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