First day in National Parks

Sun 18 Jun 2017 22:54

Mountains of black cinder fill the landscape with Ponderosa Pines growing on the black lava. We are walking in 100F plus temperatures while viewing snow-capped mountains. The 'America the Beautiful' annual pass is a steal at $80 and takes seconds to buy.

The Wupatki National Monument is a great example of an Indian Pueblo. The Indians had lived here for centuries until the US decided to create a National Park. “At no time have the Navajo who grazed within the monument had any legal title to the the absence of appropriate legislation these lands could not be surrendered to the Peshlakai family. We believe such legislation would not be in the public interest” - National Park Service correspondence to Senator Fannin 1970.

“I still want to live where we once lived. I also want to be compensated for my loss, being made to move out. I never consented to the establishment of the Park.” Elsie Tahonnie, 2002. “I fill my mind with where we will live, how I will take care of the sheep, what we are going to eat” Katherine Peshlakai 1995, ordered to leave Wupatki by he National Park Service with her children because she divorced her husband.

Neither of us had realised how recent the seizures of land from the Indians were.