The use of Devils Tower by multiple stakeholders poses significant challenges to the National Park Service, in terms of managing the monument without upsetting the delicate balance between culture, environment, tourism, and recreation.  The NTCC’s involvement in resolving this cross-cultural crisis is essential since each member of the team has specialized knowledge that is currently unavailable to the National Park Service in order to make an informed decision.

As an NTCC member, you will be reviewing a variety of print media (journal articles, book chapters, newspaper articles, case laws/rulings), non-print media (videos) and online sources (websites, webpages) to examine the Controversy, based on existing cross-cultural behavior theories.  When you read the various sources, remember that some sources are more (or less) reliable than others.  While journal articles, book chapters, case laws/rulings, and information provided on government websites undergo peer-review (or are subjected to a structured Editorial process) and typically have a high rate of factual accuracy, on the other hand, newspaper articles and unofficial/personal webpages tend to be opinion-based as opposed to being grounded on scientific data. Owing to the controversial nature of the Devils Tower case, it is very likely that you will come across a variety of opinionated sources.  Your job is to review these sources, NOT TO TAKE SIDES, regardless of how you personally feel about this issue.  A pre-prepared list of sources is readily available to you.  You may access them at the end of this page.

Please keep in mind that it is the responsibility of each NTCC member to demonstrate a high level of Information Literacy and to determine the professional value as well as theoretical and practical applicability of each information source.  Find out more by going to the Information Literacy webpage hosted by the National Forum on Information Literacy.  


1.  Overview of the Controversy surrounding Devils Tower

Since the NTCC’s familiarity with the Controversy and the region is currently minimal, it is important to gain a general understanding of the monument’s background before embarking on the task of examining the issue in-depth.  The collection of this general information should be done collaboratively since it is vital for all 5 NTCC members to become well-acquainted with the various factors related to the Controversy.  In the final report, the NTCC will start with a 3-page write-up providing an Overview of the Controversy, including:

1.   Geographical location of Devils Tower National Monument (city, state, region)

2.     Brief history of the monument (both before and after the designation of ‘Monument’)

3.     Demographic/resident profile of the area (who are the residents of the Devils Tower area? ethnic make-up, occupations, age, gender)

4.     Devils Tower user profile (who uses Devils Tower? ethnic make-up, occupations, age, gender)

5.     Specific stakeholders involved in the controversy (which groups, individuals, and representatives/spokespersons are speaking out? origin of the groups)

6.     Specific issues relating to the controversy (chronological listing of major events to date)

7.     Relevant laws/court rulings relating to the controversy (do any laws and/or court rulings have any bearing on this issue? what are they? brief descriptions)


2.  Assigning Stakeholder Roles to Each Group Member

Once the NTCC has acquired enough background information about the Controversy, the 5 team members are required to explore the issue by applying Information Literacy skills and knowledge relating to Cross-Cultural Behavior. Because the controversy is quite complex, an in-depth examination requires well-coordinated, collaborative group work.

Since the Devils Tower Controversy involves multiple stakeholders, it is crucial for NTCC to understand the factors related to the crisis from individual cultural perspectives of these stakeholders.  You are now in your 2nd day of the meeting. As per the instructions regarding the process for completing the 3 tasks, the next step in conducting this collaborative work is to assign specific stakeholder roles to each NTCC member.  According to the Federal Government mandate, each NTCC member will choose one of 5 stakeholder roles and then review the Controversy from that cultural perspective.  The 5 stakeholders roles include:

  1. American Indian resident, native to the area (select one real-life character based on your research)
  2. Euro-American resident, native to the area (select one real-life character based on your research)
  3. Rock-climbing proponent (select one real-life character based on your research)
  4. Special interest group representative (select one real-life character based on your research)
  5. National Park Service employee (select one real-life character based on your research)

Although each NTCC member will take a specific stakeholder role, the final report will reflect the combined cultural perspectives of all 5 stakeholders. Since the USDI will be requesting periodic feedback before the final paper and presentation due date, it is important that you select one member to serve as the Committee Chairperson who will serve as the liaison between the group and the USDI (in this case, your Professor).  Since the NTCC members will be returning home at the end of the day and then work separately on their individual pieces (before collaboratively writing up the final report), it is important to provide your contact information to each other in order to share information and to keep each other updated about your progress.  The NTCC Contact Sheet can be found in the Evaluations page.  Please print and use this online NTCC Contact Sheet to distribute contact information.  The NTCC contact sheet should indicate NTCC member names and the respective stakeholder roles, Chairperson, and contact information for all 5 members.  (Note:  A copy of this sheet should be provided to the Professor at the beginning of the next class period).


