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National Park Service - American Indian consultation

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Title:
National Park Service - American Indian consultation telling an old story through a recent phenomenon
Creator:
Schneider, Shari Anne
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
v, 63 leaves : ; 29 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Indians of North America -- Government relations ( lcsh )
Indians of North America -- Government relations ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 60-63).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Anthropology.
General Note:
Department of Anthropology
Statement of Responsibility:
by Shari Anne Schneider.

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Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
32682338 ( OCLC )
ocm32682338
Classification:
LD1190.L43 1994m .S36 ( lcc )

Full Text
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE-AMERICAN INDIAN CONSULTATION
TELLING AN OLD STORY THROUGH A RECENT PHENOMENON
by
Shari Anne Schneider
B.A., Indiana University, 1991
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Anthropology
1994


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Shari Anne Schneider
has been approved for the
Graduate School
by
Craig Janes
Date


Schneider, Shari Anne (M.A., Anthropology)
National Park Service-American Indian Consultation: Telling an Old Story Through a
Recent Phenomenon
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Kitty King Corbett
ABSTRACT
Under recent federal law, the National Park Service has been mandated to consult with
American Indian tribes on issues related to the management of the natural and cultural
resources in their care. Within the language of this legislation, "consultation" is an
abstract and ambiguous term that readily lends itself to multiple interpretations. What is
legislatively left ambiguous, therefore, is made immediately meaningful through the
application of interpretive schemes derived from the cultural knowledge systems
endemic to the individuals involved in consultation. Consultation is thus a social
situation revealing more than the details and mechanisms characteristic of itself, but
throwing into relief the history of the National Park Service-American Indian
relationship, as well as the nature of their cultures. This thesis will explore evidence for
this argument as well as the means by which consultation is capable of improving the
quality of the National Park Service-American Indian relationship.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its
publication.
iii
Signed


CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION........................................................1
CHAPTER
1. STRUCTURE AND ACTION.......................................5
Introduction.............................................5
Thesis Argument: Theoretical Components..................6
Defining the Problem.................................6
Structuration Theory.................................6
A Four-Stage Developmental Scheme
for Consultation.....................................9
Overview Of Stages..............................9
Chapter Objectives......................................11
2. INTERPRETING CONSULTATION OBJECTIVES......................13
Introduction............................................13
Interpretations of Consultation Objectives..............14
Epistemologies Engaged in Consultation..................18
Conclusion..............................................25
3. INTERPRETING CONSULTATION PROCEDURES......................27
Introduction............................................27
Interpretations of How Consultation Should Take Place...28
Interpretations of Why Consultation Should Take Place...32
Conclusion..............................................37
IV


4. INTERPRETING THE AMERICAN INDIAN COMMUNITY................38
Introduction.............................................38
Interpreting the American Indian Community...............40
Managing and Recognizing American Indian Diversity.......44
Conclusion...............................................48
5. ANALYSIS..................................................49
Introduction.............................................49
The Potential for Social Change Within Consultation......50
The Production of Interaction:
Places for Social Change.................................51
The Constitution of What is Meaningful..............52
The Constitution of Moral Sanctions.................54
The Constitution of Power Relations.................55
Conclusion...............................................58
BIBLIOGRAPHY........................................................60
v


INTRODUCTION
I sensed some discomfort from the Park Service yesterday. They seem to want
to put the best foot forward and say the right things at the right time..! imagine
that if I'm a Park Service person I'm thinking, If we open up honoring the
requests of tribes, will they put in land claims next and get what they can?' But
this is not the end of the world, there's no need for nervousness.
This statement from a tribal cultural director was made in 1992 at the first
consultation meeting ever held between the Rocky Mountain Region of the National
Park Service (NPS) and every tribe culturally affiliated with Mesa Verde National Park.
The Director's comment regarding NPS nervousness in honoring American Indian
requests are indicative of current apprehensions surrounding this recent phenomenon of
National Park Service-American Indian consultation on both sides. This apprehension
is in reference to the tumultuous history of the United States-American Indian
relationship which necessarily serves as a backdrop for National Park Service-
American Indian consultation. But summarily these comments are revealing of the fact
that consultation is a new twist on an old story of United States policy toward American
Indian tribes characteristically laden with confusing intent, self-contradiction, and
ambivalence (Deloria 1985:27). Consultation, therefore, is proceeding with much
caution and nervousness.
For the National Park Service, unlike many other federal agencies, consultation
with American Indian tribes is proceeding fairly smoothly. This is largely due to the
nature of the agency itself, which is in the business of preserving. Natural and cultural
resources important to American Indian communities, versus simply managing lands
1


for public recreational use. Indeed I feel that the NPS is ahead of all other federal
agencies, at least within the Department of the Interior, in taking the initiative to
construct consultation guidelines and to continuously review those guidelines, when
problems emerge, for their cultural appropriateness.
This thesis represents my experiences and interests within this world of NPS-
American Indian consultation. In the course of my two year (off-and-on) Volunteership
with the Cultural Resources Division of the NPS Rocky Mountain Region I witnessed
much about the nature of this cross-cultural event Indeed the data obtained for this
thesis comes from both formal and informal in-depth interviews with tribal cultural
directors, park superintendents and regional staff, as well as participant observation in
two field experiences.
Specifically, my work with the NPS involved the research and design of a
regional consultation directory. For this, my general investigation focused upon the
structure of tribal governments such as their election procedures, current officers
(president, vice president, etc...), and appointed cultural director and/or NAGPRA
contact This task was accomplished through phone calls to representatives of every
tribe in the Rocky Mountain Region. Part of the task I assigned myself in this project
was to ascertain what tribes felt should be included in such a consultation directory. To
this end I interviewed approximately 6-7 tribal cultural directors in the course of this
investigation on issues outside of the directory itself. For example, a question I
commonly posed was, What kind of information would you like to see in this
directory,' and just as commonly the response was accompanied by quite a bit of
context about the current NPS-American Indian relationship, about the problems with
consultation, and the nature of tribal governments in general.
2


My participant observation experiences are primarily derived from two field
excursions: one from a NAGPRA consultation meeting at Mesa Verde National Park in
September of 1992, and the other from a visit to Yellowstone National Park in July of
1994. In the first field experience, I served as the note-taker for that meeting. In the
latter field experience, I was an observer of a cultural resource team's collection of
ethnographic data regarding American Indian presence in the park. My participant
observation experiences also extend specifically to NPS bureaucratic culture, as in the
first year of my volunteer work, I spent a day a week in the cultural resource
management office.
Also under the category of informal data collection is included a plethora of in-
house documents, correspondence and general opinions about this subject- data to
which I had easy access as part of my training. Finally, with regard to the specific
domain of inquiry in this thesis, I conducted three in-depth phone interviews with tribal
cultural directors, and three in-depth interviews with NPS staff.
Consultation's Legislation
There currently exists a handful of powerful laws mandating the NPS to consult
with American Indian tribes regarding the management of its natural and cultural
resource management to tribes. Below I have summarized the most important of these
(Ruppert 1992:2-5):
American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA1 of 1978. (amendments pending!
AIRFA recognizes that the constitutionally guaranteed right of all U.S. citizens
to practice their religion also includes American Indians. This law directed federal
3


agencies to review their policies to determine if changes were necessary to protect
American Indian religious freedoms. The Park Service, in response, developed an
AIRFA Task Force which directed the agency to assess American Indian traditional
religious uses and practices related to park resources. A 1989 bill to amend the AIRFA
with more rigorous consultation requirements is currently pending.
National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA1 of 1966. as amended
The law requires American Indian participation when a proposed project affects Indian
lands or properties of historic value to an Indian tribe on non-Indian lands. Section 106
of this act requires federal agencies to review federally funded projects for their affect
on cultural properties. The Park Service, in response, conducts ethnographic research
to determine the effect of such projects, as well as consultation with tribes regarding
their review of the proposed undertaking.
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA1
NAGPRA requires federal agencies and museums receiving federal funds to inventory
their collections and reach agreements, via consultation, with American Indian tribes on
their repatriation. The Park Service, in response, currently has a headquarters and
corresponding regional office NAGPRA Task Forces to provide technical assistance to
park managers in their consultation with tribes.
4


CHAPTER 1
STRUCTURE AND ACTION
Introduction
Its a pretty old story of government invasion, of cultural invasion...Its a pretty
old story- its got a new name, and is applied in a new way but its a pretty old
and familiar story for many tribes who have had a pretty...a fairly constant diet
of people coming in, outside experts interpreting our language our history our
culture...writing books, making assumptions....just not having a sense that
what belongs to us really belongs to us in terms of our language and history and
culture.
Under recent federal law, the National Park Service has been mandated to
consult with American Indian tribes on issues related to the management of the natural
and cultural resources in their care. Within the language of this legislation,
"consultation" is an abstract and ambiguous term that readily lends itself to multiple
interpretations. What is legislatively left ambiguous, therefore, is made immediately
meaningful through the application of interpretive schemes derived from the cultural
knowledge systems endemic to the individuals involved in consultation. Consultation is
thus a social situation revealing more than the details and mechanisms characteristic of
itself, but throwing into relief the history of National Park Service and American Indian
relationship, as well as the nature of their cultures. This thesis explores evidence for
this argument as well as the means by which consultation is capable of improving the
quality of the National Park Service-American Indian relationship.
5


Thesis Argument: Theoretical Components
Defining the Problem
Consultation between the National Park Service and American Indian tribes is
understood to be a cross-cultural phenomenon, and its problems as attributable to that
fact- that through consultation, two cultures try to communicate with and understand
each other. If we assume that "cross-cultural" is indeed the context for consultation, i
and that cultural difference are the basis of consultation's problems, we must still ask
why this is so. What is it about these cultures that makes their encounter, even in an
event as transient as consultation, so problematic? It is a central argument of this thesis
that consultation is cross-cultural because in consultation the cultural traditions of its
participants are actively engaged in the formation of interpretive schemes to make sense
of it The problems of consultation, therefore, cannot be attributed simply to the
immediate facts of the conflict of cultures, but rather must be traced to the fact that the
interpretive schemes employed in consultation are endemic and exclusive to the cultural
traditions of those involved. In short, within consultation there is no intersubjective
accomplishment of a mutual reality. Instead there exists only culturally-specific and in
general, disparate interpretations of what is meaningful.
Structuration Theory
My explanation of what is happening in National Park Service-American Indian
consultation is derived from the tenets of Anthony Giddens's structuration theory,
which in basic terms is a theory that seeks to define the relationship between structure
and action within social systems. Giddens's theory of structuration is derived from
certain theoretical traditions within the social sciences. Giddens's concerns for structure
6


