Ancestral Lands National Park Service Report 2021

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Report Term: October 2020–September 2021


Ron Hassel, Development Director 701 Camino del Rio, Suite 101 Durango, Colorado 81301 Email: Phone: 970.749.3960

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, Conservation Legacy, and our partners would like to thank the National Park Service staff, Cooperators, and Partners who have made the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps a continued success. We could not do this without your support! Additionally, we want to acknowledge our Tribal and Community partners, and specific NPS partner, listed below NPS WASO Leadership Staff NPS WASO Youth Programs Division Staff NPS WASO Agreements Staff NPS CIRCLE Cocopah Indian Tribe Colorado River Indian Tribes Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Hopi Tribe Navajo Nation Nez Perce Tribe Pueblo of Acoma Pueblo of Isleta Pueblo of Sandia Pueblo of Zuni San Carlos Apache Tribe Upper Mattaponi Tribe Wabanaki Confederacy White Mountain Apache Tribe Corps Partners: Appalachian Conservation Corps Arizona Conservation Corps


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Northwest Youth Corps/Idaho Conservation Corps Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS) Program Werowocomoco Ancestral Lands Corps Community Partners: Albuquerque Community Foundation Bank of America Bernalillo County Open Space Division Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) BIA Navajo Region BIA Southwest Region BIA Western Region Bureau of Land Management Camas to Condors Partnership Canyon of the Ancients National Monument (BLM) Carson National Forest Chamiza Foundation Chemawa Indian School Cibola National Forest City of Albuquerque Coconino National Forest Colorado 14ers Initiative Colorado Plateau Foundation Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Climate Change Community Forum Conservation Lands Foundation Cornerstones Community Partnerships EcoCulture Escalante River Watershed Partnership Fairfield Foundation First Nations Development Institute Friends of Cedar Mesa Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Monument Fund for People in Parks Geoscience Alliance Grand Canyon Conservancy Grand Canyon Youth Grand Staircase Escalante Partners HistoriCorps Hopi Cultural Preservation Office Hopi Education Endowment Fund Hopi Foundation Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute Jamestown Rediscovery Jamestown Settlement Kaibab National Forest La Plazita Institute Los Jardines Institute Machicomoco State Park Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District National Fish and Wildlife Foundation National Parks Foundation National Park Trust Native American Agriculture Fund Native American Youth and Family Center

Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress National Forest Foundation New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division Northwest Indian College Northwest Youth Corps Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (USFWS) Rising Voices – United Center for Atmospheric Research Salish Kootenai Tribal College Santa Fe National Forest South Valley Main Street Southwest Invasive Plant Management Team Fund for People in Parks United States Bureau of Reclamation United States Coast Guard Training Center United States Fish and Wildlife Service United States Forest Service University of Idaho Tribal Programs Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge Washington State University Tribal Liaison Department Waterman’s Museum Northwest Youth Corps would also like to acknowledge and thank the following groups: • The Nez Perce Tribe who was our main community in which recruitment occurred due to their historic presence in most chosen NPS locations, • Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Climate Change Community Forum for their partnership in recruitment, • Nez Perce Tribal Staff, Elders, and Traditional Foods Gatherers for their contributions to the Conservation for Tribal Climate Adaptation in Traditional Homelands curriculum delivered to the crew members and leader, • The Camas to Condors Partnership for assisting with the climate change and conservation sections of the curriculum delivered as well as their assistance in recruitment, and • All additional partnering organizations and individuals involved in recruiting: the Native American Youth and Family Center, Rising Voices – United Center for Atmospheric Research, Northwest Indian College, Geoscience Alliance, University of Idaho Tribal Programs, Washington State University Tribal Liaison Department, Previous NYC Tribal Stewards Program Leaders and Members and the Salish Kootenai Tribal College. The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail would like to acknowledge the following partners for their participation and providing opportunities for our placements: Jamestown Rediscovery, Fairfield Foundation, Watermen’s Museum, Jamestown Settlement, Machicomoco State Park and the United States Coast Guard Training Center, Yorktown VA. Special thanks to the Upper Mattaponi Tribe for including the participants in their activities involving the Environmental Protection Agency.



OVERVIEW ABOUT THE PARTNER ORGANIZATION(S) Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps: The Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps (ALCC) is a local program of Conservation Legacy (CL) which is a longstanding non-profit focused on collaborative conservation through the employment of youth, young adults, and military veterans on public and tribal lands throughout the country. Ancestral Lands has “in community” programs based in Acoma Pueblo, Albuquerque, the Hopi Tribe, the Navajo Nation, and Zuni Pueblo. For 2021, there have been 21 Crew Leaders, 70 Corpsmembers, and 30 Hiking Club participants. ALCC has worked with Native American communities, state, local and non-profit agency partners to provide economic opportunity, technical skills training, personal and professional development, cultural re-connection, and healing opportunities since our inception in 2008. 2021 marks the first year that the Ancestral Lands program is being recognized as a full-fledged Conservation Corps program of Conservation Legacy.

