The Inscription of the American Southwest in Navajo Tribal Parks


  • Imelda Martín Junquera



This article aims at pointing out and analyzing the different uses and transformations of the landscape of Navajo tribal parks through the films of John Ford and the Native American literature of the Southwest of the United States. These parks, especially Monument Valley, located between Arizona and Utah, stand as a sign of power and victory for the Western immigrants and explorers and as a site of resistance for the indigenous inhabitants. These inhabitants were once displaced and dispossessed of their lands, during the advance of the frontier towards the Pacific Ocean, thus, creating the fictitious idea of an uninhabited wilderness.


Allen, Paula Gunn. Off the Reservation: Reflections on Boundary-Busting, Border-Crossing Loose Cannons. Boston: Beacon Press, 1999.
Adamson, Joni. American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice and Ecocriticism: the Middle Place. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2001.
Buell, Lawrence. The Future of Environmental Criticism. Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.
Byerly, Alison. “The Uses of Landscape: The Picturesque Aesthetic and the National Park System” The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Ed. Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold From. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1996. 52-68.
Keller, Robert H and Turek, Michael F. American Indians and National Parks. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1998.
Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
Ortiz, Simon. “Canyon de Chelly.” Woven Stone. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1992.201.
---. “A designated National Park” Woven Stone. University of Arizona Press., 1992. 235.
Riley Fast, Robin. The Heart as a Drum: Continuance and Resistance in American Indian Poetry. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1999.
Stagecoach. John Ford. 1939.
The Big Country. William Wyler. 1958.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Gore Verbinski. 2013.
U.S. Department of Interior – National Park Service. “Canyon de Chelly National Monument.” Last visited March 9, 2017.
--. “Montezuma Castle.” Last visited March 9, 2017.
--. “The National Park Service Organic Act of 1916.” Last visited March 20, 2017.