3.  Providing 5 unique/original references

After receiving your NTCC Roster, your Professor will set up an online discussion site for your group on the Cross-Cultural Perspectives of Tourism (REC 404) Course Blackboard site.  Your group’s discussion area will be under the last name of your Committee Chairperson.  You will need to click on your Chairperson’s last name to enter the group discussion area. [For example, your Chairperson’s name is Pikov Andropov.  Go to the online REC 404 Blackboard site, click on Discussion Board.  When you are in the Discussion Board area, you will see ‘Andropov’ listed as one of the forums.  Click on Andropov to enter your group’s discussion area and to post messages for your group.  You may use this area to have online discussions with your group members.  NoteOnly project-related matters are to be discussed in this area.

Each NTCC group member is required to individually provide 5 unique/original references consisting of at least 3 journal articles/peer-reviewed sources and 2 non-journal sources (books, newspapers, official websites, etc.) relating to the overall issue, along with satisfactory rationale for relevance.  You will write-up the 5 references in APA format, along with a 2-3 sentence rationale for each of the 5 sources.  The rationale will indicate why the source you have chosen is relevant to the cross-cultural understanding of the Devils Tower Controversy.  By April 3rd, go to your group’s discussion area (indicated by your Committee Chairperson’s last name) on the online REC 404 Blackboard site and post a message listing your five unique/original references in APA format along with your rationale for each reference.

To get acquainted with the APA Citation Style, please see the Sample Citations in APA Format webpage hosted by SDSU Library.

4.  Selecting Appropriate Theories for Addressing the Salient Issues

Now that you have been assigned individual stakeholder roles, it is time to collaboratively review and identify the key theoretical constructs and dimensions from the Values chapter of the Cross-Cultural Perspectives of Tourism (REC 404) course that may be useful to better understand the individual cultural perspectives of the 5 stakeholders in relation to the Devils Tower Controversy.  In order to be able to select the most appropriate theories, it is vital for you to have a sound understanding of the ‘Value’ theories described within the chapter.  It is important for you to select the theories carefully because you will be applying the identified theories to understand the views expressed by the stakeholders in the various information sources which you will be reviewing soon. The theories that you identify should be based on proper rationale and NOT chosen arbitrarily.

Once your group has short-listed the most appropriate theories, you are ready to begin working on your individual contributions and present the case from the cultural perspective of the stakeholder role that has been assigned to you.  Remember, the other members of your group depend on your contribution to understand the issue from your assigned stakeholder’s cultural perspective, just as you will be depending on the others to help you understand other perspectives regarding the Controversy.

In order to educate the other group members about your stakeholder’s perspective, you will provide a write-up of the stakeholder’s general opinion regarding the issue.  Next, you will describe the cultural background of the stakeholder.  Once you have an understanding of the stakeholder’s cultural background, you can determine what values are central to the person’s life and what value orientations are highly likely to explain their opinions and behavior in relation to the Controversy.  Each NTCC member will contribute a 4-page (minimum) stakeholder perspective write-up to the final report by answering the following 3 questions:

I.  What is the stakeholder’s view/opinion regarding the Devils Tower Controversy? What, according to the stakeholder, is the proper way to use Devils Tower? (1/2 page)

II.  Why does the stakeholder feel this way? (3 pages)

First, provide a 1-page summary of the stakeholder’s key cultural dimensions:

i.                    Ideology (politics, economics, education, religion, dress codes, food, etc.)

ii.                  Socialization (beliefs, values, attitudes, manners, customs, traditions, etc.)

iii.                 Forms of discourse (language, non-verbal communication, etc.)

iv.                Face systems (social class, family structure, social institutions, social organizations, kinship, etc.)

