Steven Roberts, Director of Interpretation, Education, and Visitor Services for the National Park Service at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument announced the following exciting programs to Historic City News as part of Native American Heritage Month. On November 16th and 17th, a collection of events will take place to remember and honor the Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors imprisoned at Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos) from 1875-1878.
The special events feature memorial ceremonies, remembrances, and educational sessions. Throughout the two days of events, educational sessions will be presented. Topics will include the history of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, the long-lasting impacts and intergenerational trauma of imprisonments and assimilation efforts, Native American prisoner-of-war burials in St Augustine, and the importance and impact of art in recording and preserving Tribal heritage.
“On Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 7:00 p.m., National Park Service Native American Affairs Liaison, Dorothy FireCloud, will close the events with a keynote address in the Lewis Auditorium located on the Flagler College campus at 14 Granada Street,” Roberts reported. “In October 2020, FireCloud became the Native American Affairs Liaison and Assistant to the Director of the National Park Service. Her responsibilities include ensuring the Park Service meets the requirements of the Department of the Interior’s Policy on Consultation with Tribal Nations and supporting the Director on issues impacting Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.”
FireCloud holds a Juris Doctorate from the New Mexico School of Law and has been a member of the New Mexico State Bar since 1991. She joined the National Park Service in 2006 as Superintendent of Devils Tower National Monument, a site of significant spiritual connection to her tribe. From 2012 to 2020, FireCloud served as Superintendent at two Puebloan NPS sites, Montezuma Castle National Monument and Tuzigoot National Monument in the Verde Valley of Arizona.
Both day’s events are offered to participants free of admission charge on a first-come, first-served, basis. Visit the event schedule website for details. The Auditorium will open Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. for security screening before the program.
Castillo de San Marcos: Interpreting Tribal Heritage at Fort Marion
Fort Marion (now Castillo de San Marcos) was used as a prison for Native Americans during conflicts in the 19th Century (1837, the 1870’s, and 1880’s). The National Park Service, in coordination with Flagler College, continues to learn and develop new ways to interpret these significant periods in the history of Castillo de San Marcos. Together, the National Park Service and Flagler College have worked closely with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma to explore the much-needed perspective of the descendants of those imprisoned.
Built by the Spanish in St Augustine to defend Florida and the Atlantic trade route, the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument preserves the oldest masonry fortification in the continental United States and interprets more than 450 years of cultural intersections. To learn about the Castillo, please visit the park website.