Gem State Roundup

Yellowstone announces series of tribal activities to celebrate national park’s 150th anniversary 

By: - August 22, 2022 4:05 am
Yellowstone National Park

Most of Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming, but small portions extend into Idaho and Montana. (Clark Corbin/Idaho Capital Sun)

Yellowstone National Park officials and Native American tribes are teaming up to offer a series of tribal activities and events that celebrate the national park’s 150th anniversary and the upcoming anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.

The events, which are open to the public, run through Aug. 28 in Yellowstone National Park and include works of art, tribal gatherings, storytelling events and interpretive hikes.

Native American people lived, hunted, fished and used geothermal waters for religious and medicinal purposes for more than 10,000 years before Yellowstone National Park was established. Now, there are 27 associated Native American tribes that have historic and modern connections to the land and resources from Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park officials said they are offering the events to allow the public to join and learn about the historic and ongoing presence of Native American tribes in the park. 

Events include:

  • “Revisiting Cultural Landscapes Through Stories,” by Dean Nicolai of the Bitterroot Salish Tribe and Tim Ryan of the Salish Tribe, from Aug. 23 through Aug. 27. Each day, a representative will lead interpretive hikes and demonstrations at Yellowstone landmarks such as Sheepeater Cliffs, Storm Point and Obsidian Cliff. Reservations are required, and there appears to be a waiting list to sign up for the events. 
  • “Lighted Teepees: Resiliency of the People,” by the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council and Pretty Shield Foundation. Seven teepees will be installed and illuminated each night at sunset near the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, Montana, through Aug. 28.
  • “All Nations Teepee Village,” from Aug. 23 through Aug. 27. During the event, 13 teepee lodges and 15 teepee rings will be installed at Madison Junction in Yellowstone National Park to symbolize inclusion and representation of the Native American tribes. Between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day, cultural ambassadors will share knowledge with park visitors. At 5 p.m. each day, Native American singers and performers will be featured. 
  • “REMATRIATE,” by Patti Baldes of the Northern Arapaho/North Paiute, Aug. 24 at Madison Junction and at Old Faithful. “REMATRIATE” is an artwork showcasing seven moving buffalo sculptures that will debut at sunset with dancers and drummers bringing the buffalo to life to highlight land rematriation through buffalo restoration. 
  • Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Gathering, all day on Aug. 25. Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly and Tribal Council members will speak in the morning, while tribal members will performance dances and offer presentations throughout the day. 
  • Storytelling, drumming and demonstrations, Aug. 25 through Aug. 27 at the Yellowstone Tribal Heritage Center located at Old Faithful. 


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Clark Corbin
Clark Corbin

Clark Corbin has more than a decade of experience covering Idaho government and politics. He has covered every Idaho legislative session since 2011 gavel-to-gavel. Prior to joining the Idaho Capital Sun he reported for the Idaho Falls Post Register and Idaho Education News. His reporting in Idaho has helped uncover a multimillion-dollar investment scam and exposed inaccurate data that school districts submitted to the state.