Sometimes we don’t know how to visit a place.

If you search hashtags like “discover,” “explore,” or “wanderlust” on Instagram, you’ll find over 150 million posts of people traveling all over the world!

All public lands are originally native lands and have a history, and indigenous people continue to have connections, spiritual and cultural connections to every land space on Turtle Island.
— Marquel Musgrave, Nanbe Owingeh

These photos inspire us to see the world, to save up and add things to our bucket lists, to get to that same cliffside and see that same sunset, but oftentimes social media shows these places without the context of what made these places special in the first place - the thousands of years of natural processes that sculpted the rock formations, or the thousands of years of cultural significance of the people that call these places home.

In this episode we hear from Bridget Ireland, Lead Dispatcher at Mesa Verde National Park, and Marquel Musgrave of Nanbe Owingeh Pueblo, and Emergence Project Coordinator at Santa Fe Mountain Center.

Looking for more?

Well you’ve come to the right place.

Native Land App

All public lands are ancestral lands to the indigenous people of this continent. Native Land is a web-based map and smart phone app that provides information about the people that first inhabited the land that we call the United States today. When traveling, Marquel Musgrave suggests that we use resources like this to acknowledge the first people who were stewards of the places that we visit.


Plan Ahead

Bridget Ireland suggests that we all take the time to educate ourselves about the conditions of public lands before we travel. Things like elevation, humidity, heat or cold, and hydration are some of the biggest factors in search and rescue missions in National Park and public lands. With the internet at our fingertips every day, it can be easy to forget how to be prepared in case batteries run out or cell coverage doesn’t reach us.

National Parks, National Forest, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offer information and resources on their websites to help you visit safely and respectfully.

Photo: Kayla Eiler Woodward

Photo: Kayla Eiler Woodward


Visit with Respect

Friends of Cedar Mesa has an excellent website with resources about how to visit cultural and ancestral sites respectfully.