Virginia Salazar-Halfmoon is coordinating the project for the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association said foreign visitors and even some American tourists along the route still expect to find Indians wearing headdresses and living in teepees (and you can see those at some of the Indian trading posts. But, she wants them to know that these were unique nations and each has a different story to tell of their history with Route 66.
During the next year, they plan to produce a guidebook using federal grant money that will highlight significant tribal sites along the road. It will also include stories of how communities were affected by the commerce which came along with the traffic.
Representatives from the Park Service and American Indian Center of Chicago participated in the Wednesday meeting to kick off the project. Also officials from the Acomo and Zuni pueblos in New Mexico, the Cherokee and several other tribes attended.
Many talked about the roue's role in the federal government's Indian relocation program of the 1950s and the migration of many Indian children to boarding schools.