LEADING OUR NATIONS BACK TO ECOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL WELL-BEING. ALCC was created in 2008 in the Pueblo of Acoma by a community member who saw the potential that conservation corps had to offer to his local community. Over the years, ALCC has grown and evolved to expand to other Indigenous communities and has partnered with conservation corps across the country to help catalyze new opportunities for Indigenous youth and young adults in conservation. We were modeled off conventional conservation corps programs, tracing our lineage to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930’s and 1940’s. We have worked to tailor our program model to meet the needs, strengths, and opportunities unique to Indigenous communities, and to meet our participants where they are by removing barriers to their participation and success. While we still have much work to do to expand the definition of conservation to include urban and rural Indigenous communities, we are proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to growing and deepening the impact we have on the lives of Indigenous young people and communities.


OVERVIEW Current ALCC projects include cultural reconnection, historic preservation, traditional agriculture, habitat restoration, youth hiking clubs, stream restoration, fence construction, trail construction, high school equivalency degree program, and more. The Ancestral Lands program aims to incorporate cultural reconnection and resurgence as well as personal and professional development. Our vision is to lead our Nations back to ecological and cultural well-being. Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC): AZCC, a program of Conservation Legacy, operates a variety of urban and camping conservation corps programs across Arizona from offices in Tucson, Flagstaff and Pinetop-Lakeside. AZCC’s success is largely due to having a staff of dedicated individuals who oversee operations. On average AZCC has 30 staff supporting crew-based operations. Arizona Conservation Corps is a non-profit AmeriCorps conservation program with a mission to engage individuals and strengthen communities through service and conservation. We are dedicated to supporting locally based conservation service programs. Northwest Youth Corps: Since 1984, Northwest Youth Corps (NYC), a non-profit organization, has given tens of thousands of youth and young adults opportunities to learn, grow, and experience success. Through partnerships with conservation agencies, youth and young adults gain the personal and professional skills needed to carry out a variety of stewardship projects, from which they can earn a stipend, high school credit, and/or an AmeriCorps educational award. More importantly, these young people gain skills needed to become economically and socially self-sufficient, benefit their communities as citizen stewards, and recognize that they can make a positive difference. NYC also operates an accredited charter school, internship program, and the Idaho Conservation Corps (ICC).

COVID-19 MITIGATION: The global pandemic continues to have pronounced impacts on Native American Nations and peoples. These impacts have extended to the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, Arizona Conservation Corps, Northwest Youth Corps, and other corps programs. Higher than average rates of COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation, Pueblo of Zuni, and other communities have led to increased travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders, while the Pueblo of Acoma has taken a similarly protective approach to try and preemptively protect its people. While Native Nations have led in the distribution of vaccines, not all neighboring communities have followed suit, leading some Nations to preemptively close their borders or to restrict travel within their borders to try and stop the spread of COVID-19 from outside sources.

program offices to postpone or cancel crews due to not being able to recruit and select enough participants. ALCC has had to postpone numerous crews, including all our planned fall crews, and we have canceled six crews due to either a lack of applications to the program or due to community concerns of safety due to the pandemic. We were not able to operate Hiking Clubs in the Pueblos of Acoma and Zuni this year because of concerns for the safety and well-being of youth in those communities. One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic has been the ability of our program to pivot to provide relief efforts that directly benefit our communities. We have worked with the Navajo – Hopi COVID-19 Relief Fund, Hopi Foundation, National Forest Foundation, Red Feather Development Group, United States Forest Service, La Plazita Institute, Albuquerque Foundation, Conservation Lands Foundation, and other agencies and non-profits to respond directly to the pandemic in support of our communities. This work has included establishing a fuelwood processing and delivery program and staffing a resource distribution facility in Hopi, helping to provide free, locally grown organic food to low-income residents in Albuquerque, and teaching youth how to grow their own gardens in Acoma. It has long been our goal to provide more programs that bring the benefits of our work directly to our communities. Due to these impacts and the delay it has caused for ALCC and our partners to implement programs in 2020 and 2021, this report includes programs operated with WASO 2019, 2020, and 2021 agreements (P19AC00178, P20AC00397, and P21AC10242, respectively). We plan to close agreements P19AC00178 and P20AC00397 this year, and will utilize the funding remaining on agreement P21AC10242 in 2022.

Recruitment has proven particularly challenging as the pandemic continues. While we do not have any empirical data from our participants, anecdotal data indicates reluctance in our communities to take the risk of going back to work, leading many of our 5

