Federal officials have included some descendants of the Yosemite Valley´s indigenous people as overseers of the $441 million plan to preserve the area´s natural beauty.
The 15-year agreement with the American Indian Council of Mariposa County, which is partly made up of Southern Sierra Miwoks, allows them to build an American Indian center and a traditional roundhouse on seven acres. The area was inhabited by Indians for centuries before white travelers discovered the land.
Not all American Indians have endorsed the plan. Some worry any development in the valley will simply destroy more ancient sites.
The park was named Yosemite by the travelers, who heard the Miwoks describe neighboring Indians as “Yohemite,” meaning “some of them are killers.”