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

An area in Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park is having its name changed due to 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 stop for hikers along the park’s Bright Angel Trail, to Havasupai Gardens, the National Park Service said.

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

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

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

Indian Garden, along the Bright Angel Trail, will have its “offensive” name changed 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 detrimental and lasting impacts on the Havasupai families that lived there and their descendants,” said Chairman Thomas Siyuja Sr. “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.”

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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 lands back by changing place names for historic 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 for sunrise on Memorial Day along the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, which has partially reopened on weekends amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on May 25, 2020 in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. The park has opened for limited hours and access the past two weekends despite concerns that the mingling of visitors could contribute to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Critics point out that the neighboring Navajo Nation is currently suffering the highest rate of COVID-19 infection in the nation per capita and some travelers would need to pass through the nation to arrive at the park.
((Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images))

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