(as constraint) and for action (as meaning and subjectivity) are concerns founded in the
tenets of structuralist thought and interpretive sociologies, respectively (Giddens 1993
[1984]: 88-90).
With structuration theory Giddens has juxtaposed concepts endemic to
structuralism in the Levi-Strauss tradition, and interpretive sociologies in the traditions
of Freud and Schutz (Giddens 1993 [1984]: 88-91). Specifically, Giddens invokes the
former's attention to structure and constraint, to the social whole over individual parts,
and the latter's attention to action and meaning, to the subject of action. The domain of
inquiry in structuration theory therefore, does not exclusively rest upon the existence of
any form of social totality, nor on the existence of the individual actor. The central
argument of this theory is that human beings are purposeful agents of action with
motive, reason and intent but their actions cannot be extricated from the context of
social practices ordered across space and time (Giddens 1993 [1984]: 88-90). Social
practices, or social systems as Giddens sometimes refers to them, are not brought into
being by actors but continually recreated by them via the very means whereby they
express themselves, as actors (Giddens 1993 [1984]: 89). Giddens proposes that in
and through their activities, actors reproduce the structural conditions that make these
activities possible (Giddens 1993 [1984]: 89). Furthermore, "structure" is deemed a
medium of communication in interaction involving the use of interpretive schemes to
make sense of the world, where 'sense' is an intersubjective accomplishment of mutual
understanding in an ongoing exchange (Giddens [1993] 1976:104).
7


The specific concept I seek to engage from structuration theory is that of the
concept of the "duality of structure:"
The concept of structuration involves that of the duality of structure, which
relates to tint fundamentally recursive character of social life, and expresses the
mutual dependence of structure and agency. By duality of structure I mean that
the structural properties of social systems are both the medium and the outcome
of the practices that constitute those systems...the same structural characteristics
participate in die subject (the actor) as in the object (society)...[and that] every
process of action is a production of something new, a fresh act; but at the same
time all action exists in continuity with the past (Giddens [1993]1981:122-123).
From the concept of the duality of structure I draw the general proposition that
every interpretation of consultation is something new, "a fresh act" but at the same all
such acts exist "in continuity with the cultural traditions from which those
interpretations are derived.
My thesis follows the distinct levels of analysis engendered by structuration
theory, which Giddens outlines as thus:
[S]ocial practices may be studied, first, from the point of view of their
constitution as a series of acts, 'brought off by actors; second, as constituting
forms of interaction, involving the communication of meaning; and third, as
constituting structures which pertain to 'collectives' or 'social communities.'
(Giddens 1993 [1984]:102)
Specifically, I will study acts of interpreting "proper" consultation objectives,
processes, and the American Indian community; consultation as a form of interaction in
which the meanings of these interpretations are communicated; and consultation as
comprising a structure that makes reference to the larger social practice of National Park
Service-American Indian relations.
8


A Four-Stage Developmental Scheme for Consultation
In presenting consultation as a form of interaction and as comprising a structure
that makes reference to the larger social practice of National Park Service-American
Indian relations, I have devised a four-stage evolutionary scheme for consultation. The
purpose of this scheme is two-fold: to help explain the emergence and development of
consultation within this larger social practice of National Park Service-American Indian
relations; and to enhance Giddens's concept of where the potential for social system
change lies.
Ultimately this four-stage evolutionary scheme pinpoints how changes in
consultation via its movement from one stage onto the next, can result in changes in
NPS-Anierican Indian relations, and where, albeit in small degree, such changes have
already occurred. Another purpose in presenting this four-stage evolutionary scheme
here to get us at the outset to think about both the internal structure of consultation and
its external situation in larger, social processes.
Qygreiew of Stages
Stage 1: The Creation of a Structural Space for Consultation to Occur: This
stage has already been reached and surpassed in the technical sense that NPS is now
mandated to consult with American Indian tribes with the recent passage of certain
legislation. My definition of a "structural space" implies both institutional and historical
features. That is, in reaching this stage the National Park Service first acknowledgment
that they were historically positioned in such a way as to necessitate addressing certain
(NPS-relevant) American Indian concerns; and second, in reaching this stage the NPS
9


acknowledged that they were institutionally positioned in such a way that they could
establish a formal (institutionally legitimate) manner of addressing those concerns. We
will see that these acknowledgments, which served to create a structural space for
consultation to occur, were not exclusive to the NPS but were in fact government wide.
We will also see that they were the result of larger historical processes, specifically
trends in American Indian Policy and changes in the US government's relationship with
"ethnic groups" in general.
The reader may have noticed that in my defining historical and institutional
structural spaces, I have omitted a discussion of corresponding social element The
reasons for this is that because this thesis draws a distinction between the interactional
and the structural, I have opted to take care of this in stages 2 and 3. On the whole
paying specific attention to the institutional and historical facets of structure is arbitrary,
but one I have indentified as important through participant observation and interview
experiences.
Stage 2: Formulating and Applying Interpretations to Consultation: This stage is
characterized by individual actors making sense of the consultation event in an
interactional context through their formulation and application of subjective but
culturally-informed interpretative schemes. This stage marks the current state of NPS-
American Indian consultation. Furthermore, the problems of consultation, as we've
already said, are a result of the disparity that lies in these interpretations so employed.
10


Stage 3: The Creation of Junctions of Mutual Realities: This stage is
characterized by the emergence of new, mutually constructed realities of the actors'
creation. What I call "junctions" emphasizes the plurality of these mutual realities, as
they are of individual (actor) scale understandings between individuals and not of
the aggregate cross-cultural understandings. It is the aggregate or systemic change that
is needed to move consultation onto the next level and change National Park Service-
American Indian relations. In the Analysis chapter, we will see that this stage has been
reached on occasion.
Stage 4: Creating a Structural Space in which a New, Mutual Reality of
Consultation can be Sustained: This involves historically situating and structurally
legitimizing a new mutual reality cross-culturally. It is this creation of a structural space
for a new reality that is what I identify to be social change, and if this new reality is
mutual, I deem this "positive" social change: social change that is a mutual construction
of reality versus the reality of one culture imposed upon that of another. It is this stage,
which has not yet been realized, that comprises the focus of my recommendations.
Chapter Objectives
My specific purposes in exploring interpretations of proper objectives,
processes, as well as NPS interpretations of the American Indian community itself are
to show exactly how individuals draw upon their own cultural knowledge systems to
make sense of the world of consultation. By "objectives," I mean the goals or
aspirations that each person brings to the consultation event, representative of what
their agency or tribe feels should be accomplished through consultation. By
11


"processes" I mean the channels passively navigated or proactively employed to meet
these objectives. By "definitions of the American Indian community" I mean the
variable ways in which the NPS defines the American Indian community according to
the objectives they seek to fulfill. The next three chapters engage specific examples of
such interpretations as well as a discussion of the ways in which actors draw upon their
own cultural traditions to formulate those interpretations.
12


CHAPTER 2
INTERPRETING CONSULTATION OBJECTIVES
Introduction
[The National Park Service] thus established shall promote and regulate
the use of Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and
reservations ...by such means and measures as conform to the
fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments and reservations,
which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic
objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the
same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired
for the enjoyment of future generations (U.S. Department of the Interior
1993:6).
For tens of centuries, Indians throughout the country worshipped and subsisted
on lands that are now included within national parks, and today some of those
tribes want to restore rights to more actively use the sites for religious and other
purposes...For the Indians, regaining use of parklands concerns more than
policy or economics. It is a matter of maintaining a culture that has been assailed
relentlessly for the past three centuries. Tribal elders say that religion cannot
exist without access to sacred homelands, such as those contained within parks,
and without religion, native rituals and languages will not survive into the next
century (Wilkenson 1993:31-32).
The proper management of National Park Service lands is, in the broadest
sense, the primary objective of consultation for both the NPS and American Indian
tribes, but diverse subjective interpretations of what constitutes "proper management"
permeate the consultation event This disparity has as its source not only differences in
culturally-defined concepts of "resources" as well as their "preservation" and "use,"
but also culturally-specific epistemologies regarding humanity's proper relationship
with the world. My purpose in this chapter is to ascertain how these subjective
13


interpretations exist in continuity with the cultural knowledge systems of those involved
in consultation.
Interpretations of Consultation Objectives
With the Wilson Administration's passage of the 1916 Organic Act, the
National Park Service was established with the primary objective of promoting,
regulating and preserving America's natural (animal, plant or mineral) and cultural
(historic or prehistoric) resources, as those resources are contained within park lands.
In their relationship with American Indian tribes, the NPS is concerned with
promoting, regulating and preserving "ethnographic resources," which are defined as,
"any natural resource, cultural resource, landscape or natural feature linked by an ethnic
community to the traditional practices, values, beliefs, history and/or ethnic identity of
that community" (Ruppert 1992:1). Park Service objectives in consultation therefore,
involve the preservation and regulation of ethnographic resources on behalf of
American Indians, who are considered one such "ethnic group" culturally "linked" to
park resources.
But notions of "preservation" and "regulation" in the sense used by the NPS
do not represent proper resource management objectives for American Indian tribes.
With regard to "preservation," tribes are generally not interested in preserving resources
in situ for the future enjoyment of the public. Instead, tribes are interested in
"preserving" their culture as it exists in the present, something that is accomplished by
taking care of their past As Patricia Parker, an NPS Headquarters Staff Person stated
in her recent article, resources important to American Indian tribes, "[are] significant
now in the present It is the continuity of their significance in contemporary traditions
14


that is important, and that makes them significant in the past and present
simultaneously" (Parker 1993:4).
Indeed, with the recent passage of the NAGPRA, many involved in resource
management and curation have begun to re-think the cultural appropriateness of
applying Western concepts of preservation to describe the proper care of resources
important to tribes. For example, Rick Hill, director of public programs for the
Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, calls for a new
approach to preservation, one that goes beyond the old concept of holding objects in the
name of the public. Instead, Hill sees the reconnection of objects to American Indian
communities as an essential step in cultural preservation for tribes (Hill 1993:9). Hill
has witnessed profound impacts realized by the repatriation of sacred objects to the
American Indian communities to which they belong. Such impacts include the
restoration of community knowledge of scared traditions and spiritual teachings
associated with the objects, a renewed sense of community pride and power, as well as
tangible confirmation for the younger generations that the stories of their elders are true
(Hill 1993:10).
I would argue that the same affinity American Indian tribes hold for repatriated
sacred objects is held for the equally sacred ethnographic resources contained within
park lands. What is different about most park resources, however is that they cannot be
returned, but must be "accessed." Access to park resources could be considered the
American Indian counterpart to the NPS term "regulation," which connotes resource
preservation through limited use. Access to park resources is an important element of
proper resource management for American Indian tribes because, as with sacred objects
held by museums, tribes are seeking to use park resources now, for the present
15


