Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Tom Fonner. He has been exploring the backcountry of Arizona for over 30 years. He enjoys the solitude and peace of the outdoors with a passion for wildlife, nature, and landscape photography, tracking, hiking, camping, and fishing. You can visit his blog at swbri.blogspot.com.
I recently read an article of a personal experience that a young Native American man had encountering Sasquatch on a hunting trip. The account detailed not only the hunting trip and sighting of Sasquatch, but it also revealed a brief insight to the beliefs and understanding of this animal within the broader Native American community. Throughout North America we have a vast reservoir of knowledge that we seem to ignore in our efforts to pursue an understanding of Sasquatch. The things we could learn from a special people and their culture could truly make the difference in our efforts to identify this creature's existence.
I feel that we often forget or just set aside the fact that those with the most knowledge of Sasquatch's existence are the Native American communities that stretch from the Seminole Nation in Florida to the Inuit cultures of Alaska. All accounts of Sasquatch began within these cultures and this is a remarkable historical legacy with a treasure trove of knowledge that we should embrace. I would hope that the various organizations dedicated to the study of Sasquatch would seek the advise and the personal opinions that could be presented by the different Native American cultures in their regions of operation.
I live in Arizona and this region of the United States has had scattered reports of the existence of Bigfoot/Sasquatch. I'm skeptical of this yet I remain open minded to the possibility based on those things I've heard from the Apache and Navajo Nations. If there is chance of its existence in the southwest then we need to listen to the accounts presented by those in these areas. I often distrust the accounts presented by many, but after many years as a science and history teacher in Arizona I've learned that their is a special integrity within the Native American communities. I've rarely met people of more character and trusting in their word than the Native America children and families of those I have taught over the years.
In a recent article I advocated for the establishment of a National, or a North American Bigfoot Research Organization with special regional response teams to improve the efforts of verifying the existence of Sasquatch. I also believe that the establishment of such an organization should include leadership from the various Native American cultures. It is imperative that Native Americans have a strong input into these operations and their advice be paramount in the decision making process. It is quite likely that the discovery of Sasquatch may take place on Native American land and we need to respect the traditions and cultural impact such a discovery will have. The only true important goal is the recognition of Sasquatch as a species and not the money driven obsession and self gratification of personal fame that so many strive for.