African American communities have extensive historical and contemporary cultural connections with many parks throughout the United States. Ethnographers and archeologists have highlighted the continuity of the many stories behind these connections. Visit National Parks Associated with African Americans: An Ethnographic Perspective. Also visit Fazendeville.
Native groups have ties to parks throughout the nation. A park can be in the original homeland of a tribe forcibly resettled in the 19th century; in such cases ethnographers may help repatriate objects in the museum collections. In still others, the Indians may still reside near—and sometimes in—the Parks, and are among the traditional users of resources there.
The neighbors of Louisiana's Cane River Creole National Historical Park—descendants of plantation owners, laborers, sharecroppers, and slaves—may diverge on how the park should interpret the lives and histories of their ancestors. The gardeners around urban national parks in the eastern United States may have needs at odds with the purposes of a national park. Ethnographers help mediate among the concerns of such groups, which can include all those with long-standing links to a park.
Traditional Park Users
Alaskan natives…Pacific Islanders…Hispanic Americans…Asian Americans…African Americans…These and other groups sometimes identify with landscapes or other resources in a park, and their identity as a people may be intertwined with these resources. As stakeholders, their use of the park may be tied to knowledge related to religion, traditional healing practices, sense of history and heritage, or subsistence activities. Often they live nearby, but not always.