Tribes Intend to Celebrate Grand Canyon’s 100-Year Centennial …Shutdown or Not!

“This is the year to GO GRAND as the National Park Service celebrates the Grand Canyon National Park’s Centennial acknowledging the canyon’s significant relationships with the park’s 11 traditionally-associated tribes. The celebration will be very Native-inclusive as the regions Tribal Nations have all been invited to participate. ” ICT

Canyons–Arizona–Grand Canyon National Park–1900-1940 : National Photo Company Collection.

Excerpt: Shutdown won’t stop it: Grand Canyon 100-year Celebration, Native American Style

“…The Grand Canyon is, by far, Arizona’s most-visited national park unit, and Governor Doug Ducey’s decision to use state funds to keep it open during the shutdown means that visitors did not have to alter their travel plans, and the park’s concessionaires—including the lodges and restaurants—could remain open. Tour companies, too, continue to do business at the Grand Canyon. While there are no federal employees counting cars at national parks right now, indications are that visitation to the Grand Canyon has remained strong through the shutdown.

The centennial celebration will take place on February 26.

Grand Canyon’s Native American Havasupai Tribe has been living in and around the South Rim of the canyon for 800 years.

‘The 100th year milestone celebration is a time for reflection on the past and inspiration for the future, honoring those who have called the canyon home for thousands of years,’ says Park Superintendent Christine Lehnert… While millions of visitors ooh and aah at the canyon’s splendors each year, others have quietly appreciated its beauty for centuries.

The Havasupai tribe has been living in and around the South Rim of the canyon for 800 years. Anthropologists say the Havasupai maintained life by hunting along the plateau during the winter and raising crops and tending orchards in Havasu or Cataract Canyon during the summer.

Recognizing the economic boon called tourism, the Hualapai opened its lands to the public 30 years ago, promoting it as ‘an untouched piece of land where the Grand Canyon could be experienced without the crowds found along the North and South Rims’.  Today’s quarter of a million reservation inhabitants fan out over some 27,000 square miles, most of it in northern Arizona that stretches west to Grand Canyon National Park.

The Grand Canyon is an iconic national park accessible from Kanab, UT

Also present are the Hopi people, one of the oldest-living cultures in documented history, who have resided for the past 2,000 years in the Four Corners region where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet.

Other tribes that have roamed this territory and called parts of the Grand Canyon sacred areas home include the Zuni, Kaibab Paiute, Shivwits Paiute, and San Juan Paiute.

The canyon’s early inhabitants will play a big part in the centennial celebration with year-long special events starting with a Tusayan Community Centennial Celebration in February and leading up to American Indian Heritage Days — and Native American Heritage Month — later in the year.

The event, a celebratory occasion to kick off our centennial year, will feature Park Service and Grand Canyon Conservancy speakers gathered at the Grand Canyon National Park Visitor Center Plaza.

In addition to the speeches and musical performances, there will be free cake to enjoy along with the scenery and its centuries of Native American history.

Info at www.GrandCanyon.org