Why Was the Project Established?

Every year millions of visitors to our national parks, monuments, and historical sites see natural wonders and places where history was made. They see exhibits and hear presentations from National Park Service staff based on geological, biological, anthropological, and historical research. However, visitors rarely have an opportunity to hear teachings about the plants, animals, and special places in and around the parks from the point of view of the culture of the people who first lived there, and from a member of that culture group.

The Place and Native Voice (PNV) Project was established to create this opportunity. It is an opportunity for the National Park Service to culturally enrich its interpretive programs by having staff members from culture groups indigenous to the parks. And it is also an opportunity for participating American Indian college students to receive valuable professional and academic training in how to convey the environmental wisdom of their cultures to those visiting these parks, monuments, and national historic sites.

What Kind of Training Will I Receive?

The PNV Project provides two kinds of training. First, experienced National Park Service staff train interns in techniques for preparing and presenting interpretive programs to visitors at the national park or historical site where the interns will be serving. Second, interns also have tutorial consultations on matters related to program preparation and public service with the Academic Director of the PNV Project, through the University of Colorado’s Graduate School of Public Affairs. Students successfully completing both the federal employment and academic components of the Project will receive a certificate acknowledging this public service training in cultural resource interpretation.

What Is the Federal Employment Component of the Project?

Students chosen as interns for the Place and Native Voice Project will be offered seasonal employment at one of the National Park Service units participating in the program. Participating units for the 2006 PNV project year were Rocky Mountain National Park, (Estes Park, CO); Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site (La Junta, CO); and Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (Eads and La Junta, CO).

The employment period will begin in either late May or early June of 2007, depending on NPS staff training schedules and the chosen intern’s academic schedule. Appointment will be at the GS-4 level, with an approximate salary range of $11.80 to $12.50 an hour, and a 40-hour work week. Interns will either be offered seasonal staff housing, or will be offered assistance in finding suitable nearby housing. Interns will also be provided with Park Service uniforms or – at national historic sites – other attire appropriate to the program being offered at the site.

Successful completion of the PNV Project does not guarantee permanent future employment in the National Park Service or another federal agency. However, it does increase the likelihood that applicants for such career employment positions after college graduation will receive substantially more favorable consideration than applicants who do not have such training and experience.

What Is the Academic Component of the Project, and How Does It Relate to the Interpretive Program I Will Be Preparing and Presenting?

All of the culture groups indigenous to the Rocky Mountain Region and western Great Plains are rich in teachings about their relationships with the plants and animals of these regions, as well as important ceremonial sites to be found there – teachings known as traditional ecological and traditional cultural knowledge. Interns will receive academic advising and tutorial mentoring on how to work with tribal elders, family members, and acquaintances – first to determine what knowledge they consider appropriate to share with the non-tribal general public, and second to prepare an interpretive program containing this knowledge. If needed, PNV interns will be provided funding for a one-week visit to their reservations to consult with elders and others on the preparation of their presentations. Interns will be enrolled in three semester units of graduate public service internship through the University of Colorado’s Graduate School of Public Affairs.

How Do I Apply to Become a PNV Intern?

There are two forms that need to be filled out: the 9-page PNV Application for Seasonal Employment; and the 2-page PNV Student Eligibility Statement. Completed forms can be faxed, emailed or mailed to Professor Lloyd Burton, PNV Project Academic Director, using the contact information provided at the top of page 1 of this flyer (if emailing your forms, you must still fax the signature pages of both forms). Please also either phone or email Professor Burton to let him know you are sending your materials, or if you would like to communicate with him regarding the PNV Project.

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