(Jackson, Wyo.) - Grand Teton National Park is launching a new Tribal Youth Corps program this summer.
According to the Park, the goals of the program are to reconnect American Indian youth with the Grand Teton landscape while assisting with cultural preservation projects, and to introduce participants to careers in the National Park Service.
The program provides hands-on opportunities for native youth to connect nature and cultural history by participating directly in heritage preservation. Grand Teton National Park’s charismatic wildlife and dramatic landscape often overshadows the rich cultural history of the park, which includes nearly 700 historic structures, and several archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, and culturally significant sites.
The Tribal Youth Corps is focusing their efforts on improving infrastructure and visitor access within the Mormon Row Historic District. Participants constructed rustic wooden footbridges to help preserve irrigation ditches, built gates, and established a “no-parking” zone in front of the TA Moulton Barn to facilitate revegetation and unobstructed views. A second group of participants will complete construction of a footbridge, improve drainage around the historic buildings for preservation purposes, and replacing fencing.
“It is an honor to host these American Indian youth and have their help with projects within the park,” said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela.
This program will help to reconnect native communities with the landscape their ancestors have called home for thousands of years, and with the National Park Service’s management of those lands.
“I hope this program will create a greater connection to the park for these participants, and perhaps a related career choice as well,” said Vela.
Feature Photo: Tribal Youth Corps Members from Wind River Reservation working at Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, left to right- Jada Antelope, Jayden Whiteplume, Xavior Oats, Deondre Moon, Jodyann Dempsey, and Montana Conservation Corps Leader Phillip Hurtado. National Park Service Photo
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