The preservation of Native American culture is more important today than it has every been. As a country, it is essential that we remember the roots from which our nation came.
The indigenous tribes of America have long been referred to as Native Americans, or Indians, and once consisted of well over 500 tribes.
While these Native American tribes have dwindled over the past few centuries, they have left an indelible mark on the United States of America. This guide is here to give you the five most important Native American cultural sites in existence today.
Chickasaw Country is a wonderful cultural site that exists in the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Chickasaw Country is a one-of-a-kind destination for those looking to discover the pastime of the Chickasaw tribe.
Chickasaw Country is spread throughout 13 counties in southeastern Oklahoma and is home to such attractions as the Chickasaw Cultural Center and the beautiful Chickasaw National Recreation Area, which is comprised of 109 acres of natural fields, woods, and rivers.
Nez Perce National Historical Park
The Nez Perce National Historical Park is a sprawling cultural location that spans 38 sites in the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. It is here that you can discover everything you want to know about the diverse history of the Nez Perce Indian tribe.
The park, which officially began in 1965, is home to unforgettable sites, such as the Big Hole National Battlefield, the Weippe Prairie, and the historical Old Chief Joseph Gravesite, as well as a plethora of others.
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail consists of over 2,000 miles of trails that were set aside by the government as a historical and cultural preserve in 1987.
These trails are marked in remembrance of the infamous Indian Removal Act of 1830, that forced many Native Americans, particularly those of the Cherokee tribe, from their homelands. The trail spans over nine states and allows you to traverse the very areas in which many Native Americans died so long ago.
Mojave National Preserve
The Mojave National Preserve, located in the Mojave Desert in California, is a huge area of 1.6 million acres that was set aside as a preserve for the Mojave Indian tribe.
While the landscape is that of a desert, the preserve also consists of natural springs, expansive sand dunes, and a wealth of historical and cultural sites. There are also a wide range of mountains available for those looking for a bit of exhilarating adventure.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
The Chaco Culture National Historical Park is one of the most awe-inspiring locations in the U.S. It is here that you are allowed to experience the enthralling history of the Pueblo tribes that existed for nearly four hundred years beginning in the 10th century. There are a variety of amazing biking trails throughout, as well as a stunning Chaco Night Sky Program from the months of May to October.
There are, quite literally, hundreds of Native American cultural sites throughout the United States, but it is in the five listed above that you will find a diverse list containing the most important ones with some of the richest history and most unforgettable experiences.
Emily Barton is an anthropologist with a passion for Native American culture. For more great articles like this one, Emily recommends visiting http://www.powwows.com/category/blog.
Image courtesy of Elwood W. McKay III / FreeDigitalPhotos.net