The Grand Canyon’s Indian Garden Is Getting an Important Name Change
A rededication ceremony is in the works for early 2023!
If you’ve never been to Grand Canyon National Park, then you have no idea what you’re missing. The park is truly a sight to behold, so whether you’re looking for a family-friendly spring break destination or have always wanted to plan an Arizona road trip, we assure you that Grand Canyon National Park will be a worthwhile adventure.
And by the time you get there, some important changes will have been made in an attempt to finally honor members of a Native American tribe that lived on the land for generations before being forcibly removed almost 100 years ago. Notably, the renaming of a popular stop along the park’s famed Bright Angel Point Trail known as Indian Garden.
The area will now be called “Havasupai Gardens”
This land, which was originally called Ha’a Gyoh, had been occupied by the Havasupai tribe until their forced removal by policies implemented by the National Park Service. The last member of the tribe was removed in 1928, erasing important Native American history, and the area was thereafter known as Indian Garden.
Earlier this year, the Havasupai tribe formally requested the National Park Service change the name from Indian Garden to Havasupai Gardens. And earlier this month, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names voted unanimously in favor of the request.
Why is the name being changed?
“The eviction of Havasupai residents from Ha’a Gyoh coupled with the offensive name, Indian Garden, has had detrimental and lasting impacts on the Havasupai families that lived there and their descendants,” said Havasupai tribe Chairman Thomas Siyuja, Sr. “Every year, approximately 100,000 people visit the area while hiking the Bright Angel Trail, largely unaware of this history. The renaming of this sacred place to Havasupai Gardens will finally right that wrong.” Meanwhile, Park Superintendent Ed Keable went on to call the renaming a long overdue measure of respect for the undue hardship imposed by the park on the Havasupai people.
Luckily, the Havasupai Tribe won’t have to wait long for these changes to take effect. The land is now officially called Havasupai Gardens, and efforts are already underway to update signage, website and other materials with the new name. A rededication ceremony is also being planned for early spring 2023. As for what comes next, Carletta Tilousi, a member of the Havasupai tribe and former Council member said, “…honoring our ancestors and remembering our history is also very important to the Havasupai people. I hope this historic action will help other tribes take similar steps and reclaim lands back by changing place names for historic and cultural preservation purposes.”
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- National Park Service: “Indian Garden Now Officially Called Havasupai Gardens“