PROGRAM SUCCESS 2021 has continued to provide opportunities for growth through challenge, reflection, and innovation. This year has seen the continuation of the global COVID-19 pandemic, major economic disruption, widespread social upheaval through the confrontation of racist structures and institutions, and major fracturing of the American social fabric. Despite major impacts to our country and the Native Nations that we serve, and subsequently to our program, Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps will complete and partner with Arizona Conservation Corps, Appalachian Conservation Corps, and Northwest Youth Corps/Idaho Conservation Corps to complete more than 35 projects, totaling over 85 weeks, at 36 different NPS units throughout the country through direct support from the National Park Service’s Youth Programs Division (WASO). COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect Indigenous populations and communities Tribes and Pueblos have led the nation in vaccination efforts, seeing higher rates of vaccination compared to neighboring non-Indigenous communities, but many Nations re-instituted stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, curfews, and other measures to try and slow the spread of the virus. Recruitment has proven more challenging this year compared to previous years, and corps programs have had to postpone and even cancel hitches, entire crews, and Individual Placement positions due to low recruitment numbers or at the request of partners. Despite being impacted in our personal and professional lives at every level of the program, our participants, staff, and partners have shown great persistence and resilience and have continued to implement a wide array of innovative programming, including continuing a High School Equivalency Degree program (HSED) in partnership with La Plazita Institute in Albuquerque, NM and delivering critical firewood in the Hopi Nation. ALCC has also partnered with Western Colorado University, the Conservation Lands Foundation, Friends of Cedar Mesa, Coconino Community College, EcoCulture, the National Forest Foundation, the Arbor Day Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy to pilot accredited programs (Ecological Restoration Certificate program and the Bears Field School), providing unique opportunities for Indigenous Corpsmembers to earn college credit while participating in national service, removing barriers to postsecondary education and preparing our participants for success in colleges and universities. This year, ALCC partnered with Northwest Youth Crops, Arizona Conservation Corps, the Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS) program, and the Appalachian Conservation Corps. Northwest Youth Corps Tribal Stewards program is designed to help Native American youth and young adults learn, grow, and experience success. The program employs an adventure-based format in which participants spend five to eight weeks camping while completing important conservation service work throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The young adult program is designed to serve young people ages 19 to 26. Members earn a living allowance and an AmeriCorps Education award (or high school credit for youth participants) will gain workforce skills in the resource management field. Members benefit from field 6

PROGRAM SUCCESS The Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT, in coordination with Colonial NHP, developed the Werowocomoco Ancestral Lands Corps programming to allow participants to rotate through the various divisions that operate the park: Administration, Facilities, Visitor & Resource Protection, Visitor Experience & Community Engagement and Resources, Science & Stewardship. The participants are exposed to the myriad careers available in the NPS and learn valuable skills while assigned to each division. Additional opportunities for research and archeology were available through our partners as were other trainings. Our target recruitment was our Virginia tribal partners, with an ancestral connection to Werowocomoco, an NPS property managed by the trail and significant for its history as a Native place of leadership in tidewater Virginia. However, the positions were open to all indigenous youth and were widely advertised by Conservation Legacy and the NPS to multiple tribal youth organizations with national followings, local college-based groups as well as our tribal partners not located in Virginia. Positions were posted on LinkedIn and other job search sites and listed multiple times on our social media channels.

trips, conversations with resource management professionals, and participation in culturally enriching education curriculum while in the program. The goal is to introduce participants to a variety of environmental careers throughout the program. Projects may include wildlife monitoring, fence construction, habitat survey, water quality monitoring, and recreation infrastructure maintenance.

The intended impact of the program is to provide an exploratory experience of National Park Service careers and help individual placements develop skills that they could apply to the future management of Werowocomoco. With the PLC hiring authority that comes with successful completion of the program, we hope to use the alumni of this program to fill future part-time and fulltime positions with the trail.

Arizona Conservation Corps engaged native and indigenous young adults in conservation service work on NPS lands. The programs’ goal was to engage a diverse group of youth and young adults in critical resource management work. AZCC’s intent is to inspire and re-connect Native youth to improve and restore Ancestral lands by increasing the health of the ecosystems that sustain them and increasing our corps members’ interest and ability to pursue further education or a career in resource management.   WASO funding has supported our ability to hire and train indigenous young people in multiple communities across the country. This support from WASO allows us to leverage funds to maximize participants’ experience. In addition to projects completed utilizing funding from WASO, Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps and our partners will complete 35 NPS projects at 36 different NPS units and 25 additional non-NPS partners, including the Pueblo of Zuni, Zuni Youth Enrichment Program, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Reclamation, United States Forest Service and multiple state and municipal agencies, as well as philanthropic organizations. Funding from the Youth Programs Division will support 102 paid positions in 2021 and an additional 110 positions in 2022. 7



Arches National Park Aztec Ruins National Monument Bandelier National Monument Canyon de Chelly National Monument Capitol Reef National Park Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail Casa Grande National Monument Chaco Culture National Historical Park City of Rocks National Reserve Colonial National Historical Park El Malpais National Monument El Morro National Monument Flagstaff Area Monuments Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Grand Canyon National Park Grand Teton National Park Hovenweep National Monument Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site


John Day Fossil Bed National Park Joshua Tree National Park Katahdin Woods and Water National Monument Lewis and Clark National Historical Park Mesa Verde National Park Muir Woods National Monument Navajo National Monument National Historic and Scenic Trails System Natural Bridges National Monument Petrified Forest National Park Petroglyph National Monument Saguaro National Park Southwest Invasive Plant Management Team Tumacácori National Historical Park Tuzigoot National Monument Walnut Canyon National Monument Werowocomoco White Sands National Park Wupatki National Monument Zion National Park




73% (77)

25% (26)

2% (2) Transgender or Other

GENDER American Indian or Alaskan Native

97% (102)

No answer

2% (2)


1% (1)



EDUCATION 26–35: 41% (43)

Some College: 26% (27)

15–18: 7% (7) Some HS: 22% (23)

College Degree: 5% (5)

GED or HS Diploma: 43% (45)

19–25: 52% (55)


NPS: $1,596,237.50 Non-Profit partners: 594,821 AmeriCorps: $381,001 USFS: $374,715 BIA: $263,850 National Park Foundation: $149,300 Foundations/Grants: $130,063

Tribal Governments: $96,513 USFWS: $95,320 Local Governments: $83,950 BLM: $70,055 State Governments: $42,750 USBR: $34,200 National Forest Foundation: $30,750 *The above numbers reflect funding from FY19 and FY20, used in FY21; due to COVID-19.


PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS training certificates verifying completion. Listed below is some of the coursework: Introduction to the National Park Service • NPS Essentials: • Administration • Culture • Planning • Partnerships • Resource Management • Stewardship • Teamwork • Interpretation & Education • Facility Management • Audience Centered Experiences (ACE) • Golf Cart Driver and Safety course • How NOT to write like a Bureaucrat • 5 ways to listen better • Writing for the Web • Archeology for Interpreters • All NPS mandatory trainings for computer use, privacy, telework and the NO FEAR Act. We have found the foundation of this online coursework proves invaluable when the participants begin their rotation with each division. Division managers usually meet with the placements at the outset of their rotation and having this grounding in each division from the online course creates a foundational understanding of what is to come.

WEROWOCOMOCO The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail’s Werowocomoco Ancestral Lands Corps is comprised of three individual placements which includes one lead position. 2021 marks our second class and we created the lead position as a means of having a peer leader to assist the new placements with peer guidance. Werowocomoco: [wayr-uh-wah-KOH-muh-koh] is an important Virginia Indian site along the York River. More than 400 years before English settlers established Jamestown, Werowocomoco had been an important Powhatan Indian town. Werowocomoco, translated from the Virginia Algonquian language, means “place of leadership”. As an archaeological site, Werowocomoco was confirmed in 2002, nearly 400 years after the Indian leader paramount chief Powhatan and his people interacted with Jamestown leaders here and at Jamestown. Werowocomoco - Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (U.S. National Park Service) ( Participants began their placement with many COVID-19 protocols still in place at the park and national levels. To satisfy occupancy limitations, telework was authorized and they completed a robust training schedule of online coursework. Each training course has associated “accountability checks” and/or short essay assignments to fulfill requirement. Some also have 10

As the participants are rotating through the divisions, they are asked to use critical thinking skills to apply what they are learning to Werowocomoco. The capstone for each individual placement is to imagine themselves as managers of a new national park unit and answer the question, “If I were responsible for the opening of Werowocomoco to the public, how would I proceed?”

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS Below are skills learned from each division: Visitor and Resource Protection: • Evidence inventory and destruction • Patrol procedures via ride along, including traffic stops, felony stop trainings and vehicle search tactics • Traffic control during large scale public event (July 4th) • Personal Safety • Attended a County Safety Management meeting • Attended an Active Shooter drill at the USCG Academy • Emergency Response/ First Responder tactics • Radio use/dispatch operations • Wildland Fire Equipment overview Resource Stewardship and Science: • Catalog building conditions • Work with archival collections -prepared artifacts for storage • Completed cannon inventory • Conduct archaeological site assessments of the Yorktown Battlefield, redoubts, and surrounds. • Conduct water quality assessments at Jamestown • Participate with NPS Underwater Archeology Team at Werowocomoco • Participate in night-time deer count at Yorktown • Participate in turtle mortality survey at Jamestown • Conduct easement monitoring at Werowocomoco • Invasive plant species identification at Werowocomoco • iNaturalist and SEEK Applications training • Condition assessment for erosion monitoring at Werowocomoco Facilities Management: • Training on proper use of lawn equipment and machinery to provide for upkeep at Werowocomoco • Land use management and maintenance of 18th century earthworks at Yorktown • Work with volunteers on public service project in preparation for National Public Lands Day • Visitor Experience and Community Engagement: • Position briefings from: Public Information Officer, Visual • Information Specialist, Volunteer and Community Engagement Coordinator. • Researched and developed and presented “pop-up” interpretive programming for visitors (ACE) Administration: • Position briefing and “day in the life” of the Business Manager learning about leasing agreements, concession agreements, special use permits, housing and fee collection. • Participated in official Tribal consultation with tribal partners. • Participated in consultation with Army Corps of Engineers Additionally, the participants provided comment and guidance to our Teacher-Ranger-Teacher on her project to develop a field trip and associated lesson plans for Werowocomoco; provided comment and insight to Fort Monroe National Monument on their new Junior Ranger program, participated as assistant trainers in the trail’s Maritime Crafts School, developed social media content and participated in field archeology with our partners Jamestown Rediscovery and Fairfield Foundation.

ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS CASA GRANDE RUINS The crew took a layer off of the cement sidewalk, helped Cornerstone Community Partners build adobe brick, repaired Casa Grande walls, and swept and mopped. They painted 2870 sq ft of four historic buildings, encapsulated 175 sq ft of ruin walls, picked up trash, and applied oil to shutters for historic preservation. The crew also painted entry way signs and chipped some of the sidewalk with a jack hammer. Total WASO Project Accomplishments: Miles of new trail constructed: 15.25 Miles of trail maintained: 11.28 Acres of land restored: 133.54 Acres of invasive species removed: 32.24 These projects helped meet the Department of the Interior’s priorities of strengthening the government-to-government relationships with sovereign Tribal Nations, making investments to support the Administration’s goal of creating millions of family-supporting and union jobs, working to conserve at least 30% each of our lands and waters by the year 2030, and centering equity and environmental justice.



