Project overview: Install educational signs and reroute the Valley Loop Trail to encourage safe, respectful learning about the ongoing project to create an Indian Cultural Center at the Wahhoga site.

How your support helps: The goal to create an Indian Cultural Center in Yosemite Valley was included in Yosemite’s 1980 management plan. Years later, construction finally began on a roundhouse at the Wahhoga site west of Camp 4, where the last American Indian village in the Valley was dismantled in 1969. Tribal community members are building the roundhouse using traditional materials and techniques.

Conservancy donors have supported the Wahhoga project through multiple grants, including funds for site planning and roundhouse construction. Ultimately, the Wahhoga site will include multiple structures and will serve as a cultural, spiritual and gathering space for Yosemite’s tribes.

Given the Wahhoga site’s proximity to Camp 4 and to the popular Valley Loop Trail, visitors often inadvertently wander into or near the construction area. This year, with your support, park crews will reroute the trail around the site, and they will add signs that steer people away from the construction zone and share information about the tribes’ ancestral and enduring connections to Yosemite. As work continues on the roundhouse, the relocated trail and signs will ensure visitors can learn about the history and importance of the Wahhoga site in a safe and respectful way.

Project partners: Yosemite National Park and the Wahhoga Committee.

Liz Williams

Cultural Anthropologist/Tribal Liaison, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

“The tribes, the park, and visitors will benefit from this tribal platform, where the tribes will practice their cultures in their homeland and share the tribal story with visitors in their own words and ways.”