preservation of their cultures. In terms of their relationship with the NPS then, the
cultural function to be served by ethnographic resources for American Indian tribes, is
their use.
Notice how the differences in NPS notions of protecting resources by
regulating their use and American Indian notions of accessing resources to preserve
their resources and thereby their cultures contrast in the following exchange: (not
verbatim)
NAGPRA Meeting
Mesa Verde National Park
September 1992
Tribal Governor:
Being Native American we tend to be pushed aside by some of the people who
come into the park. The Park Service says they are going to protect our
religious sites. They say they will protect us when we go in there to do religious
activities. How will you protect me? The Park Service says, "Let us know
when you go, two or three days in advance." I don't have a plan. I want to go
when I want to go. If you have a date somebody, the public or the Park
Service, is going to be looking over my shoulder. There is no way the Park
Service is going to protect me in doing what I want to do.
NPS Regional Office Staff Person:
That's a tough one. Confidentiality and privacy are important issues to discuss
and we need to talk about that. I don't have any answers right now.
Tribal Cultural Preservation Officer
(Gave an example from his experience that was like the Tribal Governor's
example. He said to the Governor,) Maybe I cant tell them the exact time I'm
going to be coming into the park, but I notify them about the day I'm coming
and they let me in. Maybe that's how you can work something out with the
Park Service...It's best that you have some kind of communication with the
Park Service and others.
Tribal Governor
Some of us puebloan Indians do not allow notifying the public of such things.
Some of you[r Tribe] show the public what you do. It makes me wonder if
anyone's around to see what you're doing. We don't do that We sit there and
wait while we let people go by before we pray.
NPS Regional Office Staff Person:
16


What we're talking about here is access. We want this information so we can
aid you in your privacy.
For the NPS any notion of accessing resources must not conflict with their
primary objective of resource preservation as we have defined it- maintaining the
physical integrity of ethnographic resources to ensure their future enjoyment by the
public. That is, the use of ethnographic resources must not interfere with and should
ideally reinforce resource preservation. As one regional office staff person pointed out
t
to me, the inherent conflict in this objective is not only a problem illuminated in their
consultation with tribes, but is a fundamental contradiction with their mission statement:
to simultaneously preserve resources yet allow for their use through recreation and
enjoyment This conflict as manifest in NPS management practices is an NPS need to
know about so that it can regulate resource use. Within the context of NPS-American
Indian consultation, this need to know is expressed by the notion of "aiding" American
Indians in their "private" use of resources. Such efforts to aid American Indians have
resulted in NPS staff (at least in this Region) actually accompanying American Indians
as they use park resources for religious and other purposes and indeed such cases are
referenced in the Acoma Governor's statements above by his frustrations in instances
when he has notified park staff of his intentions to use park resources for religious
purposes.
Analyses of conflicting interpretations of proper resource management as
illustrated above, necessarily engages the question of for whom park resources are
being preserved and regulated. I have already stated that the NPS seeks the preservation
and regulation of a specific type of resource the ethnographic resource when it
comes to fulfilling their responsibilities to American Indian tribes. But an ethnographic
17


resource, in reality, does not connote a particular type of park resource, for all
ethnographic resources are park resources. Rather "ethnographic resources" is simply a
label for a particular type of cultural affiliation with a park resource- its affiliation with
one or more ethnic groups. In short, park ethnographic resources are preserved and
maintained for more than just the ethnic group with whom they are affiliated. An
understanding of how the same park resources can have multiple meanings is critical to
our understanding of how NPS and American Indian cultural knowledge systems are
engaged in the consultation event.
Epistemologies Engaged in Consultation
Our understanding of nature and of human relationships with the environment
are really cultural expressions that we use to define who we were, who we
are, and who we hope to be at this place and in this space. Symbolic
landscapes are the reflection of these cultural identities, which are about us,
rather than the natural environment (Greider 1993:1).
The notion presented above of multiple symbolic landscapes helps us
understand how the same park resources can have multiple meanings. Essentially what
this means is that with the concept of ethnographic resources the NPS is allowing a
multiplicity of subjective "landscapes" of meaning to exist for the same ethnographic
resources. In terms of management practices this means that the preservation and
regulation of one group's culturally important resources cannot eclipse that of another,
because ultimately, while the resources don't belong to any one public, they do belong
to the public, in the broadest sense of that term. The establishment of the concept of an
"ethnographic resource" therefore is a symbolic construct implemented and employed
by the NPS to allow for a plurality of multiple interpretation of the natural environment
18


However, the NPS creation of the concept of ethnographic resources should not be
taken to mean that American Indian interests in park resources started with its
establishment Rather the concept of ethnographic resources officially legitimized the
existence of American Indian traditions as "linked" with the natural environments- their
sacred homelands- contained by "park lands."
Despite the fact that they have devised this particular concept of ethnographic
resources, the NPS does in fact seek a consistent set of culturally-defined consultation
objectives with regard to the care of all park resources. One of the cultures for whom
park resources are preserved and regulated is their own NPS bureaucratic culture. But
ironically the Park Service sometimes forgets its own cultural investments in park
resources, I propose that the overarching reason for this can be drawn from findings,
most recendy by Kennedy (1988), that natural resource managers in the U.S. Forest
Service tended to recognize only their "objective," means-end oriented interests in
resource management and often failed to recognize their emotionally-rich and complex
investments of meaning in such resource management practices and symbols as
"protecting rare and endangered wildlife," "controlled burning of [forest] clearcuts," as
well as "initiation rituals for new recruits" (Kennedy 1988:242). Kennedy for one
attributes this practice to park managers' academic and occupational training which has
told them that such emotive meanings are endemic to "primitive cultures" or to the
general public (Kennedy 1988:242-245).
I propose that in like manner to the USFS that NPS resource managers often
neglect their explicit emotional investments in park resources, particularly ethnographic
resources where the focus by definition is on the cultural investments of ethnic groups
and how these come into play in consultation. As suggested earlier, NPS notions of
19


"preservation" and "regulation" are themselves culturally-specific constructs
representative of culturally-particular ways of dealing with and thinking about the
natural world. In these statements and throughout this thesis I would ask for a
recognition on the part of the NPS to see themselves as steakholders in the consultation
event, as persons with culturally particular investments of meaning in ethnographic
resources.
The notion of multiple symbolic landscapes can also take us deeper into
conceptualizing how culturally-specific epistemologies regarding how we define
ourselves according to our relationship with the natural world are engaged in
consultation. I propose that these NPS and American Indian epistemologies are
embodied by the terms wilderness management and holistic management respectively.
NPS resource management objectives, as they were established with the very
creation of the NPS itself, were drawn out of the ideals and values of the larger
American culture from which they emerged- specifically late 19th century European
American culture. For the social conditions warranting the creation of a national system
of parks, is marked by the emergence of a notion that nature could be managed and
distinctively enjoyed- a notion embodied by the concept of "wilderness management."
The Oxford History of the American West chronicles the emergence of this concept as
thus:
In 1977, the Forest Service published a textbook whose tide said it all:
Wilderness Management A quarter century before, when lobbying for a
national wilderness act was still in its early stages, the notion that one could
"manage" wilderness would probably have seemed antithetical to the whole
concept Americans in general, and westerners in particular, had sought to
preserve wilderness because it stood for natural beauty and frontier freedom,
both of which seemed seriously at risk in the modem world...the alienated way
of thinking about nature embodied in the very concept of wilderness- as a
special place where nature could be experienced "pure," isolated from the
"artificial" human world that surrounded it- was itself an artifact of American
cultural attitudes toward the western frontier (Milner et al. 1994:632-633).
20


Without going into extensive detail, it is sufficient here to point out that
"wilderness management" connotes the segregation of the social from the natural. The
NPS and indeed most other federal agencies within the Department of the Interior are
definitively in the business of "wilderness management" One can now see how notions
of preservation and regulation are derived from an overarching philosophy in which
resources are to be managed for their preservation.
In contrast to the NPS, the American Indian management style, in general, is a
"holistic" one. But in like manner to the NPS, this management style is also indicative
of their relationship with the natural world. While a detailed discussion of the
implications and characteristics of this term will be discussed below, we can here say
that "holistic management" is a concept developed by Richard Stoffle, a practicing
cultural resource management expert in the Southwest:
Previous ethnographic studies...indicate that American Indian people often
perceive cultural resources to be elements of a single whole. This
epistemological premise is often expressed through the concept of the
integration of humans, nature, and the supematural....One implication of this
premise is that Indian people perceive themselves to be a functional and
essential part of the natural elements in their traditionally occupied lands. They
perceive this relationship to have been caused by the supernatural. Traditional
lands, therefore, are their Holy Lands (Spicer 1957). Maintaining this
relationship through their proper stewardship of these natural resources is
perceived to be critical in their persistence as a people (Spicer 1971). Thus they
tend to be conservative in their use of these natural resources (Stoffle 1990:92).
Critical evidence for American Indian interest in park management and their
holistic approach to it comes from comments made at the afore mentioned three-day
NAGPRA consultation meeting at Mesa Verde National Park in 1992. Invited to this
meeting, besides Mesa Verde and Regional Office staff, were over 20 cultural and
governmental representatives of American Indian tribes who had known or possible
21


cultural affiliations with the park. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss issues
that fell within the provisions and directives of the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990. Agenda items included what to do with
human remains inadvertently discovered on park grounds, whether to grant research
requests to two scientists who wanted to use remains in the park's collection for
research, and also a discussion of whether any items in the park's museum exhibits
could be deemed religiously sensitive and therefore inappropriate for display. As a
participant observer at this meeting, I remember noticing throughout its duration that
some of the comments made by tribal representatives seemed extraneous to the
NAGPRA defined agenda items at hand. Later I realized the significance of these
comments, and the statement they made with regard to the American Indian holistic
approach to resource management A selection of these comments made by tribal
members are as follows: (not verbatim)
NAGPRA Meeting
Mesa Verde National Park
September 1992
I'm depressed about the amount of traffic coming into the park.
How much more traffic can the park stand?
I think the woods at the park's entrance are too thick. The
pinion, cedar and juniper dees are subject to catching on fire in
this dry season. What are the park's plans to weed out the dead
trees, especially along the drive from the visitor's center to here
(the superintendent's house)? Why not sell the wood that you
cut away?
Why does the government have to open these places up (i.e.
Spruce Tree House ruins), which are sacred to us?
I'm impressed with what they've done at Chaco Canyon. The
last 20 miles of the park road is unpaved. This takes care of the
problem of the public interfering with tribes' religious activities-
the road makes its own maintenance.
22


