Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples graphic

The history of America didn’t begin in 1492.

"Native Americans have lived in North America for tens of thousands of years, and their faith practices, legends, and histories are the first human chapters in the stories of America’s national parks...When you learn about Native American religions and traditions, contemplate how they compare and contrast with your own."
—From the introduction to America’s Holy Ground

America’s Holy Ground and America’s Sacred Sites both recognize the eons-long history in North America.

  • Indigenous peoples have long spiritual connections to places like Devils Tower National Monument, Denali National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Haleakalā National Park, Effigy Mounds National Monument and others.
  • Several national monuments in the Southwest, including Mesa Verde National Park, Bandelier National Monument, and Tuzigoot National Monument, preserve the ancient communities of the Ancestral Pueblo people.
  • Other sites like San Antonio Missions National Historic Park, Roger Williams National Monument, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, and Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument tell the story of European imperialism and attempted assimilation of the indigenous people.

Each of these National Park Service units is features in America’s Holy Ground or America’s Sacred Sites. Take a deeper look at America’s history and the places that tell America’s story.