Grand Canyon’s Indian Garden Getting New Name

The Grand Canyon’s most popular trail, Bright Angel Trail, lets hikers follow in the footsteps of Native Americans and other early visitors as they descend into the depths of the canyon. Offering panoramic views and everything visitors need, the trail provides an excellent first trip into the canyon. One of the most popular attractions in the trail, previously known as Indian Garden, is getting a new name. 

Indian Garden will now be known as Havasupai Gardens

Members of the Havasupai tribe have been there for generations. They were removed from their home in the inner rim canyon area by the National Park Service nearly 100 years ago. The name change is an attempt to right a historical wrong and a long-overdue show of respect to the people that the United States forcibly removed from the area after it became a National Park in 1926. 

Ed Keable, the park’s superintendent, said in the press release, “The Grand Canyon National Park team was proud to work alongside the Havasupai Tribal Council in our joint effort to rename this culturally significant location.” 

Native American Community Responds

The original name, Ha’a Gyoh, was changed after the Park Rangers kept noticing a man traversing the canyon. They called him Billy Burro, after the fictional mule, and he was later known as Captain Burro, the last to be evicted from the area in 1928. 

“The people of the Havasupai Tribe have always called the vast Grand Canyon and the plateau lands south of it our homeland,” said Chairman Thomas Siyuja. “The Creator made the Havasupai People the guardians of the Grand Canyon, and this is a role that we take very seriously. We are a small tribe. But our voices and our spirits are large.” 

The Burro family has been a part of the fight to keep their legacy and their charge intact since their ancestor’s relocation. They changed their name to Tilousi, which means storyteller, and are planning a dedication ceremony along with the Park Service for 2023. 

“As a descendent of the Burro-Tilousi family, I am glad to see that we will always remember and honor the true history of my family’s forced relocation due to the development of the Grand Canyon National Park,” said a member of the Havasupai Tribe and former Council member, Carletta Tilousi. “For that reason, 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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