 1855 Blackfeet Treaty and 1895 Agreement.
Grand Canyon National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Rio Grande National Forest

Hot Springs National Park

Joshua Tree National Park
The Yuhaviatam/ Maarenga’yam or "Serrano", Cahuilla, Mojave, and Chemehuevi peoples inhabited the land now known as Joshua Tree National Park before the arrival of Europeans. Portions of the Mojave and Chemeheuvi tribes, along with the Hopi and Navajo tribes make up the Colorado River Reservation approximately fifty miles east of the national park.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is the only cultural national park and it was created around the archaeological sites of the Ancestral Pueblos. Over 300 groups could trace their heritage back to the Ancestral Pueblos prior to the introduction of the Spanish conquistadors, but only 26 groups exist today. The Taos Pueblo, Picuris Pueblo, Sandia Pueblo, Isleta Pueblo, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Santa Clara Pueblo, San Illdefonso Pueblo, Nambé Pueblo, Tesuque Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo, Cochiti Pueblo, Pojoaque Pueblo, Kewa Pueblo (Santo Dominigo), San Felipe Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, Zia Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, Zuni Pueblo, Jicarilla Apache Tribe, Hopi Tribe, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Southern Ute Tribe, Northern Ute Tribe, Navajo Nation, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe peoples all trace back their history to this land. The acts of preserving and restoring these sites for educational purposes instead of letting nature take course in itself does not respect the wishes of some of these groups.

Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle was also created around an archaeological site that has connections to many modern groups that still exist today. The Sinagua that inhabited this area during the time of the cliff dwellings's descendents include the Hopi Tribe, Zuni Pueblo, Wipukpaia (Northeastern Yavapi), Dil zhé 'é (Tonto Apache). The name "Montezuma Castle" was created by white settlers and archaologists and the site goes by other names given by indigenous people. The Hopi know the site as both Sakaytaka, the "place where the step ladders are going up," and Wupat' pela, the "long, high walls." The term Sinagua is another term that was never used by the people who actually lived in the area.

New River Gorge National Park

Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara lies within the territory of the Seneca Nation, a member of the Haudenosaunee or "People of the Long House", or Six Nations Confederacy. As the oldest and longest-lasting democracy, the confederacy is made up of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and  Tuscarora peoples. The land is covered by the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua (between the US Government and Six Nations Confederacy) and the Dish with One Spoon Treaty of Peace and Friendship (between the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee nations as part of the Great Peace of Montreal).
North Cascades National Park
The North Cascades National Park lies on the land that once was home to the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Samish Indian Nation, Nooksack Tribe, Lummi Nation, Stó:lō Nation, Nlaka’pamux Nation, Colville Confederated Tribes, and Syilx/Okanagan Nation. The land was taken in the Treaty of Point Elliott (between the US Government and members of the Duwamish, Suqamish, Snoqualmie, Snohomish, Lummi, Skagit, Swinomish tribes and nations) and Treaty with the Yakima (between the US Government and members of the Yakama Palouis, Pisquouse, Wenatchsahpam, Klikatat, Klingquit, Kow-was-say-ee, Li-was, Skin-pha, Wish-ham, Shyiks, Ocehchotes, Ka-milt-pha, and Se-ap-Cat confederate tribes and bands. Many tribes did not sign these treaties, but were still forced off the land.

Redwood Forest National Park
Yellowstone National Park
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