Over the course of United States history, important events and people have been commemorated by memorials. Some have been established by presidential proclamations or executive orders, and others by Congressional acts. This Story Map highlights some events, sites, and people important to Native American/American Indian history as tracked in the Law Library’s collections. More than 500 American Indian and Alaska Native Nations (E) have stewarded this land throughout the generations, and their legacies are evident through the Law Library of Congress's collections.
While the monuments listed here are important parts of history, the monuments themselves, and the laws or orders establishing them, some reflect racial pejoratives against Native peoples in their presentations.
In 1906, the 59th Congress passed the Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities. The act gave the president the power to declare national monuments on government land. These monuments set aside “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” for preservation. The act also provided for museums, universities, and other educational institutions to ask permission from the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and War to investigate monument sites, including archaeological excavation. Not only are the designated monuments protected by presidential proclamation, but vandals and others who harm the sites, including non-approved excavations, can be fined up to $500, be imprisoned for up to 90 days, or both if deemed appropriate by the court.
Later in 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared Devil’s Tower, known as Bear's Tipi, Bear Lodge, Tree Rock, and Grey Horn Butte by locals, to be the first national monument.  Roosevelt declared eighteen monuments while in office, including six to protect historic or prehistoric structures. 
El Morro and Inscription Rock became the El Morro National Monument, the first historic landmark. [3, 4] In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson added land to the monument for the public good, including archaeological ruins.  El Morro is the site of the A'ts'ina Ruins, and a number of other pueblos (E) built by the Zuni (E) in the late 1200s, which continue to be sacred places for the Zuni people.