On the drive from the Fairview Center to here (the superintendent's house), is a
thick area of trees alongside the road. Some Forest Service land important to the
Zia tribe was lost to fire under similar circumstances. The trees are thicker right
here and a fire could spread into the ruins. We're concerned about the ruins. If
you sold the wood that you cut to people staying at the campgrounds, the wood
cut away would help to protect the ruins and it would generate a source of
income. The elders of my tribe pointed out this problem to me over the weekend
and asked me to bring it up here at this meeting.
As evidenced above, American Indian objectives in resource management are to
preserve their proper relationship with natural resources because of their belief that they
as a people are a critical element of those sacred environments. In term of NPS-
American Indian consultation, we can say that American Indian objectives in
consultation are derived from this fundamental belief of a human-environment
relationship perceived to be of supernatural design.
These comments also attest to the fact that not only can American Indian
concerns for the management of park lands not be separated into NAGPRA and non-
NAGPRA issues, but that resource management objectives in general cannot be
separated from the broader objective of cultural preservation. In short, American Indian
cultural affiliations with park lands and resources is holistic because their relationship
with the natural world is. Furthermore, taking care of ethnographic resources- their
"proper management"- has direct, cultural implications. This relationship is explicitly
known by American Indians, for American Indian ties to these lands and to which their
holistic style of management is applied, can be explained by the simple fact that the
National System of Parks was constructed upon lands that served a cultural function
prior to the one it serves for the NPS and indeed to European American culture- the one
it serves to American Indian tribes. American Indian relationships with lands now
comprised by our national system of parks precedes all legislation establishing the
23


relationship the NPS and other federal agencies have defined "on their behalf1 today.
As Todd Wilkenson notes, "Native Americans do not need national park boundaries to
remind them that certain places are holy and inviolate. They know this as part of their
religion" (Wilkenson 1993:31). Indeed it is no secret to the NPS that American Indians,
despite their effectual banishment from parks have never stopped "accessing" these
lands for religious and ultimately cultural purposes.
Finally, in employing the concept of holistic management I do not intend to
imply that I am simply trying to describe what I see as an American Indian style of
managing resources important to tribes. "Holistic" management as Stoffle defines it and
as I have sought to use it here, is in no way intended to connote the idea that native
people are natural managers of their resources, and certainly not that they are "closer to
nature:" two ideas characteristically ascribed to indigenous peoples' use of their natural
resources (Stearman & Redford: 1992:243). However, I do want to make the assertion
that save all else, tribes will seldom sacrifice their culture's integrity for economic
development or political power. My evidence for this statement comes from participant
observation, as well as a few direct statements made at the Mesa Verde Meeting where
there was much discussion among tribal members about random but consistent cases of
various tribal members giving out traditional religious knowledge for profit My
assertion, however, could not necessarily be applied to indigenous people across the
globe, for as Stearman and Redford (1992:235) noted of Bolivian indigenous groups in
a recent article, "as indigenous societies become more market oriented they often must
exploit floristic and faunal resources to meet growing needs for trade goods."
24


C-pnglHsion
One of the most important points Stoffle makes with his concept of holistic
management is that, "Indian people believe that they have a right to use the land because
they have a supematurally derived responsibility to care for it and to do so they must
subsist as [tribesJ" (Stoffle 1990: 94). As I have shown in this chapter, effectively
managing park resources as American Indian people ensures the vitality of American
Indian cultures. For American Indians to truly subsisting as tribes with regard to park
lands and resources requires some type of co-management of culturally important park
resources with the NPS. Within the last few years, the Rocky Mountain Region has
been leaning toward that direction. At Devils' Tower National Monument for example,
there is a community interest group comprised of representatives of various interest
groups, most prominently representatives from American Indian tribes, that meets
regularly to provide input to park staff about their resource management concerns and
interests. While an interest group is a very basic type of co-management it at the most
could be seen as a first step in more rigorous co-management, and at the least allows
American Indian community to be informed about proposed park projects in time for
their meaningful input, which is a necessary element of that general NPS offer for
consultation.
Stewardship of park lands and resources are resource management objectives
that the NPS and American Indian tribes have in common. I believe I have shown in
this chapter that the NPS has demonstrated a willingness to allow for multiple
interpretations of the natural environment with their concept of ethnographic resources.
25


It is not creating multiple landscapes that is problematic but the NPS management of
them. As one tribal informant told me, American Indian tribes have maintained a
"continuity of culture" through their lands and resources important to them. This can be
explained by the simple fact that American Indian relationships with lands now
comprised by our national system of parks precedes all legislation establishing the
relationship the NPS and other federal agencies have defined on their behalf today. As
Todd Wilkenson notes, "Native Americans do not need national park boundaries to
remind them that certain places are holy and inviolate. They know this as part of their
religion" (Wilkenson 1993:31). Indeed it is no secret to the NPS that American Indians,
despite their effectual banishment from parks have never stopped "accessing" these
lands for religious and subsistence purposes.
26


CHAPTER3
INTERPRETING CONSULTATION PROCEDURES
Introduction
We have seen how the National Park Service and American Indian tribes differ
in their interpretations of proper consultation objectives, and how these interpretations
are in informed by distinct cultural traditions. In this chapter, we explore subjective
interpretations of proper consultation procedures and their situation in NPS and
American Indian cultural knowledge systems.
Specifically, I argue that because consultation is a legislatively prescribed event,
both the NPS and American Indian tribes look to legislation in formulating their
interpretations of proper consultation procedures. But since no such consistent or clear
legislative definition of consultation exists within the laws that mandate it, I suggest
that the NPS and American Indian tribes instead derive their interpretations from other
and disparate pieces of legislation. It is these legislative differences and ultimately the
cultural investments they've engendered that I posit as the source of conflicting
interpretations regarding why and how consultation should take place.
Interpretations of how consultation should take place differ markedly not only
between the NPS and American Indian tribes but among the various levels of
bureaucracy within the NPS itself. Although in the last chapter I spoke of the NPS
agency as a whole, a critical point I seek to make in this chapter and the next is that
there are three distinct levels of NPS bureaucracy and corresponding bureaucratic
culture, at least in terms of how those levels of bureaucratic culture are involved in the
27


consultation event. My model for talking about these distinctions is drawn from Vine
Deloria Jr.'s concept of how policy directives are manifest in differing levels of
bureaucratic culture within the realm of policy that addresses American Indian concerns:
In Indian affairs...policy occurs at two levels of involvement High-level
pronouncements deal with the theory and ideology of social responsibility, and
here the pendulum swings back and forth between accepting an onerous and
continuing financial responsibility for providing services to Indian communities
and abruptly casting Indians into the American mainstream where they can
slowly be digested at the bottom of the industrial economic pyramid. This arena
is defined by newspapers, politicians, and legislatures. It is usually phrased in
pious but well-intentioned ideas that seek spiritual comfort and direction rather
than instructions on how to accomplish the task.
At a much lower level of policy we find the nebulous arena of
implementation. Here personal whims, misunderstandings, the security of
federal employment, the informal networks of political bureaucracy, and the
guerrilla tactics of political activism play an important role in defining what the
pretty phrases devised at the higher levels actually mean. Regardless of the
posture of any national administration towards Indians and their problems, the
lower-level bureaucracy largely determines what the actual policy of the
government will be (Deloria 1985:5-6).
My model of NPS bureaucracy posits the "lower level bureaucracy" as being
comprised of park managers- persons who manage individual parks and monuments,
and the "high level" bureaucracy as being comprised of those NPS politicians and
legislators who direct the agency's actions. In addition I posit that Regional Office staff
occupy a middle-level place in the NPS bureaucracy. I will refer to these levels of NPS
bureaucracy throughout this and in the following chapter.
Interpretations of How Consultation Should Take Place
While NPS regional office staff have the responsibility of making NPS-
American Indian consultation work, it is the managers of individual parks who are
responsible for actually carrying out consultation with tribes. Unfortunately, a park
28


manager's interpretation of proper consultation procedures usually connotes something
more akin to "contact" than "consultation," which I see as the difference between a
finite objective versus an ongoing process. As a regional office staff person put it:
Regional Office Staff Person
Interview
In many cases the park staff has recognized that they need to consult but they
have no idea of what consultation is. They don't know what it constitutes. Just
as in the late 60s [under NEPA], when you said 'public involvement' it meant
sending a letter, or publishing a notice in the newspaper- thats public
involvement I think that..many park managers have a very naive notion of
what constitutes effective consultation. They think perhaps consultation means
you send [tribes] a letter that you have a project going and you expect things
back. Clearly thats not enough and they dont understand that thats not
enough. Or they think that consultation involves a letter and if they don't get
anything back therefore that lack of letter is a response, that [the tribes are] not
interested.
Evidence supporting these statements also comes from a tribal cultural director
Tribal Cultural Director
Interview
Q: Do you deal with individual park superintendents or staff [in consultation]?
A: Weve had almost no contact from [parks], so often times we are not even
aware of what the proposed projects are....Until we see it in the newspaper
often times.
In contrast to park manager notions of consultation as simply being a matter of
"noticing the tribe," as termed by one tribal cultural director, regional office staff have
tried to instill a different interpretation of proper consultation procedures among park
managers. For regional office staff, particularly the regional cultural anthropologist
who is primarily responsible for providing technical assistance to park managers in
their consultation with tribes, proper consultation procedures are embodied by the term
"proactive consultation." proactive consultation calls for park managers to both consult
29


