For thousands of years, nomadic Native American peoples crossed the Yellowstone River basin, in awe of its stunning landscape and geothermal wonders. Very few colonial Americans had set sight on its mountains, geysers and hot springs before geologist Ferdinand Hayden and his party arrived in the summer of 1871.
Hayden's survey, the first of the region, contributed to Yellowstone becoming the first National Park in America. But while the Yellowstone Act of 1872 protected the area from development by private business, it dispossessed the Native Americans of their ancestral land.
Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Anisha Deva. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.