Public lands in the United States hold the creation stories, burial grounds, and ceremonies of Indigenous people who were killed or forcibly removed from their ancestral homes during territorial acquisition.
Many tribes, comprised of different bands, live in the Eastern Sierra region, caring for their native lands as they coexist with the ongoing impacts of colonization. Past or present tribes and bands associated with the region that this effort is aware of include, but are not limited to, the Miwok, Mono Lake Kutzadika’a, Mono/Monache, Nüümü (Paiute), Newe (Shoshone), Timbi-Sha, Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute, and Washoe.
Two Nüümü terms describe the region and provide important context. The first is Pamidu Toiyabe (Western Mountains), and the other, more widely known, place name is Payahuunadü (The Place Where Water Flows). This acknowledgement is an invitation to all organizations, residents, and visitors to recognize the way this history has shaped the present as all parties work together in anticipation of a better future.
The Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA) was established in 1970 by visionary citizens interested in helping the U.S. Forest Service provide interpretive education relevant to the unique surrounding landscape, sharing with the public the importance of the public lands.
Today, ESIA’s ongoing agency partnerships include the Inyo National Forest, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Tahoe National Forest, Death Valley National Park, Devils Postpile National Monument, Manzanar National Historic Site, and the Bureau of Land Management- Bishop Field Office.