Grand Canyon National Park Launches New Associate Tribe Website | Navajo-Hopi Observer

Lo Frisby, Navajo-Hopi Observer

GRAND CANYON, Arizona – On February 9, Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) announced the launch of a new Associated Tribes website that will be accessible through the park’s main page.

“As part of the park’s ongoing efforts to recognize tribal members’ deep cultural and spiritual connections to the landscape, the site features efforts on how the park works with indigenous communities, links to the respective websites of the 11 traditionally associated tribes and other resources on tribal engagement and programs,” said GCNP Deputy Superintendent Brian Drapeaux.

The site will feature the latest information on projects involving the Associated Tribes, such as the Desert View Intertribal Cultural Heritage Site and the annual Cultural Demonstration Series in the park.

“The information on this new webpage will be updated regularly and we encourage the public to check it often,” said Drapeaux.

The site includes a short video produced by the National Park Service (NPS) called “Breath of this Land”, which briefly discusses the “attempt to erase indigenous peoples” and the enduring connection between the tribes and their ancestral lands.

“We are native to these lands, the first keepers; we are our ancestors, the hope of the future,” the video states. “We will not be forgotten.”

In an October 2021 article published by Williams-Grand Canyon NewsNPS Tribal Program Director Mike Lyndon has made it clear that the park intends to ensure that Indigenous perspectives will effectively remain and also be increasingly integrated into park management in the years to come.

“The tribes have a lot of expert knowledge about this place and these resources, and if we integrate that knowledge and factor it into our decision-making, we’re better stewards of the land,” Lyndon said.

Lyndon also explained that in addition to stewardship and cultural exchange opportunities, the park wants Native Americans visiting the GCNP to have their cultural traditions celebrated and for Native Americans to be welcomed into the park.

The 11 tribes traditionally associated with the Grand Canyon include the Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Kaibab Band of Paiutes, Las Vegas Band of Paiutes, Moapa Band of Paiutes, Navajo Nation, Paiute Tribe of Utah, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Zuni Pueblo and the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

More information on Associated Tribes is available at https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/historyculture/associated-tribes.htm.

Sherry J. Basler