The Havasupai people, an indigenous tribe once forced out of the Grand Canyon, are now restoring their ties with their ancestral homeland.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American Cabinet-level official in the U.S. government, has been instrumental in supporting these efforts. The tribe recently celebrated the rededication of a popular campground under its original name, Havasupai Gardens, or “Ha’a Gyoh” in the Havasupai language.
The renaming event was marked by traditional dance performances from the Guardians of the Grand Canyon and other cultural activities involving members of the tribe.
The ceremony’s focus was on honoring family history and acknowledging past injustices while looking forward to a new era of collaboration with various Native American tribes associated with the canyon.
The Havasupai Tribe has been working closely with park officials to incorporate more tribal history in signage and programming throughout Grand Canyon National Park. Additional initiatives include promoting traditional farming methods and featuring Havasupai language on maps and official materials.
Interior Secretary Haaland’s push for increased Native American involvement within federal agencies is applauded by many. Carletta Tilousi, Tribal Council leader of the Havasupai, hopes to see more involvement from her people in managing resources at the Grand Canyon.