WABANAKI YOUTH IN SCIENCE PROGRAM (WAYS) PARTNERSHIPS In 2021 with Conservation Legacy (CL), National Park Foundation (NPF) and National Park Service (NPS) provided an opportunity to strengthen the shared values to engage Native youth in internships within an Ancestral Lands Trail Crew to encourage one’s heritage, cultural science, and western science. The opportunity in Maine to expand our work and partners this second year as a trail crew, helped to grow WaYS and expand the partner organizations understanding to the value Ancestral Lands Trail crews have while working on the lands. Most importantly there is a benefit to a number of Native youth who have participated in the Ancestral Lands Trail Crew in Maine not only as a way to reconnect with their cultural knowledge but also as a work force development pathway. This second year of existence broadened our scope of work to include a second national park. In 2020 the focus was on Katahdin Woods and Water Monument for the 10-week program. This year we expanded to 13 weeks with eight weeks at Katahdin Woods and Water Monument (KAWW) and five weeks (three at the very beginning and two weeks at the end) at Acadia National Park (ANP). The expanded areas in two very diverse environments, provided crew members with a broader understanding of the relevance and challenges trail crews have within the individual parks. Still paramount for the AL crew is incorporating traditional Indigenous cultures and languages as part of the crew lifestyle and project work on Tribal ancestral lands. For many Native youth, this is a critical, but missing, component for them in their educational journey.


With the goal to create a long-term opportunity for crew members within the NPS system we integrated the WaYS and CL models together to create a long-term opportunity for AL crew internships. To have success, several critical steps needed to be developed to have a sustainable program to benefit Native youth in Maine. This included: • Develop key contacts within KAWW and ANP organizations to partner on this alliance • Meet and determine viable projects within KAWW based on partner priorities, objectives and ability to mentor projects • Determine timeline for projects and budget with assistance from Friends of Katahdin Woods and Water (FKWW) KAWW has an immense amount of existing trail systems, as well as vast forest land historically known to be Wabanaki ancestral lands. Working in concert with ANP staff, KAWW and FKWW educators, WaYS second year was another successful year of growth. With a crew of four (reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions) were able to accomplish the following: • 1.5 miles of revitalized trails including compliance on KAWW portage trails. These trails were completely overgrown and needed significant improvement • Trained in and practiced Leave No Trace skills • Trained in and practiced Team Building • Completed Wilderness First Aid • Worked with multiple Cultural Knowledge Keepers related to water ecology, astronomy and archeology in the Penobscot River watershed to bring cultural science and western science together on an equal platform • Trail Safe Training • Introduction to Trail Maintenance • Resume writing • Worked with Summit Stewards at ANP • Worked with Invasive plants crews at ANP

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS PARTNERS IN SCIENCE In July 2021, ALCC partnered with Grand Canyon Youth to send 13 Diné, Hopi, and Pueblo high-school-aged youth and 8 adults down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon for 16 days. The trip emphasized scientific exploration while performing visitor impact mitigation work at several campsites along the corridor. Two scientists attended: an entomologist and a biologist who focused on algae. The youth learned about geology, biology, and history. Additionally, the group engaged in community-building discussion and activities. Restorative justice techniques were employed and the group learned to support each other through adversity. Creativity was another focus as every youth expressed their stories through poetry, painting, and prose throughout the trip.

rial off site. The El Morro Headlands Trail project is a multi-year undertaking and funding has increased to complete the renovated path. Current stakeholders include National Park Trust, The Fund for People in Parks, and El Morro National Monument. ALCC will dedicate two more crews to 12 weeks of work in the fall and will resume the project in the spring of 2022. Total leveraged non-WASO dollars = $152,350 from El Morro National Monument, The Fund for People in Parks, The National Parks Foundation, and the National Park Trust.

This model was new for both GCY and ALCC and many lessons were learned. The Grand Canyon is a spiritually significant place for Southwestern Tribes and much care was taken to respect this relationship during expedition, but more can always be done on this front. Organically, the science focus began to take a more holistic, community-driven character, in line with Indigenous thought systems. For the future, ALCC and GCY will continue to de-colonize the recreational river culture by increasing access for Indigenous youth to be in good relations with the Canyon, a place of emergence. Total leveraged non-WASO dollars = $28,000 from Petrified Forest National Park, Grand Canyon Conservancy, and private donors.

ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION CERTIFICATE CREW One five-person Diné ALCC crew will complete a six-month program in partnership with EcoCulture and Coconino Community College to complete a variety of ecological restoration projects and accredited coursework, including developing a restoration plan for local projects on Tribal lands. Participants will earn up to six college credits as well as an industry-recognized certificate in Ecological Restoration. Total leveraged nonWASO dollars = $103,000 from EcoCulture, United States Forest Service, Grand Canyon Youth, National Forest Foundation, City of Flagstaff, Colorado Fourteeners Institute, the Fund for People in Parks, Aztec Ruins National Monument, United States Bureau of Reclamation.

