Lewis and Clark, Native Americans, and the USGS
Reconstructed Mandan Indian Village on the Missouri River
Native Americans were influential in identifying various species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, plants, trees, and shrubs. They also helped Lewis and Clark in determining river routes and basic survival. In fact, the book Lewis and Clark by Robert Ferris and the National Park Service recognizes the scientific contributions of Native Americans to the expedition.
President Thomas Jefferson's instructions to Lewis emphasized the fact that the expedition had a scientific mission. Native Americans along the way helped Lewis and Clark gather scientific data, such as the migration habits of plains animals. The Lewis and Clark expedition and their interaction with Native cultures has much to teach us. In fact, President Bush pointed this out in a July 3, 2002 address to the Voyage of Discovery Summit.
. . . I urge all Americans to learn more about Lewis and Clark and how the expedition changed our nation, and at the same time, to learn more about our native culture. . .
The U.S. Geological Survey has a role to play in the American learning experience. In fact direction comes from the President's July 1, 2002 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Proclamation:
. . . .I also direct Federal agencies to work in cooperation with each other, States, tribes, communities, and the National Council of the Lewis and Clark bicentennial to promote educational, cultural, and interpretive opportunities for citizens and visitors to learn more about the natural, historical, and cultural resources that are significant components of the Lewis and Clark story. . . .
Learn more by viewing following web pages and publications regarding U.S. Geological Survey and Native American projects.
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Last modification: 20-Oct-2005@15:53
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