Second, provide a 2-page summary of at least 3 key value theories/orientations applicable to the stakeholder that help understand his/her perspective regarding the Controversy, with 3 examples to support each of the 3 theories that you have chosen.  Applicable theories may include:

i.                    ‘Human nature’ theories (e.g., Universalism/Particularism, Uncertainty Avoidance, etc.)

ii.                  ‘Relation to nature’ theories (e.g., Subjugation/Harmony/Mastery, Inner/Outer Directed, etc.)

iii.                 ‘Activity orientation’ theories (e.g., Achievement/Ascription, Doing/Being/Becoming, Monochronic/Polychronic, Masculinity/Femininity, etc.)

iv.                ‘Human relationships’ theories (e.g., Affectivity/Affective Neutrality, Individualistic/Collateral/Linear, Individualism/Collectivism, Egalitarian/Hierarchical, Formal/Informal, Power Distance, etc.)

v.                  ‘Relation to time’ theories (e.g., Past/Present/Future)

vi.                ‘Context’ theories (High/Low Context, etc.)

III.  What, according to the stakeholder, is the best way to resolve this issue, based on his/her cultural background? What specifically needs to be done? (1/2 page)


5.  Developing a Consensus Statement

Once you have obtained a complete write-up of all 5 stakeholder perspectives, it is now time for you to come together as a group and discuss the cross-cultural factors associated with the Controversy.  This is when each NTCC member will educate the rest of the group about what they have discovered regarding the stakeholder’s opinion, cultural background, and value orientations in relation to the issue.  Next, you need to tell the group what you think is the best way to solve this problem, from the perspective of your stakeholder’s cultural orientation.  The stakeholder’s views may conflict with those of the other stakeholders, or they may not.  Once all NTCC members have shared their individual perspectives with the rest of the group, you will now jointly analyse the Controversy and brainstorm ways to resolve this situation in a manner that is acceptable to all stakeholders.  As a group, develop a list of all possible solutions and, then, from the list, choose the best solution based on group consensus. Please remember that the final solution that you develop is meant to replace the ‘June voluntary climbing closure’ as indicated in the CMP.

In a 2-page collaborative write-up or Consensus Statement, provide the USDI with a ‘new solution’ and a rationale for how and why this solution makes more sense than the ‘June voluntary climbing closure.’  In the Consensus Statement, you should also describe why this new solution is likely to receive consensus among the 5 stakeholders.


6.  Final Report

Once you have completed the previous sections of the process you are ready to prepare the final report.  Keep in mind that citations should be included whenever applicable, within the entire body of the report and references should be written on a separate page of the final report.  In your final report submitted to the USDI on April 26th, please include the following:

                                            i.     Cover Page (include Title of Case, Team Member Names, Submission Date, Course Number)

                                          ii.     Overview of the Controversy surrounding Devils Tower

                                         iii.     Appropriate Theories for Addressing the Salient Issues

1.     Provide sub-sections for each stakeholder

                                        iv.     Consensus Statement

                                          v.     References

Please follow these guidelines while preparing your final report:

  1. Must be at least 25 pages in length.
  2. Must be typed and double-spaced.  Margins should not exceed one inch.
  3. Citations in the paper and references at the end of the paper must conform to APA standards.
  4. Each section of your final report must indicate the name(s) of the student contributor(s) responsible for working on the section.
  5. Each section of the final report must start with the appropriate heading/sub-heading.
  6. The title page and list of references page should not be counted as part of the 25-page limitation and must be on separate pages.


7.  Group Presentation

After completing your final report, you can proceed on to the preparation of the group’s presentation to USDI and the Governor of Wyoming.  The NTCC is required to prepare a 15-minute (maximum) Microsoft PowerPoint presentation of the major findings of the group regarding the Controversy surrounding Devils Tower (or Mato Tipila).  In your presentation, also present the ‘new’ solution and a brief rationale for your group’s decision.  Since the USDI officials as well as the Governor of Wyoming have other important appointments following your presentation, it is crucial that you complete your presentation in a professional manner within the 15-minute slot allotted to your group.  The USDI official-in-charge (your Professor) will stop your presentation at the 15-minute mark.  It is a very good idea to rehearse your presentation before the actual presentation date, April 26th, so that you can get comfortable with the material and the presentation time limit.


The following sources will help you  get started.  You are NOT allowed to use any of these references as part of your 5 unique/original references.

Important MUST READ Articles…

Cross-Cultural Claims on Devils Tower National Monument: A Case Study.
By Dustin, D. L., Schneider, I. E., McAvoy, L. H., and Frakt, A. N.
Leisure Sciences, 2002, Vol. 24 (1), 79-88 

Battling Religions in Parks and Forest Reserves: Facing Religion in Conflicts over Protected Places.
By Taylor, B.,
Geffen, J.
The George Wright Forum, 2004, Vol. 21 (2), 56-68

In the Absence of Title: Responding to Federal Ownership in Sacred Sites Cases.
By Carpenter, K. A.

