Mount Rushmore National Memorial Superintendent Speaks about Modern Indian Identity

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Date: September 8, 2008
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

Superintendent Gerard Baker of Mount Rushmore National Memorial will speak at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Auditorium in Rocky Mountain National Park on Thursday, September 18, 2008. The talk will start at 7:00 pm and is open and free to the public. It is the second Randy Jones Memorial Lecture, jointly sponsored by the University of Colorado’s Center of the American West and the National Park Service.

Superintendent Baker will deliver an address about Modern Indian Identity. Dr. Baker is a full-blood member of the Mandan-Hidatsa Tribe of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, Mandaree, North Dakota. He grew up on the reservation on his father’s cattle ranch in western North Dakota.

Dr. Baker began his National Park Service career in 1979 at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in North Dakota. He served as the Historian at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site for 2 years before assuming the North Unit District Ranger job at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. In 1990, Mr. Baker transferred to the U.S. Forest Service as Assistant District Ranger for the Little Missouri National Grasslands in North Dakota. He spent the following year as Assistant District Ranger for the Beartooth District in Red Lodge, Montana, and Acting District Ranger on the Ashland District, Montana, before returning to the National Park Service as Superintendent of Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana. In 1997, Mr. Baker received the NPS Intermountain Regional Director's Award for Cultural Resource Management and a team-performance award for his work with the Indian Memorial at Little Bighorn Battlefield. In 1998, he became Superintendent of Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma, and received the U.S. Department of the Interior's Superior Service Award.

 As Superintendent of Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail from September 1, 2000, to June 1, 2004, he was responsible for trail management and the traveling exhibit “Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future.” He worked with approximately 58 American Indian Tribes and 19 trail States from Monticello, Virginia, to Fort Clatsop, Oregon. The Corps of Discovery II exhibit follows the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The Corps II journey began January 14, 2003, at Monticello, progressed to the West Coast and concluded in St. Louis in the fall of 2006.

The Center of the American West takes as its mission the creation of forums for the respectful exchange of ideas and perspectives in the pursuit of solutions to the region's difficulties. The lecture series honors past park superintendent Randy Jones, who had a reputation for negotiation and mediation. Randy’s long and distinguished career with the federal government spanned over 30 years, primarily with the National Park Service. From 2002 until spring of 2005, Randy held the position of Deputy Director, the highest position for a career employee within the National Park Service, at the agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. Randy’s diverse career consisted of a number of complex and prestigious assignments including Superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park. Randy was among the leaders of the Natural Resource Challenge initiative for the National Park Service and was instrumental in increasing federal spending on natural resource management in the parks.

For more information please contact the park information office at (970) 586-1206

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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