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In the late 1800s, John Wesley Powell, the second director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), followed his interest in the tribes of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau and studied their cultures, languages, and surroundings. From that early time, the USGS has recognized the importance of Native knowledge and living in harmony with nature as complements to the USGS mission to better understand the Earth. Combining traditional ecological knowledge with empirical studies allows the USGS and Native American governments, organizations, and people to increase their mutual understanding and respect for this land. The USGS is the earth and natural science bureau within the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). The USGS does not have regulatory or land management responsibilities.
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U.S. Geological Survey Activities Related to American Indians and Alaska Natives - Fiscal Year 2006