Dispossessing the Wilderness Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/2/2000
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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National parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier preserve some of this country's most cherished wilderness landscapes. While visions of pristine, uninhabited nature led to the creation of these parks, they also inspired policies of Indian removal. By contrasting the native histories ofthese places with the links between Indian policy developments and preservationist efforts, this work examines the complex origins of the national parks and the troubling consequences of the American wilderness ideal. The first study to place national park history within the context of the earlyreservation era, it details the ways that national parks developed into one of the most important arenas of contention between native peoples and non-Indians in the twentieth century.

Author Biography

Mark David Spence is Assistant Professor of History at Knox College, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Introduction From Common Ground
Looking Backward and Westward: The ``Indian Wilderness'' in the Antebellum Era
The Wild West, or Toward Separate Islands
Before the Wilderness: Native Peoples and Yellowstone
First Wilderness: America's Wonderland and Indian Removal from Yellowstone National Park
Backbone of the World: The Blackfeet and the Glacier National Park Area
Crowning the Continent: The American Wilderness Ideal and Blackfeet Exclusion from Glacier National Park
The Heart of the Sierras, 1864-1916
Yosemite Indians and the National Park Ideal, 1916-1969
Conclusion Exceptions and the Rule 133(8)
Notes 141(40)
Index 181

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