New England Law Review, 2003, Vol. 37 (3), 619-633

Land Is Itself a Sacred, Living Being": Native American Sacred Site Protection on Federal Public Lands Amidst The Shadows of Bear Lodge.
By Brady, J.
American Indian Law Review, 2000, Vol. 24, 153-185

Collaborative conflict resolution at Devils Tower National Monument.
By Dustin, D. L., Schneider, I. E.

Parks & Recreation, 2001, Vol. 36 (7), 80-85

Applied anthropology at Devils Tower National Monument.
By Hanson, J. R., Moore, D.
Plains Anthropologist, 1999, Vol. 44 (170), 53-60

Important MUST SEE Video…

In the light of reverence [videorecording] / [presented by] the Independent Television Service and Native American Public Telecommunications ; produced and directed by Christopher McLeod (available at SDSU Library Media Center, Call # VTC-2035)

Very Useful Websites…

General Information about Devils Tower

National Park Service website with in-depth information on Devils Tower National Monument

GORP travel information website for Devils Tower National Monument

Area/County Information for Devils Tower

Crook County, Wyoming website with information on local municipalities

Crook County website with information on Devils Tower

Crook County website with in-depth profile of the region

Wyoming Tribes website with information on American Indian tribes of the region

Legal Documents and Court Rulings Concerning Devils Tower

U.S. District Court Case:  Bear Lodge Multiple Use Association, et al., versus Bruce Babbit, et al., and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, et al. Civ. No. 96-CV-063-D.

10th Circuit Court Case:  Bear Lodge Multiple Use Association, et al., versus Bruce Babbit, et al., and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, et al. 175 F.3d 814 (10th Cir. 1999).

U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit:  Bear Lodge Multiple Use Association, et al., versus Bruce Babbit, et al., and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, et al. No. 98-8021.

U.S. Supreme Court:  Bear Lodge Multiple Use Association, et al., versus Bruce Babbit, et al.  Brief for the respondents in opposition.

Federal Government Documents Concerning Use of Devils Tower

National Park Service Climbing Management Plans for 1995 and 2006

Indian Press Releases and Publications Covering the Devils Tower Controversy

No-climbing policy at Devils Tower to be reviewed

Accommodation of Lakota religious practices at Devils Tower National Monument by Federal Government upheld by unanimous Supreme Court

Protecting sacred lands

Native American Rights Fund publication

Native American Rights Fund 1999 Summary Annual Report for the period

Indian Law Resource Center publication

Perspectives Regarding Devils Tower

Lakota Sioux myths of place: Devils Tower

Friends of Devils Tower

Devils Tower guided climbing company

First Nations Campaign

Sacred Land Film Project on Devils Tower

Sacred Land Film Project site

Sierra Club coverage of Devils Tower

Ye Olde Consciousness Shoppe coverage of Devils Tower

The Becket Fund coverage of Devils Tower

General Press Releases Covering the Devils Tower Controversy

Indian Rights vs. a National Sanctuary, New York Times

Feds establish religion on 'sacred' Indian site, Human Events

The fight for sacred land spirituality: American Indians ask for the cooperation of the government and tourists as they return to traditional worship sites, Orange County Register

Sacred peaks case before federal judge, Independent Web Edition

Journal editorial, 4-12: A tower by any other name,

What's in a name, The News-Record

Park Service dumps "Bear Lodge" name proposal for Devils Tower,

Devils Tower to keep name, Billings Gazette

Climbing ban upheld at Devils Tower, High Country News

Park Service says Devil's Tower won't be renamed, Wind River News

Climbers, tribal members clash over Devils Tower, Wind River New

For more newspaper articles, search the Ethnic News Watch and LexisNexis Databases available through SDSU Library

Other References

APA Citation Style Manual

Native Americans:  an encyclopedia of history, culture, and peoples
By Pritzker, B. M. (available at SDSU Library Reference Section, Call # E77.P89 1998 Vol 1 & 2

Close encounters of the third kind [videorecording] / a Columbia/EMI presentation ; written and directed by Steven Spielberg ; produced by Julia Phillips and Michael Phillips (available at SDSU Library Media Center, Call # VTC-1472)