June 17, 2023

National parks offer us so many gifts…opportunities to learn, explore, relax, and restore. This year, I’ve had the chance to visit and learn from two fellow park communities – on my own tour of parks in New Zealand and on a trip to the Grand Canyon with Superintendent Craig Kenkel, and Buffy McQuillen and Robin Meely from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR). While these parks are nearly 7,000 miles apart, they have a common goal of addressing historic wrongs against Indigenous communities by restoring access to sacred lands and sharing in decision making. 
Repairing Connections to Land & People
Each park’s history is unique, and so is each relationship between park managers and tribes. In New Zealand, in conversations with Department of Conservation leadership and Māori scientists, I learned how central co-management of public lands is to transform parks to places for reconciliation and kaitiakitanga—a Māori cultural system founded on the belief that all people are guardians of nature, not consumers of its bounty. One way this is paying off is a more integrated approach to protecting endangered species, like the hoiho.
Touring restored hoiho,, or yellow eyed penguin, habitat on New Zealand's South Island.
Point Reyes, Yosemite, Golden Gate, Grand Canyon, and FIGR representatives learning from each other.
At the Grand Canyon, the park service is prioritizing the repair of tribal relationships – a trust that was broken in 1919 when 11 tribes were expelled from their homelands to create the park. Alongside colleagues from Yosemite and Golden Gate, we saw this vision beginning to come to life in the re-imagined Desert View Inter-tribal Cultural Site that allows Indigenous people to share their own stories of the land, while also gaining economic benefits.
Prioritizing Relationships at Point Reyes
What I took from my travels was not only the value of trying new models of collaboration, but also a better understanding of the uniqueness of our own relationship with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. Inspired by the park service’s work to establish a government to government co-management model with FIGR two years ago, PRNSA sought a community to community relationship with the tribe. Together, we have built on this work, and PRNSA is proud to support three weeks of camp for tribal youth at our residential environmental education center this summer. 
This work in partnership with the tribe and the park service is an early step in restoring relationships with the land and with each other.
Donna Faure
Executive Director
Place & Purpose Podcast
Conversations with Greg Sarris & Obi Kaufmann
Join Greg Sarris and Obi Kaufmann – Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and award-winning author respectively – in a 12-part discussion on the "deepest questions of hope, culture, beauty, justice, time, and ecology." The series focuses on the passing of seasons and what these patterns indicate about the fast-approaching future.

PRNSA follows the conversations closely, and we are grateful to Obi for his artwork contribution to this year's Party on the Pacific Plate Event. Click here to learn more about the podcast and where listen.
Upcoming Events & Classes
Our summer calendar is full! From classes to volunteer opportunities to partner events to community gatherings, there's something for everyone. Look below for upcoming events!
Monday, June 19

Join our friends at Outdoor Afro as they center their annual Juneteenth (June 19) theme on “Freedom to Access Water," and asks the public, supporters, and partners commemorate the day by spending 2.5 hours in nature.

Sat., Jun 24, 11:00am - 1:00pm

Volunteer at the National Park Service's inaugural Summer of Service program. Join teams on June 24 for a shoreline cleanup at Drakes Beach. Tools will be provided and no prior experience is necessary!

Fri., Jun 27, 5:00pm

Join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Point Reyes Station for an open house on the potential reintroduction of sea otters to their historical range. Attendees will be able to ask questions, share input, and speak with staff.

Fri., Jun 30, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Join PRNSA and NPS staff at our second annual Pride in Our Park Walk down Bear Valley Trail! We'll bring the flags, festive gear, and snacks to share all we need is you.

Sat., Jul 1, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Explore ecopoetry that wakes you up and gets you writing. Begin new writing, connect with healing words, and share your poetry or prose. Perfect for writers of any level and genre.

Sun., Jul 30, 9:30am - 3:30pm

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Drakes Estero. In this class with our friends at Blue Waters Kayaking, enjoy a full day exploring this marine wilderness by kayak.

New Faces at PRNSA
Sarah Lehr
Finance Director
A California native, Sara spent her formative years traipsing around the Sierra Nevada mountains, developing a love for the outdoors. Upon moving to San Francisco after... Read More.
Emma Wheeler
Vegetation Management Intern
Emma (/Alder) excitedly returns to the hills of West Marin for the first time since growing up in Woodacre. After studying Environmental Studies and Feminist Studies... Read More.
We partner with the National Park Service to create opportunities for all people to experience, enhance, and preserve Point Reyes National Seashore for present and future generations.
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