Submitted by Blue Ridge Parkway 75 Committee
The public is invited to participate a program at the Cherokee Central Schools on Thursday, Nov. 12 that encourages “untold stories” related to natural resource stewardship and national parks. Special guest Dr. Gerard Baker, Superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial and featured in Ken Burns’s National Parks documentary series, will present Natural Resource Stewardship – An American Indian Legacy and Model for Our Future.
Gerard A. Baker, Ph.D., is Superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. He has been with the Federal Government for 32 years – 29 years with the National Park Service and three years with the United States Forest Service. Dr. Baker is a full-blooded member of the Mandan-Hidatsa Tribe of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, Mandaree, North Dakota. He grew up on the reservation on his father’s cattle ranch in western North Dakota.
Dr. Baker began his National Park Service career in 1979 as a Park Technician at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in North Dakota. He served as the Historian at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site for two years before assuming the North Unit District Ranger job at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. In 1990, Dr. Baker transferred to the U.S. Forest Service as Assistant District Ranger for the Little Missouri National Grasslands in North Dakota. He spent the following year as Assistant District Ranger for the Beartooth District in Red Lodge, Montana, and Acting District Ranger on the Ashland District, Montana, before returning to the NPS as Superintendent of Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana. In 1997, Dr. Baker received the NPS Intermountain Regional Director’s Award for Cultural Resource Management and a team-performance award for his work with the Indian Memorial at Little Bighorn Battlefield. In 1998, he became Superintendent of Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma and received the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Award.
A light reception will begin at 5p.m. and the program will start at 6p.m. There is no charge to participate. All events will take place at the new “green” school campus, 1582 Ravensford Circle, Cherokee, North Carolina.