EL MORRO NATIONAL MONUMENT HEADLANDS TRAIL Five ALCC crews worked at El Morro National Monument to help reconstruct the Headlands Trail, a 2-mile loop that takes visitors past petroglyphs and more modern inscriptions as well as to the top of the bluff, past the Atsinna historic site, where nearly 600 people lived from 1275 to 1350 AD. The labor-intensive work involves demolishing and removing existing asphalt trail, hauling up Sta-Lok and flagstone materials, and installing dry masonry erosion control features and Sta-Lok tread. Over the summer of 2021 and leveraging funds from the Youth Programs Division and the National Park Trust, crews constructed over 1300 ft of new trail and features while transporting many tons of old mate-


PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps (ALCC) partnered with Wupatki National Monument, Sunset Crater National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, The Getty and the University of Pennsylvania to protect and preserve these Ancestral sites for current and future generations to enjoy and to honor the ancestors who built them generations ago. Projects such as the historic preservation work that will be completed over the next three years at these sites are incredibly impactful for our participants, who are descendants of the original architects and builders of these places. Participants also gain valuable professional development experience and skills to support their ling-term success, including pursuing careers in the Historic Preservation field, and many participants continue in careers with NPS and other agencies after their terms of service with ALCC. Our vision is to lead our Nations back to ecological and cultural well-being, and projects like this help us to make this vision a reality by reconnecting Indigenous young people to the land, their ancestors, and their culture while preparing them for success in the future.   ALCC Zuni Program Manager Kevin Cooeyate has seen the impact that participation on preservation projects has on Zuni corpsmembers firsthand, commenting that ALCC participants “walk up to a site with awe. After the initial reaction, there is a proud moment that settles in. A sense of reconnection to our ancestors can be just as impactful and is very much a part of the experience. Some, if not, many ALCC participants have a direct tie to the sites and locations we focus on. With a cultural perspective background, a site becomes much more than a project. It is in fact an opportunity to carry on and understand what our ancestors left behind. With a focus on historic preservation, erosion control, invasive species removal, etc., our participants become faithful stewards for land and people. That is how I believe we are leading our nations back to ecological and cultural well-being!”

NORTHWEST YOUTH CORPS TRIBAL STEWARDS PROGRAM NYC’s Tribal Stewards program engaged 13 Indigenous participants, aged 15–35. The program worked at City of Rocks National Reserve in Idaho, John Day Fossil Bed National Park in Oregon, and Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Oregon, completing trail maintenance, fence removal, habitat restoration, and invasive species removal. City of Rocks: Five miles of trail maintained John Day Fossil Bed National Park: Maintained 3.8 miles of trails Removed 500 feet of fencing Restored .25 acres of land Lewis and Clark National Historical Park: 10 acres of invasive plants removed


PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS NON-WASO National Forest Foundation Hopi Firewood Distribution The closure of the Navajo Generating Station and subsequent loss of the primary heating source for the Hopi community impacted villages heavily in the winter of 2019. The closure of NGS, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic will create immediate challenging conditions for the Hopi community this winter. With support from the National Forest Foundation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Red Feather Development Group, the Hopi Foundation, and other partners, we are supplying firewood to under-resourced, low income, critical need individuals and families. Total project cost = $490,357 Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Navajo Gallup Water Supply Pipeline (NGWSP) Two ALCC crews will partner with the BOR to survey and monitor sections of the NGWSP to identify native and invasive species that are establishing along the construction area of the pipeline. Additionally, crews will work to rehabilitate two wetland areas impacted by the construction of the pipeline to support native flora and fauna. Total project cost = $65,000

2021 AND 2022 WASO PROJECTED PROJECTS: Ancestral Lands is planning on completing 68 weeks of project work between October 1 and December 31, 2021. We are partnering with the following NPS parks and programs to complete important infrastructure and natural and cultural preservation projects: Aztec Ruins National Monument, Bandelier National Monument, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Chiricahua National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Canyon National Park, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, Petrified Forest National Monument, and Petroglyph National Monument. Funds from this agreement will help to support the Ancestral Lands’ Crew Leader Training and Development program in 2022. We will utilize 4–6 weeks of these funds to train crew leaders in trail construction, chainsaw operations, risk management, leadership development, and prepare them to be leaders for our program and in their communities. The Crew Leader Training program has been very successful and has become an integral part of our program’s structure. We are also planning on utilizing these funds to support the development of a program partnering with the Tohono O’odham Tribe and Arizona Conservation Corps.



FUTURE AND PILOT PROGRAMS Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps Historic Preservation Training Center (HTPC), Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program (TTAP) ALCC will partner with Stewards (a program of Conservation Legacy), HPTC, El Morro National Monument, and other NPS sites to place multiple TTAP apprentices in 2021 and 2022. Participants will gain certifications, experience in, and direct mentorship from NPS professional to prepare them for careers in the historic preservation field. This program builds upon ALCC’s Historic Preservation program, Stewards’ experience partnering with HTPC, and the TTAP program to engage Indigenous young people in this innovative career preparedness program. Restoration Certificate Program Before the pandemic hit, we were planning to pilot a Restoration Certificate program in partnership with EcoCulture, the National Forest Foundation, USFS, and Coconino Community College. Participants were going to receive college credits and an industry recognized certificate in Ecological Restoration during the six-month project. We are planning to implement this program in 2021 with at least two crews. Northwest Youth Corps We plan to continue and expand the Tribal Stewards program next year. The challenges of COVID-19 on Tribal communities and the NPS system limited the size and scale of the offerings. We anticipate doing a better job at placing crews closer to their traditional homelands as we expand the NPS sites that we partner with. This will help reduce some challenges that can occur related to historical conflicts between neighboring tribal entities. The changes we would like to see next season is access to more culturally relevant sites for our young people. Working with this particular community, going into the future, the initial sites will be assessed to reflect the needs for these Tribal young people. What works: instilling responsibility of a landscape which is culturally meaningful, tying in the historical context which bring a Tribal young person “home”. Coupling this need with meaningful work which helps the overall landscape and the participants’ experience. 16