with tribes as legislatively prescribed issues or problems arise, and to take the initiative
in forming on-going relationships with tribes culturally affiliated with their parks.
Proactive consultation is not a proclamation of regional office staff, but is an agency-
wide directive that was first articulated in the NPS 1988 Management Guidelines.
Rarely however, do park managers take it upon themselves to put this agency directive
into action, at least within the Rocky Mountain Region. Instead, proactive consultation
remains a call to action made by regional office staff.
Obstacles toward getting park managers to subscribe to proactive consultation
can be attributed to the fact that proactive consultation is a procedures proposed without
the necessary legislation to mandate its implementation. In-house management
guidelines, after all, are merely guidelines and there currently exists no law requiring
proactive consultation per se, merely laws mandating agencies to consult, with no clear
definition of what that means. In fact, the NPS has independently and in lieu of
legislation, created this notion of proactive consultation because they have recognized
the need for it- a need brought to their attention by American Indian tribes. Indeed the
NPS concept of proactive consultation most closely matches American Indian tribal
ideals of proper consultation procedures. Meeting "face-to-face" would be the
corresponding American Indian term that describes these ideals. The same tribal cultural
director quoted above effectively defines what proper consultation procedures should
comprise:
Tribal Cultural Director
Interview
Often times [federal agencies] do not come and speak with us face to face, do
not have a sense that our history and our tradition is very valuable but is an oral
tradition. They ask for us to produce a document- we can tell them what we
know. Often times they dont value whats oral and also have not been taught
this sophisticated skill of listening which is part of oral tradition. So often times
30


they will send a document and they will say, 'Please make comments on a
specific area and document the places that are considered to be of cultural
significance to the tribe.' To me thats crazy. Theres no way I can respond to
that And often times then [they] will say, Well, they've not responded,' and
they take that as we dont have a concern.
Meeting "face-to-face" to "tell them what we know" are more appropriate
consultation procedures for tribes. To explain the differences between "contact" and
proactive consultation is to ask the question of how NPS staff and American Indian
tribes are engaging their respective cultural knowledge systems in formulating
interpretations of proper consultation procedures. In this, we are talking about a
fundamental difference between cultures: one founded upon a written tradition and the
others upon an oral tradition. Again, the same tribal cultural director outlines the
problem:
Tribal Cultural Director
Interview
The problem in consultation with tribes is that we are a tribe, we are a
group...where we have an oral tradition. And what that means is that people
have maintained continuity through change over many generations by passing
our...something that's...stable, something thats solid, something that we
know and understand, orally. We have, from one generation to another
generation...passed all the values, all the beliefs...many aspects of our culture
in an oral fashion. Because its not a written tradition and because the dominant
culture is a written tradition often times theres not an understanding of the
depth...of the relationship that people have with...the natural worlcL.and this
place. But there has been a sense of understanding for us of this place over
thousands of years. Thats a huge difference, thats a huge difference. When
you think of tens of thousands of years of a way of knowing transmitted orally.
And...for many federal agencies, if its not documented, if we cant prove it in
writing then of course it is of no value. So the fundamental difference between
oral history and written history is a primary factor in consultation.
From this it is clear to see how oral and written cultural traditions make their
way directly into the formulation of interpretations how consultation should take place.
Now we turn our attention to interpretations of why consultation should take place.
31


Interpretations of Why Consultation Should Take Place
Through the course of our discussion we have already touched on
interpretations surrounding why consultation should take place. Specifically, I am
referring to both the park manager notion of "contact"- that consultation need only take
place when it is immediately, legally mandated, and the regional office notion that
consultation needs to take place in an ongoing, proactive manner.
What I want to add to this is the element of American Indian interpretations of
why consultation should take place. As with interpretations of how consultation should
proceed, American Indian interpretations of why it should occur can be surmised in the
comments of a tribal cultural director, who made the following statement at the 1992
Mesa Verde NAGPRA meeting:
Mesa Verde NAGPRA Meeting
Mesa Verde National Park
September 1992
In order to get comfortable discussing these things, I think a 6 month group
meeting at the outset is good. Then later we can meet here at Mesa Verde,
maybe once a year....Talking gives us direction. In 6 months we can meet again
to discuss what's happening now with the decisions we make here today, and
then we can discuss new issues with the park and tribes...It's about time we're
given due consideration since Mesa Verde has been around since 1906...We
need to get comfortable with each other. I think meeting every 6 months is good
for now- a year is too long.
This call for establishing regular consultation meetings with Mesa Verde park staff, and
the further statement that such meetings could be a vehicle by which park staff and
tribes can "get comfortable with each other," elaborates on the idea that consultation
should be proactive, a forum in which tribes can meet "face-to-face" with the NPS to
articulate their concerns in person- in an oral fashion. In other words, the idea of
"getting comfortable with each other" speaks to an American Indian view of
consultation as a vehicle whereby they can be actively involved in park management
32


affairs, since the resources of these parks are of critical, cultural importance to tribes,
making reference to what was established in the "Objectives" chapter, tribe wishes to
establish an ongoing consultation relationship with parks is underscored by their
inexorable and contemporary cultural investments in park lands and resources. Indeed,
as evidenced by their comments about tree overgrowth, the tribal representatives
present did not view their invitation to this NAGPRA meeting as limited to NAGPRA
issues, nor do they view their invitation to the park itself as limited to this meeting.
For the Rocky Mountain Region, the establishment of the Ethnographic
Program and the corresponding position of the Regional Cultural Anthropologist in
1991 drew out and fostered the 1988 general agency call for proactive consultation. But
this program's task of making consultation work has proven an elusive one. Getting
park managers to recognize their legal requirements to consult was the first task defined
by the program, followed by the second and current ask of getting park managers to
proactively consultation with American Indian tribes culturally affiliated with their
parks. For the most part, park managers do recognize their legal obligations to consult
with tribes. But even if we assume that park managers in general are fulfilling their
legal obligations to consult with tribes, this still does not explain why consultation is
problematic, for if it were a mere matter of compliance, consultation's problems would
have already been solved. Instead the problems of consultation lie within the ambiguity
regarding the degree to which legislation defines proper consultation procedures for
park managers. Interestingly enough, the importance of promoting proactive
consultation may be more critical than one realizes, for current problems in consultation
can be attributed to the difference between consultation that occurs according to
immediate legal needs and consultation that occurs proactively.
33


Park managers do indeed respond to the myriad of legal prompts to consult with
tribes, but in that response they have defined consultation procedures legally. In lieu of
the legal sanctions they now realize they could face if they do not consult with tribes,
park managers interpret proper consultation procedures as the bare minimum of steps
necessary to simply be in compliance with the law. Thus, their motivations, attitudes,
and ultimate objectives for consultation are legally, not humanistically defined. In short,
under the threat of legal sanctions, the regional office's message of proactive
consultation is lost in the more practical, because it is the more immediate, need to be in
compliance with the law. This perspective explains why consultation procedures are not
proactive but instead involve a paper trail. Park managers do not currently have the
resources to proactively consult with tribes. Instead said resources are devoted to
documenting, officially verifying, that consultation proceeded according to legal
directives. Because all laws mandating consultation are ambiguous in defining
consultation procedures and because proactive consultation is a philosophy in search of
a legal mandate (and indeed a philosophy foreign to the park manager's style of doing
business) the margin for multiple and disparate interpretations of proper consultation
procedures is very wide indeed.
In sum, consultation as a whole exists as a phenomenon defined by legal issues
and problems, not by the potential for cross-cultural understanding. According to the
regional cultural anthropologist, park managers see consultation as just one more
"problem" at which they have to "throw" park management resources such as time,
staff and money. The task of seeing that tribes are consulted with humanistically within
this narrow objective of being in compliance with the law falls instead to the regional
office staff and particularly the regional cultural anthropologist, whose role in
34


consultation is currently a kind of cultural broker between park managers and American
Indian tribal members.
A second dimension of interpretations regarding why consultation should take
place concerns differing definitions of the NPS responsibility to American Indian
tribes, both within the specific context of consultation, and within the broader context if
the NPS-American Indian relationship.
Consultation takes place in order to fulfill some legislatively defined purpose or
objective. For example, the inadvertent discovery of human remains on park lands
requires consultation under the NAGPRA to make a determination as to whom the
remains belong and the proper re-interment or repatriation of said remains. A proposed
NPS project that affects lands or properties of historic value to a tribe requires
consultation under the NHPA to explore the nature of potential adverse effects on said
properties. NPS staff and American Indian tribes look closely to the letter of the law
requiring consultation for direction in how to proceed. NPS responsibilities to
American Indian tribes in consultation are therefore delineated by the laws that mandate
consultation. But beyond defining specific consultation procedures for the given issue
at hand, the NPS and tribes do so within particular understandings of what comprises
their veiy relationship with each other and what exactly comprises the NPS
responsibility to tribes in that relationship. Like their consultation relationship, this
broader relationship is also legislatively defined but differently so for the NPS and
tribes.
For the American Indian tribes of this region, treaties and Executive Orders that
nearly every tribe made with the United States government are the definitive documents
specifying not only their relationship with the NPS but will all government agencies.
35


This is with the treaties they signed with the federal government, American Indians
gave up their claims to their homelands (territorial subsistence ranges) were rendered
the status of what Deloria calls (1985:24) "domestic dependent nations," and entered
into a relationship with the United States Government in which the government
promised to take care of Indian tribes in exchange for their lands. Indeed, note how the
comments of a tribal president support this statement*
[T]he various treaties between tribes and the U.S. Government and tribal
sovereign authorities absolutely do not have secondary relevance to the statutes
[such as NAGPRA and NHPA]. Treaties form the basis of the federal
governments' oust responsibility to American Indians and are the foundation
upon which other laws are predicated (The Navajo Nation 1994:2).
Treaties therefore, not only define this responsibility of the government to
American Indians, but with specific regard to consultation, treaties also articulate
aboriginal title to lands which are now national parks.
The National Park Service in contrast oscillates between recognizing their trust
responsibility to American Indian tribes as a government agency, and a belief that their
responsibility to tribes is simply to give them a voice in the democratic process of
public involvement in agency decision-making. Note the following comments attesting
to thesis made by a regional office staff person:
Regional Office Staff Person
Interview
Q: Do you think that it is an eventual goal...for Native American communities
to be more involved [in Park Service affairs]?
A: Well-
Q: Or is it just...good enough that they have a voice?
A: Well, Im not too sure, or real clear about that myself. I think that theres
some education that has to go on within the tribe as well with regard to this
function, and what consultation means. Consultation does not mean that the
federal government is giving up its authority to make a decision.
Q: Is that what you think-
36


