10 Aug First Program on American Indians
So far I have been thriving here in Cedar Grove! I have been presenting my talk on the American Indians of Kings Canyon and California for the past couple weeks now and have been loving giving it. When I first arrived here, I was told “okay Victoria, you’re going to have to develop and present a talk in a week, what are you interested in?”. That question held a lot of weight for me, I am currently studying Sociology and Environmental Science in school right now, so I had an array of different topics that fascinated me. What I noticed though was that my coworkers had already created programs regarding the geology of the canyon and the animals living inside it, there was even one on the first settlers of the canyon. However, there was not much I had heard about the first people to actually inhabit and live in the canyon.
The Monaches or Western Mono people had lived on the Western slope of the Sierra for thousands of years before ever coming into contact with European settlers. In fact, they thrived living anywhere from the summit, where the watershed it located, to the foothills of the Sierra where they neighbored with the Yokut people. It was through their belief that this great land filled with majestic beauty and biodiversity was a gift from Mother Nature and we should not only treat her with respect, but also one another. I think that is one of the most important lessons that American Indians can teach us today and what people seem to have a problem in understanding in this day and age. Despite having language barriers(because not all American Indians spoke the same language) and sometimes lifestyles and traditions, they understood that everyone had a right to occupy this land and no one should try to conquer it or subdue it for himself.
I thoroughly enjoy the time that I spent learning about American Indians and more specifically, the Monaches in Kings Canyon. They are a living history that continue to teach lessons on conservation, preservation, and understanding of humanity.