Arizona Conservation Corps This funding has allowed Arizona Conservation Corps to grow in Ancestral Lands programming and apply for additional funding with our partners, most notably the Catena Foundation. The grant awarded through the Catena Foundation will allow AZCC to focus on partnering with San Carlos, White Mountain Apache, Colorado River Indian Tribes and Cocopah to pilot programs related to Indian Youth Service Corps (IYSC). Indigenous communities have disproportionate rates of unemployment, poverty, and high school dropout which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Opportunities in workforce and leadership development, education, and connections to careers in conservation are urgently needed in these communities. AZCC is qualified to implement this program due to its history of conservation service programs; partnering with tribes, government agencies and local partners; and providing Native youth, young adults and veterans with education and employment opportunities. Werowocomoco We are currently exploring the possibility of expanding the three person program from 23 weeks to a 52-week program.

PARTNER AND PARTICIPANT QUOTES CONNOR TUPPONCE, INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENT ‘The program is an essential part of the Virginia Indian community because it allows native youth to work on and experience their own sacred sites while continuing to carry on the culture left to us by our ancestors all while promoting a healthy government to government relationship.’ DOMINIC HENRY, PARTNER CASA GRANDE RUINS ‘The crew did work that improves park operations and preserve cultural resources of the park. That is a big deal and important to us. As a small staffed park, their help maximized on getting more work completed. Great to have them!’ JESSICA ARKEKETA, PIPESTONE NATIONAL MONUMENT

DAN GREEN, PARTNER TUMACACORI NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK ‘Highly motivated crew solid work effort. Good leadership that was focused on crew safety & well being. Work tasks were completed in a timely fashion and to the standards established.’ LONNIE PILKINGTON, PARTNER GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK ‘[The Partners in Science trip] was an awesome experience, and we had a great group. Thank you for all your good work! Travis stood out and was a bright star. I appreciated his willingness to always pitch in, and I enjoyed getting to know him. I would like to see him pursue a career with the National Park Service. I would be happy to serve as his mentor.’

‘I wanted to become a Corpsmember because it gave me a second chance in life. I knew this internship was going to push me in a way I never had before. It gave me an opportunity to challenge myself to do better. Also, I had to prove to myself and the younger generations that it’s never too late to turn your life around. It really has been a life changing experience. Sometimes I’m lost for words when explaining my time at Pipestone. I am forever grateful.’




‘From the top down all of the individuals I work alongside do an outstanding job. The crew we had here in June did fantastic. The work they did greatly improved the park and I could not compliment them enough!’

‘[The ALCC crew were] an amazing group of people who were a fun group to work with.  They wanted to be here and wanted to learn.  I would love to work with ALCC again.’ QUINN ELKRIVER, PARTNERS IN SCIENCE ‘I learned how I can ask for help and also how to be independent. I also learned how great of a community we were in.’

‘I learned that I have a strong mind. I learned this during hikes when my legs are aching but had to power through. I learned this when I swam through the rapid known as Fish Tail because I had to remain calm and control my breathing or I would have had a rough time getting through.’

KALEN ANDERSON, WEROWOCOMOCO ‘I found the Werowocomoco Ancestral Lands program to be educational, insightful, informative and a steppingstone for native youth.’ CAM PROPHET, PARTNER GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK ‘It was a truly a refreshing experience to be able to connect with all of you and to know that the next generation of Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps Leaders are so impassioned and motivated to engage in conservation work that supports the Grand Canyon National Park which is also the traditional lands of the Havasupai Tribe, Hopi Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, Las Vegas Band of Paiute Indians, Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, Navajo Nation, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, the Pueblo of Zuni, and Yavapai-Apache Nation and many, many more reaching into the past.  This project had many challenges, but your hard work and passion helped to make it more successful than I could have hoped for. I look forward to working with all of you at some point in the future as we work to preserve one of the greatest and most beautiful places in the world.’

DIRON THOMPKINS, COLONIAL NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK ‘Thank you for letting your staff assist me at the James City County Emergency Management Training. They did an outstanding job!! They were very professional and represented themselves, as well as the agency extremely well.’ DOYLE SAPP, CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH CHESAPEAKE NHT ‘As a professional development program designed for tribal youth, the Werowocomoco Ancestral Lands Corps provides an opportunity to ensure that the diverse populations served by public lands are reflected in their leadership in the coming generations.’ CHRISTINE LUCERO, CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH CHESAPEAKE NHT ‘It is important to trail staff that Native voices tell the story of Werowocomoco. Through the Ancestral Lands Corps program, we hope to build a staff that become the stewards of this special place.’