A: I think some tribal groups are very disappointed when the things theyd like
to see happen dont happen. And they translate, Well because it didnt go the
way I wanted it to go you didnt listen to us.' They try to make that
determination. Well thats really not the case. They could be listened to, and
their issues being considered and yet management makes a decision which is
contrary to their wishes. But the fact that they were heard and fully considered
and fully- their issues were aired and they were brought to the decision makers
in a fair manner, in a manner equal to other issues, thats the best you can do. I
don't think consultation is something that you could say it really worked. I
mean its a process thats ongoing and right now it seems to be going smoothly
but you never know when the road blocks might be__Decisions dont
necessarily always go in their favor but thats not the point The point is that
they have a place in the decision-making process.
Conclusion
In sum, the National Park Service does not consult with American Indian tribes
for humanistic reasons, but for legally mandated ones. It is instead a challenge put forth
to individuals within the agency, particularly regional office staff, to see that tribes are
consulted with humanistically. Proactive consultation as the closest approximation to
American Indian ideals for proper consultation procedures is currently the best hope for
meeting that challenge. But as we will see in the chapters that follow, commonalities
with regard to consultation objectives and procedures are not enough to make
consultation work- there are sometimes deeper, structural and social barriers that must
be overcome.
37


CHAPTER 4
INTERPRETING THE AMERICAN INDIAN COMMUNITY
Introduction
The ways in which American Indian communities define themselves are
often at odds with "American Indian communities" as defined by the National
Park Service. One NPS definition of American Indian communities is as an
ethnic group: one public among many having potential or known cultural
affiliations with park lands and resources. A second NPS definition recognition
American Indian communities as tribes: sovereign, self-governing entities
whose relationship with the United States is a govemment-to-govemment are.
Although American Indian communities are referred to interchangeably as an
"ethnic group" and as "tribes," each definition in fact speaks to a distinct aspect
of the NPS organizational culture. The tribe definition reflects the agency's
symbolic culture, as its use is restricted to speaking about abstract goals such as
those derived from the agency's mission statement and from the legislation
mandating their consultation with tribes. The ethnic group definition, on the
other hand, reflects the practicalities of the Park Service's daily operations, and
is the most functional concept of American Indian communities permitted by the
implementation of such policies. In short, the National Park Service bases its
aspirations toward positive relations with American Indian communities upon
one definition but operates under another.
38


The National Park Service employs the concept of the "tribe" or "group" as the
unit of measure for the American Indian community in its government to government
relationship with them. Currently, the Southwest, Pacific Northwest and Rocky
Mountain Regions of the NPS define an American Indian tribe as follows:
[A]ny nation, tribe, band, or group of American Indians recognized in statute or
treaty by federal or state governments; or any group of American Indians not
recognized by federal or state governments but identified by themselves and
known by others as members of a named cultural unit that historically has
shared linguistic, cultural, social (kinship), and related characteristics that
distinguish it ethnically fiom other American Indian groups. "Tribe" or "Group"
does not apply to American Indians/Native Americans of diverse cultural
backgrounds (pan-tribal organizations) who voluntarily associate together for
some purpose of purposes. (NPS 1992:4)
Reiterating a point made in the "Objectives" chapter, we should keep in mind
that the NPS definition of the American Indian community cannot be extricated from the
concept of ethnographic resources. In other words, their definition of the American
Indian community is predicated on every tribe's cultural association with and use of
park lands and resources.
This chapter will explore specific examples of this NPS duality in
interpreting what constitutes the American Indian community within the specific
context of National Park Service-American Indian consultation relations. In so
doing we will also examine the ways in which these interpretations are derived
from distinct levels of NPS bureaucratic culture and what the implications are
for such differing bureaucratic usages. Specifically, I will propose that
particular definitions of the American Indian community serve particular
bureaucratic functions for the NPS in their consultation with American Indian
tribes.
39


Interpreting The American Indian Community
Tribal Cultural Director
Mesa Verde NAGPRA Meeting, September 1992
(not verbatim)
The same people tend to describe all tribes as a group but we are all different
and have different ideas. Our tribe has no re-interment procedures [for
repatriated human remains]. We feel the negative consequences [of re-
interment]. We don't want to take that risk...[Refening to another similar
comment just made]... these are just two positions. We need to hear
others...We can discuss this but there will be different positions. If you [NPS]
are expecting a unanimous opinion then you're setting yourself up for a
disappointment
The statement made above by a tribal cultural director reflect an assertion shared
by other tribal representatives at this meeting- that theirs was "just one opinion" and
they needed to "hear from others." In concert with this were statements made by tribal
representatives that they needed to take these issues back to their respective tribes for
discussion- that final decisions on what to do would be representative of where their
tribes stand on these issues. Together, these statements illustrate the fact that American
Indians would have themselves recognized as individual tribes and not lumped into one
"Indian", i.e. ethnic group. This despite repeated requests made by NPS staff to "reach
a consensus" on the issues being discussed.
Indeed the NPS, in its attempts to manage this diversity that is the American
Indian community, is quite easily drawn toward defining the American Indian as one
ethnic group. Note the comments of a regional office staff person below:
Regional Cultural Anthropologist
Interview
What's happening is that bureaucracies work and all managers ask the question,
"How do I find one solution for many problems?" because that's the most
efficient way to look at the world. Its cheaper to do it that way, it's easier to do
40


it that way and if you have one general solution, one way of doing things that
solves a large number of problems, that's the best place you can be as a
manager. What's going to happen is that they're going to come to realize that
there wont be one solution. There are many problems but each of them requires
a unique individualized solution and that's the key to cross-cultural problem
solving. If you try to approach cross-cultural issues or multi-cultural issues
with one solution, clearly it will never work. You have to tailor your solutions
to fit the specific inter-cultural context in which you're operating. And that
hasn't dawned yet on government managers. It hasn't dawned on them yet
because I still get comments from mangers saying, "How do I solve the Indian
problem?" and their reference is to Indian as one group and they don't realize
that there are hundreds of different nations out there and you have to approach
them on an individual basis and respect their differences for what they are-
there's not going to be one solution for many problems.
These comments suggest that a definition of the American Indian community as
it is generally held by park managers is one that yields the greatest practical benefits:
"one solution for many problems." We saw evidence for this reductionist style of
dealing with American Indian tribes in the last chapter, by the way in which this credo
was manifest in park managers' tendency to consult with tribes only on an as-need,
legal basis.
Commissioned with the task of making NPS-American Indian consultation
work, the Rocky Mountain regional office staff act as technical assistants to park
managers in their consultation with tribes. They also act as cultural brokers between the
higher and lower levels of NPS bureaucratic culture, as well as between the NPS
agency and American Indian tribes. In the "Procedures" chapter, I suggested that park
managers generally view consultation as a series of steps necessary to be in compliance
with the law, and that regional office staff view consultation more as an opportunity for
cross-cultural understanding en route to that compliance. Here too, with regard to
defining the American Indian community, I believe there are bureaucratic-level
differences.
41


I suggest that the "ethnic group" definition of the American Indian community
lends itself to such park manager objectives. A public that can be homogeneously
conceptualized whether en masse or by a consistent, standardizing interchangeable unit
of measure readily lends itself to the practicalities of daily park operations and
specifically to the lower-level of NPS bureaucracy where the actual implementation of
policy occurs.
In addition, I would suggest that regional office staff also recognize the practical
usefulness in defining the American Indian community as an "ethnic group" but I
would add that because regional office staff are commissioned with the task of making
consultation work, they are sensitive to the limits of such a definition as expressed by
American Indian tribal members. Interestingly enough, Rocky Mountain regional office
staff instead have sought to compensate for a park manager tendency to view the
American Indian community as one uniform whole by making use of a particular type
of tribal representative in consultation~the tribal cultural director:
Tribal Cultural Director
Interview
What I do for the tribe, is I don't think that I have enough cultural knowledge to
be able to make decisions for the tribe by myself. So I ask all our elders and I
get them together or I go and ask them individually what they think about a
certain situation and then I can go back and tell whoever- the agencies- what
we think collectively. And so my part of working with cultural resources is
more of the technical part where our elders cant do things like that. Or our tribal
chairperson or our tribal council doesn't have the background or the technical
expertise in cultural resources, so I'm able to do that But as for making
decisions for the tribe for cultural things, I dont do that because I don't think
Im old enough to do that (laugh).
Nearly every tribe in the Rocky Mountain Region has an appointed or
elected tribal cultural director as part of their tribal government The role of this
person varies by tribe. Some tribal cultural directors are elders and considered
42


experts in tribal cultural traditions, and are considered an appropriate person to
manage the cultural affairs of the tribe. Other tribal cultural directors such as the
one quoted above, act more as liaisons between such cultural experts and the
representatives of the various federal agencies with whom tribes must consult
The tribal cultural director is a role created by tribes in response to the incredible
demands made upon them in the last few years by all federal agency and many private
company requests to consult But what's of interest to us in this chapter is how the
NPS has used the tribal cultural director to simplify its own consultation. For to make
consultation go as smoothly as possible it is common practice for regional office staff to
refer park managers to tribal cultural directors in consultation. In so doing, regional
office staff are simultaneously acknowledging the needs of the American Indian
community to be recognized as distinct tribes, and the needs of park managers to get as
close to the ideal of "one solution" as possible. Because tribal cultural directors are
usually called upon to represent the cultural interests of their entire tribe in consultation,
they make consultation with tribes much easier to manage.
To further our understanding of how the NPS recognizes both the tribe and
ethnic group dimensions of the American Indian community, we will now look more
closely at the NPS bureaucratic culture. Specifically, we will look to what I see as a
distinction between how the American Indian community gained entree into NPS
decision-making processes and how that entree has been managed by the NPS.
43


Managing and Recognizing American Indian Diversity
Regional Office Staff Person
Interview
I think that under our present guidelines, 1988 guidelines, its clear that
consultation is required. Its clear that these concerns must be considered in our
plans. If the park service chooses not to bring tribal concerns, or chooses not to
let tribal concerns or preferences direct their decisions, and to do something
else, thats another matter. And I think the responsibility is to see to it that they
got a good, fair solid hearing, in the decision making process. If thats ignored
thats where youre not serving your client community very well. If, if you
make sure that they have a voice, at a table...and its listened to, then I drink
youve fulfilled your responsibility to the community.
These comments from a regional office staff person can be used as a
springboard for talking about the duality with which the NPS defines the American
Indian community. The first statement warranting comment concerns the precise
definition of the public the NPS initially sought to involve in its management affairs.
"[I]n the beginning..." is a reference to that time when all federal agencies began
opening up their decision-making processes to the general public, in response to the
passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. NEPA mandated
all federal agencies to consult with the general public on proposed development projects
in order to ascertain whether they posed social or environmental consequences for the
communities in which they were to be developed. The purpose of this consultation was
to give the public a forum in which they could express their ideas and concerns to
federal agencies and developers. For federal agencies, this public hearing defined what
it meant to consult with the public. For "the public" in general, and American Indians in
particular, this involvement through the NEPA process defined the manner by which
they were to be involved in federal agency management affairs.
44


