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Contact: Neal Bedlan, 402-661-1816(Omaha, Nebraska) Western National Parks Association, a nonprofit education partner of the National Park Service, has been working to connect new generations to parks in meaningful ways since 1938. They are committed to helping parks tell the story of America in today's fast-paced, ever-changing world through new knowledge, new understanding, and new ways to engage with society.
For over 30 years, Western National Parks Association (WNPA) has recognized excellence in service to our national parks during their annual Board Reception and Award Ceremony in Tucson, Arizona. Last month, on November 19, two employees of Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail were presented with the Stewart L Udall Award.
Richard Basch, American Indian Liaison, and Jill Hamilton-Anderson, Education Specialist were recognized for their work and leadership in the creation of Honoring Tribal Legacies: An Epic Journey of Healing in collaboration with the University of Oregon. A comprehensive suite of resources that includes a two-volume set of guidance publications and demonstration teachings were developed with the purpose of opening up an intellectual inquiry that will challenge teachers to rethink how they teach Lewis and Cark.
Honoring Tribal Legacies invites educators to learn and explore how to integrate the American Indian role and offer a more balanced perspective of American history before, during, and after the Lewis and Clark expedition in a way that honors tribes at all grade levels and in multiple subject areas.
"This project would not have been possible without the leadership, humility and sincerity of both Jill and Richard," commented Superintendent Mark Weekley. "We are humbled to share Honoring Tribal Legacies with formal and informal educators across the country."
The WNPA Steward L Udall honors those who work to boost park interpretation programs, carry the park message to popular audiences, or rally broad public support for parks. Udall awardees may include authors, poets, artists, photographers, writers, publishers, and others who are inspirational conservationists. The Udall Award was named for the noted conservationist, Secretary of the Interior (1961-1969), and former WNPA board member (1984-1994). Past recipients include:
· Nevada Barr (2013) is the author known for the Anna Pigeon series of mystery novels set in US National Parks.
· Shelton Johnson (2013) is a National Park Service ranger assigned to Yosemite National Park and appeared in the Ken Burns documentary series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea."
· Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor (2014) is a retired Supreme Court Justice (1981-2006,) noted conservationist, and member of the Second Century Commission, which laid plans for advancing the National Park idea into the next 100 years.