Wolves, Elk and Native Americans Once Owned New York (Video)

algonquin new york photo

Image credit: Phil Moyer

We talk a lot about the low-carbon lifestyles of city dwellers and the future of megacities in a warming world, but whatever our view of urbanization, it is all too easy to think of cities as entirely a modern, man-made phenomenon. But the fact is that even the most dense urban environment has history, nature, and great mysteries bubbling just below the surface. I've just come across a fascinating video on one man's quest to uncover the not-so-ancient history of the indigenous people that once roamed The Bronx and Manhattan—and the wolves bear and elk they coexisted with.Ted Kazimiroff, the author of The Last Algonquin, explains how his father—a dentist and amateur archaeologist—introduced him to the people and animals that inhabited the Big Apple before it was the Big Apple.

Ted's father apparently introduced Ted to Joe Two Trees, a Native American who lived hidden and alone for many years in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. It was his father's meetings with Two Trees that awakened his passion for history, and eventually lead Kazimiroff to record the tale in his book.

The video below may go into a lot of detail about Native American history in the Bronx, but it is a fascinating reminder that history (and nature) are never far away.

Ted Kazimiroff Speaks on Algonquin History from Gene Massey on Vimeo.

More on Nature in New York City
New York City Greener Than You'd Think
Wildflower Week in New York City
The Bronx's Urban Farm is a Community Effort

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