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Indians in Yellowstone National Park

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Copyright: 2002
Trim: 6 x 9
Pages: 152 pp.
Illustrations: 35 figures, 1 map


Indians in Yellowstone National Park

Revised Edition

Joel Janetski

American Indian / Western History / Archaeology

The vast, pine-covered plateau now known as Yellowstone National Park has been lived in, traveled through, and exploited by humans for thousands of years. It is still possible to see the remnants of old camps and deep-rutted trails over which ancient peoples crossed the Park to reach the bison-rich plains.

When did humans first visit the area we now call Yellowstone?
Who lived there when the first Europeans entered the region?
What happened to the last of the early inhabitants?
How did the Nez Perce, fleeing across the northen of the newly established Park in 1877, escape U.S. troops?
How did Indians perceive the Park's geysers and hot springs?

These and other questions are answered in this popular history of the Park written by a professional archaeologist who is also a seasonal resident of West Yellowstone. Joel Janetski reconstructs past human events from archaeological evidence and historical sources to provide an engrossing story of the people who knew the area hundreds, even thousands, of years ago and who left their traces amidst the grandeur that is today's Yellowstone National Park.

Joel C. Janetski is professor of anthropology and director of the Museum of Peoples and Cultures at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Table of Contents:

1. The Land
2. Precontact History of Yellowstone
3. Historic Native Americans in Yellowstone
4. The Sheepeaters
5. The Nez Perce War
6. The Bannock War
7. The Bannock Trail
8. Indians and Yellowstone Geysers
9. The Jackson Hole War
10. Indians and Yellowstone in the Twentieth Century


Praise and Reviews:

"Joel Janetski’s new edition of The Indians of Yellowstone Park is an important and timely addition to the popular literature of the Park."
—Kenneth P. Cannon, National Park Service, Midwest Archaeological Center

"As of this writing, hundreds—maybe thousands—of Americans are standing at airline ticket gates to fly to overseas destinations, subjecting themselves to hefty price increases because of dollar devaluation. Ask them if they've ever visited Yellowstone Park, and most shake their heads 'no.' Take their names and send them a copy of Janetski's book, not simply because it shows the historical role of Indians the Park but also its collective wonders. Brigham Young University professor of anthropology Janetski examines such matters as the first human visitors to what we now know as the Park and what happened to them, how the Nez Perce escaped U.S. troops in the Park in 1877, and how Indians perceived the Park's geysers and hot springs. As one whose son worked as a chef in Yellowstone Park for seven years, I can recommend this book for reasons that may not occur to many of us. Following a massive forest fire in the Park, I was astounded to find fallen trees by the thousand lying like random matchsticks in the forest. It made sense only when I realized that it reflected nature's own rhythms and that manmade instincts to tidy it up were, at best, artificial."

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