For American Indian tribes, this public hearing style of consultation changed
with the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) of 1978.
Unlike the NEPA, the AIRFA was a call to federal agencies to recognize the specific
concerns of the American Indian community. Federal agencies were now suddenly
mandated to incorporate American Indian concerns into their general, not project-
specific management practices. In so doing they were forced to recognize first, that at
least within the context of consultation, the public as it was first defined under NEPA,
was not so homogenous, so "monolithic" after all, and second that the concerns of this
particular public were to be addressed on a regular, ongoing basis.
There's a distinction to be made with regard to the manner in which the NPS
recognized this new diversity and the manner in which they practically dealt with it
Note the following comments from a regional office staff person with regard to this:
Regional Office Staff Person
Interview
I think that under our present guidelines, 1988 guidelines, its clear that
consultation is required. Its clear that these concerns must be considered in our
plans. If the Park Service chooses not to bring tribal concerns, or chooses not
to let tribal concerns or preferences direct their decisions, and to do something
else, thats another matter. And I think the responsibility is to see to it that they
got a good, fair, solid hearing, in the decision making process. If thats ignored
thats where youre not serving your client community very well. If, if you
make sure that they have a voice, at a table...and its listened to, then I think
youve fulfilled your responsibility to the community.
These comments illustrate my belief that in order for the NPS to respond to a
particular public such as the American Indian community, it must make sense to do so
somehow within their bureaucratic culture. I propose that finding such a place for the
American Indian community has resulted in an NPS practice of both managing that
diversity, by defining the American Indian community as an ethnic group, and
45


symbolically recognizing that this community is comprised of distinct cultural entities or
tribes. Notice the interesting test of this idea as evidenced by the recent emergence of
the New Age religion as a threat to park ethnographic resources important to American
Indian tribes. This has been particularly ominous in the parks of the Southwest,
including Mesa Verde, where material culture, especially kivas and other "ruins," seem
especially sought after by New Agers in the performances of their own ceremonies:
(not verbatim)
NAGPRA Meeting
Mesa Verde National Park
September 1993
(Acting) Park Manager:
No requests from New Agers to pray in the kivas have been received by Mesa
Verde staff yet The kivas are currently closed to the public....
Park Curator
Mesa Verde does not restrict access to public sites but all other sites are closed.
Back country explorers must have a back country permit There's no New Ager
activity out there to my knowledge.
Tribal Cultural Director
Our items on display here are conduits for us as individuals to pray to the
spirits. We don't want people from the outside imposing themselves on our
areas and items. For example, when the Catholics imposed themselves on us,
our ancestors posed as Catholics on the surface but remained Indian
underneath- they just said o.k. we'll be Catholic...
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer:
This New Age stuff is going on in Arizona. They leave an offering & copy our
religion. They don't get permission from the tribe they just do it If anyone like
that makes a request maybe you can deny them. We're really concerned about
this.
Tribal Cultural Director
New Agers say they are given a right to do this under the constitution, to
practice their religion ...New Agers say they can practice their religion because
its in the constitution to practice any religion they see fit...
Regional Cultural Anthropologist:
The federal government can't promote any religion over another but we also
can't restrict access. But if New Agers' activities are degrading cultural
46


resources or impeding your access then we can restrict their access. For
example this has been tried in the (Mesa Verde) kivas. New Agers left cremated
human remains in a kiva even though the kivas were closed...
With the passage of the AIRFA, the National Park Service recognized the
cultural interests and concerns of the American Indian community and adjusted their
management practices in response to that recognition. As evidenced by the exchange
above, for example, Mesa Verde staff have closed off kivas and ruins sacred to tribes
from the general public. Yet within the same words we can find evidence that the NPS
is also recognizing the American Indian community as one among many special interest
groups with vested interests in park resources. The statement "we cannot promote one
religion over another" reveals that the NPS answer to managing multiple interests in
park resources is to treat them uniformly. In short, the NPS perceives the American
Indian community as one public among many separate but equal publics, whose
interests cannot be promoted over the interests of the New Agers of any other group.
Perhaps because it is how consultation with the public was first defined, the
NPS still employs a NEPA-style notion of consultation in that they prefer to recognize
the public as separate but equal interest or ethnic groups. The reason this tendency is
incorrect is because, as detailed in the "Procedures" chapter, the federal government has
a special trust responsibility to American Indian tribes that it has to no other "ethnic" or
interest group, as evidenced by their govemment-to-govemment relationship with
tribes. Tribes therefore are not ordinary ethnic groups because they are self-governing-
only the federal government (versus state or local government) has jurisdiction over
their affairs. In sum, although the AIRFA, and subsequent laws were a profound
recognition of American Indian spiritual needs to which the NPS indeed responded, the
47


way in which those needs have been managed by the NPS necessitated a definition of
the American Indian community as one more "ethnic" or interest group with whom the
NPS should consult
Conclusion
In this chapter I have shown that differing NPS definitions of the
American Indian community serve different bureaucratic functions in their
consultation with American Indian tribes. Defining the American Indian
community as tribes satisfies the agency's aspirations for positive relations by
recognizing resource management concerns specific to tribes. On the other
hand, defining the American Indian community as an ethnic group satisfies the
agency's goals of managing the diverse nature of "the public" with whom they
must consult The implications of such differing bureaucratic usages, as
mentioned above, are that for American Indians, the tribe definition is the only
appropriate one given the fact that every federal government agency has a
special trust responsibility to these sovereign tribal nations.
48


CHAPTER5
ANALYSIS
Introduction
Throughout this thesis I have engaged the basic tenets of structuration theory as
an explanatory scheme for what is happening in National Park Service-American Indian
consultation. Specifically, I have endeavored to show that every act of interpreting
proper consultation objectives, processes, and definitions of the American Indian
community, is something new, "a fresh act," but at the same time, "in continuity" with
the cultural traditions from which those interpretations are derived (Giddens 1993
[1981]:122). From this I have attempted to show that consultation, as a form of
interaction in which the meanings of those interpretations are conveyed, is thereby also
in continuity with the past, and further that it is a particular and contemporary
embodiment of a particular social practice- the National Park Service-American Indian
relationship. In short, my purpose has been to show that culture is necessarily involved
in this interaction of individuals that is National Park Service-American Indian
consultation.
With specific regard to the relationship between consultation and NPS-
American Indian relations, I presented in Chapter 2, a four-stage developmental scheme
for consultation-- one that helps explain the emergence and development of consultation
within this larger social practice. In this chapter I will engage this four-stage
developmental scheme again as well as select principles of Giddens's structuration
theory to explore how changes in consultation can result in changes in the NPS-
49


American Indian relationship- in short, how changes in a social structure can result in
social change. Within this social change objective, Giddens's argument for the elements
necessary for the production of interaction will reveal where within consultation social
change can occur, and the four-stage developmental scheme will show where it has,
albeit in small degree, already occurred.
The Potential for Social Change Within Consultation
As was shown in the "Structure and Action" chapter, Giddens's structuration
theory does not concern itself with social change but with social systems. Despite this
fact, there exist within the tenets of this theory specific statements and implicit
references as to where social systems are vulnerable to change and by what
mechanisms and under what conditions that change might occur. Consider the
following:
According to the notion of the duality of structure, rules and resources are
drawn upon by actors in the production of interaction, but are thereby also
reconstituted through such interaction. Structure is thus the mode in which the
relation between moment and totality expresses itself in social
reproduction...(Giddens 1993 [1981]: 123) (my emphasis)
I found this notion, that through their interaction, actors "reconstitute" social
systems, to be a statement on the potential for change within social systems. In
particular, I found Giddens's discussion, presented below, of the three elements
necessary for the production of interaction as revealing of such statements. The study
of structuration is a study of the ways in which social systems are produced and
reproduced in interaction (Giddens 1993 [1981]: 119). Because of this a study of
interaction and specifically the elements deemed as necessary to its sustenance would
yield insight into the potential within consultation for social change. For Giddens
50


directly states with regard to the production and reproduction of social systems: all
reproduction is necessarily production, and the seed of change is there in every act
(Giddens 1993 [1984]:101).
My analysis then, of the potential within consultation for social change
necessarily requires an examination of what Giddens proposes to be the three
fundamental elements necessary to the production of interaction. Indeed this chapter
will be framed with such an analysis as I will look to where within the consultation
event these elements have been altered or reconstituted via the interaction of individuals.
I am suggesting therefore that positive social change lies in the ability of actors to
reconstitute a new mutual reality.
We have already seen how disparate interpretations of consultation objectives,
processes, and definitions of the American Indian community causes problems within
consultation, because these problems have a profound impact upon the NPS-American
Indian relationship, I want to discuss what needs to happen to improve the quality of
that relationship.
The Production of Interaction: Places for Social Change
The production of interaction has three fundamental elements: its constitution as
'meaningful'; its constitution as a moral order, and its constitution as the
operation of relations of power (Giddens 1993 [1984]: 103).
According to structuration theory, social practices can be reconstituted through
interaction because human beings are "purposeful agents" of action. They can change
the constitution of what is meaningful, of what defines morality or more precisely
moral sanctions and of what constitutes relations of power. This idea, that social
51


change lies within the interaction of individuals engaged in consultation, is the central
argument of this chapter and the ultimate argument of this thesis.
As we will see below, what I call junctions of a shared realities have been
created (stage 3) from the consultation event However, as I pointed out in the
"Structure and Action" chapter these shared realities do not exist in the aggregate and
their existence has so far been transient An analysis of what consultation can do in
terms of creating systemic mutual realties will be founded upon what Giddens says are
three elements necessary to the production of (this new) interaction:
The Constitution of What is Meaningful
The first element Giddens deems necessary to the production of interaction is
the constitution of what is meaningful. To paraphrase Giddens:
Mutual knowledge is taken for granted but never fully so because it is
constantly actualized, displayed and modified by members of society in the
course of their interaction. This means that the relevance of some particular
element of knowledge is not ready-made or presumed valid, and may
sometimes have to be fought for or demonstrated by the actor...(If it is not
challenged then) it is produced and reproduced anew by actors as part of the
continuity of their lives (Giddens 1993[1984]: 106). (my addition)
What consultation has been able to accomplish in terms of changing the
constitution of what is meaningful has been to "jostle" people out of their presumptions
regarding their definitions of what is meaningful In short, to render the taken-for-
granted not so taken-for-granted. I largely attribute this ability to consultation's
existence as a cross-cultural phenomenon, in which individuals are exceptionally
cognizant of the appropriateness of their actions and in general are thereby prepared to
modify them. In other words, consultation is an interactional event in which the taken-
52


