PHOENIX – A popular campground inside Grand Canyon National Park has a new name after the Havasupai Tribe requested the National Park Service change Indian Garden’s “offensive name” earlier this year.
The campground and rest area along the Bright Angel Trail, which descends into the canyon from the South Rim, is now called Havasupai Gardens.
According to the National Park Service website, Havasupai Gardens Campground “is a beautiful riparian area filled with cottonwood trees” 4.8 miles below the South Rim. There, hikers can find drinking water, a ranger station and toilets.
The name change comes after the U.S. Board of Geographic Names voted unanimously in November to approve the National Park Service’s request on behalf of the Havasupai Tribe.
The original name of the area was Ha’a Gyoh, according to a news release from the park service and the Havasupai Tribe. In the early 1900s, federal policies forced the Havasupai people from Ha’a Gyoh. In 1928, the last Havasupai resident, Captain Burro, was forcibly removed.
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“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,” the Havasupai Tribe’s chairman, Thomas Siyuja Sr., said in a statement.
“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.”
Many Havasupai people now live on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, where the popular tourist destination Havasupai Falls can be found. The reservation is west of Grand Canyon National Park.
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“The Havasupai people have actively occupied this area since time immemorial, before the land’s designation as a national park and until the park forcibly removed them in 1926,” Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Ed Keable said in a statement. “This renaming is long overdue.”
A rededication ceremony is planned for early spring, according to the National Park Service.
“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,” said Carletta Tilousi, a member of the Havasupai Tribe and former councilmember.