1. Cultural landscapes are the worlds that we create around our homes and they include features of the natural environment (such as rapids, notable hills, rivers, etc.) and the monuments that we build (cemeteries, ball parks, office buildings, etc.). We name natural features and we observe and use our cultural constructions. These define what we think is important about our surroundings and we prescribe how and why we use them. Cultural landscapes make us feel “comfortable” and they define who we believe we are. But they do more; each generations learns about the natural and cultural features that the older generation believes are important. In short, we create our cultural landscapes and they, in turn, create us.
Before the coming of the Europeans, native peoples occupied the same physical settings that we do today, but they defined their natural and built landscapes to define their own attitudes, values and beliefs that served to make themselves “comfortable”.
We, today, can gain important insights into how these early peoples defined who they were by studying the ways in which they lived and thought, and by learning from the remnants of the landscape legacies that punctuate the world around us today.
By incorporating Indian cultural landscapes into the contemporary scene, the North American landscape is enriched.
2. CULTURAL LANDSCAPE LEGACIES, Inc. (CLL) is a nonprofit corporation that is dedicated to the discovery and the dissemination of what we are learning to the modern peoples who live on the land. By doing this, we greatly expand the knowledge and appreciation of our own surroundings. In turn, we also gain insights into the peoples in the past were and we pass this understanding on to our children. (See Bylaws)
CLL is developing public education programs to accomplish this task. We rely on research to do this. We are also dedicated to doing what we can to save these legacies from the past from being destroyed by “progress” by preserving them and protecting them. Incorporated as a Land Trust, we can access funds to purchase features of the prehistoric landscapes that are being threatened. (See Mission Statement).
3. The officers and members of CLL are peoples from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds who share these worthy goals. We rely heavily on volunteerism and we are all ready and willing to “roll up our sleeves” and get the job done. We also rely on public and private support to make the work possible. (See Membership, Board of Directors)
4. The programs we are developing have a low impact on our modern landscape. They are designed to complement the work of local, state and federal programs. But those governmental programs have left “voids” that we believe we can fill. (See Programs)
5. CLL began in 1999 as a dream of a core group of people. Almost immediately others recognized the importance of what that group had in mind and joined together.