for-granted is by design never fully so. Mary Rogers (1981) reviews ideas
surrounding this notion of taken-for grantedness, citing Margaret Mead's views as
follows:
The problematic situation exposes the nature of familiarity. Any object is
"simply there" when experience is typical. When a problem emerges, though,
its object(s) is (are) referred to the individual's perspective and possibilities of
response which readjust the individual and "his world" (Mead 1938:5-6,13-14
cited in Rogers 1981:134-5).
In other words, I'm suggesting it is because consultation is a cross-cultural
phenomenon and problematic that the taken-for-granted is quite naturally deemed as
suspect. In Giddens's terms, these presentations of the typical, as they are held up for
public display and analysis, are modified. It is from this modification that new
interpretations of what is meaningful are created.
The question of what is needed for consultation to effectively change the nature
of the National Park Service-American Indian relationship and to be changed itself into
something less problematic and more collaborative, is answered by asking what it takes
to move consultation from our stage 3 to stage 4 of its developmental scheme: from a
collection of temporally restricted mutual realities to an institutionalized new mutual
reality. In chapter one I proposed that the missing element is structural (both
institutionally and historically). Here I propose that newly mutual realities constructed
by individuals in their interaction with each other, must be supported with some type of
legislation. The reason for this is that the NPS is a bureaucracy whose directives are
derived from legal mandates. For any new, and especially different, reality to survive it
must have a legitimate institutional (as in agency wide) and historical (as in precedence)
place in the bureaucracy.
53


It is within this discussion of this legislation that I feel it is appropriate to talk
about the two remaining elements Giddens says are needed for the production of
interaction: its constitution as a moral order and its constitution as the operation of
relations of power. For the NPS, a kind of morality is defined by legislation. Indeed
the significance of this cannot be exaggerated as we have already seen in the Procedures
chapter with regard to the difficulty in implementing proactive consultation as a
philosophy without a legal mandate.
The Constitution of Moral Sanctions
Tlie moral elements of interaction connect in an integral way with its
constitution both as meaningful and as a set of relations of power...[I]n the
production of interaction, all normative elements have to be treated as a series of
claims whose realization is contingent upon the successful actualization of
obligations through the medium of the responses of other participants...The
'interpretation1 of norms, and their capability to make an 'interpretation' count,
by participants in interaction is tied in subtle ways to their compliance to moral
claims (Giddens 1993[ 1984] 106-
The emergent use of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), and
Cooperative Agreements in consultation constitutes a temporary but legal legitimization
of new NPS-American Indian mutual understandings. In some instances of National
Park Service-American Indian consultation, MOUs and Cooperative Agreements have
been drawn up to legitimize an understanding reached about a particular issue.
But MOUs and Cooperative Agreements are limited in their power both
historically and institutionally because they are dated documents and they apply only to
specific issues or instances of understandings. They are thus not continuous threads of
collaboration but small, limited manifestations of it Although the sentiment and intent
of these transient pieces of legislation are not lost because they are by definition
54


situational and hence temporary agreements, their legal legitimacy is. In order for the
NPS to make new realities count in consultation, they must find a way to bring
consultation's participants into compliance with moral claims that say proactive
consultation, for example, is important as an agency (versus individual) directive.
The Constitution of Power Relations
The notion of 'action,' I wish to claim, is logically tied to that of power. Action
intrinsically involves the application of 'means' to achieve outcomes, brought
about through the direct intervention of an actor in a course of events...power
represents the capacity of the agent to mobilize resources to constitute those
'means (Giddens 1993[1984]: 108-109)
Regional Office Staff Person
Interview
My desire to put [consultation] into the [NPS] general management plan is
simple power. Power is the name of the game. And what you want to do is, if
you want these things to happen, youre literally, youre going to be competing
with a lot of other people for the same resources. Theres always a prioritization
of people, the use of people and their time, funds etc...So if issues come up
you dont want to be down on the lowest priority, low on the list of priorities.
Your thing may never be addressed because other things have risen to the top as
being more important By putting it in the general management plan, you can
then, if issues come up and [park managers] want to put this down on the
bottom, they dont see it as important you can always drag out the general
management plan and say, 'Im sorry but you are directed to do this, youd
better put this at the top of your list' So its really a matter of the way the
bureaucracy works and how the park superintendent gets his direction, what he
looks to for his direction. And those are the kinds of documents giving you the
authority to say you cannot ignore this, you, you have to do these things.
Q: So making consultation important means legitimizing it in an official general
document?
A: You bet Finding a place for consultation and the procedures associated with
it in the ordinary bureaucratic flow of directives that park managers get all the
time, and that they have to pay attention to. Then if they decide to ignore that
kind of directive, they had better have good reasons and they have to justify
why they are doing it. Thats always useful too because, well, its just useful
for record keeping of documents so if somebody comes in later and says, 'You
didn't consult with us,' and they take us to court or they challenge us on some
55


legal basis, then we have documentation to show that there were other things
that came first And theres justification for it and the courts are very amenable,
and they listen to the fact that you had a process in place to make your
decisions. If you had no process in place, theyd take a hard look at what
youre doing. So its a useful thing, to force managers to document why theyre
not doing something as much as to force them to do certain things they should
be doing.
Nez Perce National Historic Park, Park Manager
Interview
We have in our [1992] legislation...a requirement that the park consult with
officials of the Nez Perce tribe concerning the history and interpretation of the
park. Now I dont know of any other park- except maybe Petroglyph [National
Monument] that has that particular thing in their enabling legislation.
Everybody consults or has a requirement to consult under the National
Environmental Protection Act, you know, under 106 compliance and all that
sort of thing- compliance type consultation- but this other is the history and
interpretation [of the park]. And you know, we havent worked all that out yet,
were still in the process of trying to, you know- Do we send all our brochures
over there, where we talk about what kind of things we say in interpreting
programs?- Were still in the throws of trying to work that out It has a
tremendous impact on the tribe....were probably the only- one of the few parks
that is primarily here to talk about the history and culture of two nations. Both
the Nez Perce peoples and the United States and their cooperation and conflict
You know, the Great Western Drama (laugh) in some respect..So I think from
that aspect its a totally different kind of a park. Were going to have a different
relationship...consultation is something that we deal with every day. And were
not necessarily masters at doing it but we're at least you know, we understand
the process and were trying to make it happen.
An integral part of how legislation creates new moral sanctions to support new
constitutions of what is meaningful is how it can affect power relations. In presenting
the Nez Perce NHP park manager's quote above, I am suggesting that park-level
policy, in particular, speaks directly to the way in which power can most easily be re-
distributed in consultation. If we assume that within the specific context of NPS-
American Indian consultation the power yielded by the laws mandating it is really
determined by the degree to which the NPS changes in response to that power, then
changing NPS policy has the greatest potential for social change because regardless of
56


the American Indian law at hand the NPS holds the power in consultation. As I have
already established, the NPS decides when and how consultation will take place
because these details are not specified within the legislation itself.
By park-level legislation I mean some type of policy such as an MOU or
Cooperative Agreement that is park- not issue-specific. Such policy would solve the
structural obstacles to moving consultation into Stage 4 of my developmental scheme:
creating a structural space for a new, mutual reality. Park-specific policy would solve
the institutional problems of MOUs and Cooperative Agreements because although the
legislation's impact isn't systemic on an agency level it is systemic on a park level.
Secondly, such legislation would solve the historical problems as long as the relations
engendered by such legislation are continues. Examples of such collaboration currently
exist with Devil's Tower National Monument. With assistance from the regional
cultural anthropologist, the monument staff formed a consultation committee a couple
of years ago, in which representatives of various interest groups could meet bi-annually
to discuss park management issues of concern to them. American Indian tribes have a
very significant presence within this committee as "Devil's Tower" is a natural feature
of significant religious importance to many Plains tribes.
A further benefit of the park-level policy I have proposed is that it allows tribes
to be engaged in an ongoing manner in the management affairs of an entire park instead
of simply being asked for their input on this or that legislatively-prescribed issue.
Within this type of arrangement, therefore, the opportunity exists for tribes to fulfill
their supematurally derived responsibilities to care for park resources as tribes (Stoffle
1990: 94).
57


Another reason why park-level policy is needed to affect power relations and
why the redistribution of power relations is needed to create a structural space for a new
mutual reality addresses the question of how we might also measure that power, not
just within the NPS but in terms of its impact on American Indian tribes. For as noted
in the Objectives chapter, the impact made upon American Indian communities by the
repatriation of sacred objects is a measure of the potential power such policy might
generate, since it would allow American Indians continuous access to park resources.
As the Nez Perce National Historic Park Manager said, "you're going to have a
different relationship" with a mandate in your park's enabling legislation to specifically
requiring you to consult in a collaborative manner with American Indian tribe(s)
affiliated with your park. Finally, park-specific policy is important to creating a
structural space for a new consultation reality because as we have seen, it is within
park-level bureaucracies that much of the problems of consultation lie. More than that,
however, if any systematic change in the way the NPS consults with tribes is going to
occur it must be at the park manager level because, to invoke Vine Deloria Jr.'s
statement again, "Regardless of the posture of any national administration towards
Indians and their problems, the lower-level bureaucracy largely determines what the
actual policy of the government will be" (Deloria 1985:6).
Conclusion
Throughout this thesis I have presented many contemporary problems ascribed
to consultation by its American Indian and National Park Service participants. But I
hope that with equal vigor I have clearly stated that while NPS-American Indian
consultation is problematic, there exist varying degrees of willingness from all
58


participants to make improvements. American Indian tribes are willing to trust the
federal government yet once again but only under the condition that, to invoke a
common American metaphor, their "actions speak louder than words." Figuratively
speaking, they say, 'Well jump not when you say, but when you do.' The National
Park Service is willing to make consultation with tribes work because they know it is
here to stay. However, if the NPS truly wants a collaborative resource management
relationship with American Indian tribes, it must be willing to share its power in that
management Instead of focusing on how they can manage this diversity that is the
American Indian community, they should instead focus on how that diversity of culture
and resource management style can be accessed to improve their care of park lands and
resources. These obstacles and the others presented throughout this thesis are not
insurmountable. To take Giddens literally, the seeds of change are there, within the
consultation event itself-- within every act.
59


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