KAYLEIGH CADMAN, PARTNERS IN SCIENCE ‘I love playing the little games we get to play as a group. Like actual fun hand games, activities that made us think of ourselves and who we are. Activities such as fining milkweed for Lonnie, finding weird bugs that I never knew existed with Lauren, and learning about Algae with Sarah!’ 17


CONCLUSION Momentum continues to build across the nation to engage Indigenous young people and center Indigenous voices in conservation. Secretary Deb Haaland, an Indigenous woman, now leads the United States Department of the Interior; Charles Sams, an Indigenous Navy veteran, has been nominated to lead the National Park Service; more Native Americans than ever are gaining political office. There has never been more opportunity and support from federal agencies and partners to build upon and expand the innovative, community-based work that the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps has led the way in developing. We are excited to continue to partner with Indigenous communities and other conservation corps programs across the country to seed and catalyze programs to expand the positive impact that corps programs have in the lives of Indigenous youth and young adults and in Indigenous communities. ALCC has long cooperated with corps partners to share the lessons we have learned to support development of new programs outside of our service area, to see a ripple effect across our Indigenous Nations and communities, creating opportunities for healing, reconnection to the land, professional development, national service, and to lead our Nations back to ecological and cultural well-being. As more programs shift their focus to incorporate programs that engage Indigenous young people and partner with Tribes and Pueblos, it is critical that ALCC’s philosophy and approach are utilized and tailored to local communities to ensure that partnerships are authentic and meet the needs of the communities who help to expand this work. ALCC has long prioritized hiring local champions from the communities that we serve and to work within community to create programs based on their needs and strengths. Conservation corps work is innately difficult work, and the unique challenges that disproportionately affect Indigenous youth, young adults, and communities compound the challenges involved with running these programs. These challenges make operating programs that center our cultures, wisdom, and experiences all the more critical, but it is imperative that programs new to this work take a humble, community-centered approach that allows for revamping of the conventional corps models to remove barriers to participation and success of Indigenous young people in corps programs. As opportunities like the Indian Youth Service Corps, Civilian Climate Corps, and the Great American Outdoors Act continue to develop and prioritize engaging Indigenous young people, it will be critical that we come together to share ideas, best practices, and strategize the creation of new programs that meet the needs of Tribes and Indigenous young people while promoting national service, reconnection to the land and culture, and preparing our young people for success as the next generation of land managers, environmental guardians, and leaders. Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps looks forward to working with communities to create lasting, positive change and to the opportunities to expand the definition of conservation to include Indigenous lifeways, worldviews, and wisdom.










Aztec Ruins National Monument P20AC00782 Aztec Ruins National Monument P20AC00782 Aztec Ruins National Monument P20AC00782 Aztec Ruins National Monument P20AC00782 Aztec Ruins National Monument P20AC00782

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument P19AC00876 Grand Teton National Park P21AC10255 Hovenweep National Monument P20AC00733 Joshua Tree National Park P19AC00007 Mesa Verde National Park P21AC10867 Montezuma Castle National Monument & Tuzigoot National Monument P21AC10019


Bandelier National Monument P20AC00446

Canyon de Chelly National Monument P18AC00798

Montezuma Castle National Monument & Tuzigoot National Monument P20AC00607


Canyon de Chelly National Monument P21AC10192

National Park Service (NPS) - WASO P20AC00397

Chaco Culture National Historical Park P20AC00769

National Park Service (NPS) - WASO P19AC00178


Chaco Culture National Historical Park P21AC10452

National Park Service (NPS) - WASO P21AC10242

El Malpais National Monument P20AC00836

Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO) P20AC00727


El Morro National Monument P19AC00924

Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO) P19AC00870

Flagstaff Area National Monuments P20AC00503

Petroglyph National Monument P21AC10662

Southwest Invasive Plant Management Team P21AC10075


Kalen Anderson: Born in the Tidewater region of Virginia, Kalen is a citizen of the Nansemond Indian Nation located in Suffolk, Va. Last year, he graduated with an Associates degree in mechanical engineering technology. His love of the outdoors and the history of his people have inspired an interest in pursuing additional studies in environmental history and conservation in the near future. Kalen is a member of Red Crooked Sky, a Native American dance troupe that educates audiences on Native culture through traditional dance. He enjoys fishing, hiking, kayaking, and native

crafts. He hopes to gain as much knowledge as possible from his internship so that he may fully share Werowocomoco’s importance as a spiritual, religious, and communal place with fellow Virginia Indians. Rihanna Kelver: Born in Littleton, Colorado, with ancestral roots in Virginia, Rihanna is an enrolled member of the PaTow’O’Mek Tribe of Virginia and is a proud indigenous transgender woman. She studies history with a specialization in indigenous history at the University of Wyoming. She happily joins the Ancestral Lands Corps program in

an effort to further preserve and protect the lands of her ancestors. Connor Tupponce: Connor was a member of last year’s inaugural class of Ancestral Lands interns and is making a return to the program to help guide Kalen and Rihanna and to further develop his leadership skills. He is a citizen of the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe in King William, Va. He studies public administration at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Va. Connor is an avid outdoorsman with a heart for conservation.



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