Project overview: Recruit and train a Tribal intern to help document, restore, and protect sensitive cultural and natural resources.

The backstory: Local American Indian people have long lived and worked in Yosemite National Park, mostly as laborers and service workers. It’s time they also made up a larger percentage of the employees of the National Park Service.

The demographics of the Yosemite workforce — and the workforce of the National Park Service as a whole — unfortunately do not reflect the rich diversity of American society today. This disparity affects how the National Park Service is perceived, making it difficult for the agency to hire and retain BIPOC staff (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and connect with historically underserved communities.

This year: This project funds the creation of an internship within Yosemite’s Resource Management and Science division, with the specific intention to recruit, hire and train a Native intern with connections to the Seven Associated Tribes of Yosemite. Once hired, the intern will train a crew lead for the Yosemite Tribal Conservation Corps. They will also assist archaeologists with field surveys and the documentation and preservation of natural and cultural resources discovered in the Yosemite Wilderness. The goal of this opportunity is twofold: the park will benefit from the Tribal intern’s contributions, and the intern will benefit from on-the-job training and work experience to inform their successful continued career.

Project partner: Yosemite National Park.

Irene Vasquez

Resources Management and Science, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

“A diverse and inclusive workforce helps us better meet our mission in protecting natural and cultural resources, and in interpreting stories and history that have been excluded or misrepresented.”