OLD INDIAN WAYS
Native people respected and revered this area in which, long before the discovery of the Caldera, they understood that creation was still an on-going process. If you were to believe anthropologist's opinions about the place of Native People in the Yellowstone region, you might imagine tribal people cowering from the geothermal features that they are supposed to have been scared of. Hear the real, native stories of Yellowstone. Your guide is an international author and photographer who specializes in native and natural history.
Bring your camera and be prepared to see Yellowstone National Park through entirely new eyes.
- Explore the wondrous landscape of Yellowstone, stand by the shores of Yellowstone Lake to hear tribal stories of Creation
- The diversity of wildlife in the area includes moose, elk, bison, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, wolves, bald eagles, trumpeter swans and of course black bears and grizzly bears. Explore your guide’s stash of wildlife hotspots, searching for the four-leggeds and learning of their special connection to the two-leggeds and the winged of the air.
- This place has the largest concentration of geothermal features anywhere on the planet. Learn how the fourleggeds co-exist with the pots of smouldering steam, hear tribal explanations for features such as the Dragon's Mouth and stand before Obsidian cliff to hear lost stories of geological wonder.
THE MEANING OF THE WOLF
In Yellowstone, the wolves are the rock stars of the park. But how much do you know about their place in Native American tribal culture and the Meaning of the Wolf to Plains Indians? Reconnect with Mother Earth in this unfinished land. The wolf appears in sacred narratives of ceremony and origin; he is celebrated in song, and has taught and inspired hunters and warriors. Look and listen for wolves, visit places important to the wolf’s history here in Yellowstone and discuss wolf ecology and management in and around the park.
- The wolf taught many to hunt, and would call others to share the bounty; learn of both that tradition and of the wolf as a teacher within Plains Indian Cultures
- Be immersed in the world of the wolf. Through traditional stories and explanations, and by entering the wolf's domain, learn of the power and gifts he brings to the people.
- Hear of pack behaviors and fascinating stories of wolves since their reintroduction to Yellowstone.
FINDING SPIRIT BEAR
In Yellowstone there are about 150 grizzly bears remaining in the wild and maybe 650 in the Greater Yellowstone region. As you journey into Yellowstone you enter the sacred realm of the Great Bear – as the Blackfeet say, the Real Bear; the grizzly, and amid the grandeur and tranquility of this good earth upon which the bear walks, you will learn of the physical and spiritual significance of the bear to tribal people who shared such special land with this four-legged Grandfather and guardian.
- These elusive four-leggeds taught The People about wisdom, strength, healing and tenacity. With your guide, a world-class wildlife photographer, go in search of the Spirit of the Grizzly.
- Wherever the bear roamed tribal cultures respected him as a symbol and spirit imbuing great power and the ability to heal. The People have long watched the bear as he seeks out plants such as Bear Root (a plant known for its antibiotic and insect repelling properties) for his own healing. With your guide, watch as bears forage for roots, chew on them then rub them on their fur, learning the common names of plants that reflect their usage by bears, such as bearberry, bear’s paw, bear tongue, and bear clover.
- Plains cultures of the old days revered those who, through a special relationship with bear spirits, appeared to assume the bear’s strength in the heat of battle, even transforming into bears while they fought. Hear stories of these legendary men in tribal history.
WHERE TO MEET: These tours begins from Cody, WY, or if you are staying in YNP, meet at the Fishing Bridge General Store
TOUR TYPE: All day tour guides are 'step-on' so they ride with you.
TOUR DATES: By arrangement. Please call to check availability our guides are popular - book early!
COST: $450 per day for up to 4 people plus park entrance fees paid direct to YNP at the gate.
Please note that no guided tour of Yellowstone, or any natural area, can guarantee you a sighting of any animal. Our guides are knowledgeable and experienced and thanks to their understanding of animal habitat and territories you have a much greater chance of spotting a bear or wolf in their company, but the name 'park' can be misleading to people who don't understand that Yellowstone is a true wilderness that happens to have public roads running through it.
These four-leggeds and wingeds live in one of the few places in the USA where they can be truly free-roaming.
3-5 DAY TOURS
- Combining day tour itineraries into a longer trip gives you a much better opportunity to see all you want to see in America's Serengeti.
- We can create anything from a fully escorted tour of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks including all transportation and accommodation, to a simple camping itinerary where you are free to choose your own logistics and your guide will meet you daily.
- Please call (406 850 3747 or email gonativeamerica @gmail.com for outstanding itinerary options.
Also In Wyoming
THE MEDICINE WHEEL
The sacred reality of the stone Spirit Wheel high above the Bighorn Basin on Medicine Mountain began with the wisdom of one man who carried a spirit wheel lance in 500 BC and led his people from the darkness to the light. Thirteen hundred and eighty six years later, the so-called Great Sioux War began in 1876 with a surprise attack on a predominantly Cheyenne village on the Powder River. Old Brave Wolf was blind, and his daughter, Elbow Woman, sat him upon a horse she then led from the village on a rein. The three made conspicuous targets, but though bullets whined and crackled around them, they walked away unscathed. Across his lap Old Brave Wolf had rested his spirit wheel lance, which became his eyes in that darkness and rendered the soldiers sightless. The spirit in the wheel was alive and long since had been called into the wheel.
- Atop Medicine Mountain in the Bighorns we discover the stone-formed Medicine Wheel.
- We discuss the Massaum Ceremony, “the Medicine Dance of the Ancients,” in which the wolf, and the “Wolf’s Lodge,” is essential to creation, to life, and renewal in the spiritual and physical.
- This day involves some walking – please wear comfy shoes and take water.
The spectacular Bighorn Canyon is an important cultural site for the Crow and Cheyenne, as well as a breathtaking natural wonder. Wild Mustangs range in the Prior Mountains that shadow the canyon, the descendants of Crow and Cheyenne pony herds from the old days and among their number bays, sorrels, along with some grays, roans and pintos, roam the range, their distinctive ‘primitive’ markings including a stripe running down the back, or "zebra" stripes on the legs, differentiating them as member of the tribal Horse Nation.
- We go in search of these mustangs, survivors from the Horse Nation's proudest days.
- Hear stories of Crazy Horse’s skill capturing wild horses, of the relationships between warriors and their mounts and of equine valor beyond imagination in the face of war, where army was pitted against family.
- In 1970 Congress declared the mustangs “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West”. Learn of the ongoing fate of these magnicent four-leggeds as you watch them in their most natural of habitats in the West.