Grand Canyon changes ‘offensive’ name near popular hiking trail, officials say

An area in Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park is being renamed for being “offensive,” officials said Monday.

Members of the U.S. Board of Geographic Names voted unanimously 19-0 earlier this month in favor of a request to change the name of Indian Garden, a popular hiking stop along the park’s Bright Angel Trail, to Havasupai Gardens, according to the National Park Services. .

The Havasupai Tribe passed Resolution 29-21 to provide the NPS with a formal request for the name change.

The area was originally called Ha’a Gyoh. The Havasupai people were forced out of Ha’a Gyoh by the NPS policy, with the last member of the tribe being forcibly removed in 1928.

YELLOWSTONE PEAK RENAMED: OLD NAME ‘OFFENSIVE’, SAYS PARK SERVICE

Indian Garden, along the Bright Angel Trail, will change its “offensive” name to Havasupai Gardens after a formal request from the Havasupai Tribe.
(National Park Service / K. Pitts)

“The eviction of Havasupai residents from Ha’a Gyoh coupled with the offensive name, Indian Garden, has had adverse and lasting consequences for the Havasupai families who lived there and their descendants,” said Chairman Thomas Siyuja Sr. “Approximately 100,000 people visit the area each year while hiking the Bright Angel Trail, largely unaware of this history. Renaming this sacred site Havasupai Gardens will finally make up for that mistake.”

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The Grand Canyon in Arizona
((Photo by: Franco Cappellari/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images))

The Havasupai Tribe and NPS are currently planning a rededication ceremony in early spring 2023.

“I hope this historic action will help other tribes take similar steps and reclaim land by changing place names for historical and cultural preservation purposes,” said Carletta Tilousi, a member of the Havasupai tribe and former council member.

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, ARIZONA – MAY 25: Visitors gather before dawn on Memorial Day along the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, which partially reopened over the weekend amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on May 25, 2020 in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. The park has been open and accessible for the past two weekends, despite concerns that the mixing of visitors could contribute to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Critics point out that the neighboring Navajo Nation currently has the country’s highest per capita COVID-19 infection rate, and some travelers must travel across the country to get to the park.
((Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images))

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The name change will be updated on signage, websites and other park materials.

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