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For more than 12,000 years, people have lived on what are now Grand Canyon National Park lands, gathering food, telling stories, and weaving a history and a livelihood.
Now, Desert View, a place that was initially created to introduce visitors to the Southwest’s diverse and rich cultural heritage, is transforming into a place very much in keeping with its origins. The site is becoming an “Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site”—the first in the National Park Service.
Led by the 11 tribes traditionally associated with the Grand Canyon region, in partnership with the National Park Service, the Desert View Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site begins to address the historic inequities faced by Native Americans through new pathways for cultural and economic opportunities to determine a new thriving future.
This is an opportunity to tell our stories and showcase our tribes. The goal is to educate the world community that tribes are still here, we are part of the fabric of our communities, and we have our unique ways of thinking and abilities to think about the land”
Mae Franklin, Navajo
A lot of this land . . . has our ancestors’ footsteps, our ancestors being here living off the land, this canyon as a whole is a very sacred place”
Dianna White Dove Uqualla, Havasupai
The Site is a milestone for the National Park Service in acknowledging the first voices of the Grand Canyon region. I hope that it becomes a beacon for visitors to reflect on the thousands of years of Native American history that shaped this land before it was a national park and is still influential and alive today.”
Jason Coochwytewa, (Isleta Pueblo/Hopi), Board Member, GCC
This project was conceived of by our tribal partners who continue to collaborate with us to expand first-voice tribal interpretation, improve visitor orientation, and enhance the overall visitor experience at this site. With the assistance of Grand Canyon Conservancy and its partners, we are able to make lasting change for many years to come.”
Ed Keable, Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park
Desert View can set the stage for how parks work with tribal representatives and tribal members, showing the whole nation how that can be done.”
Theresa McMullan, CEO, Grand Canyon Conservancy
Images to the right: Concept renderings of the site, designed by Andy Dufford. Zuni artist Ronnie Cachini at work in his studio in Zuni, NM.
Video courtesy of Arizona Lottery
Learn more about the associated tribes who call the canyon home.
Connect with tribal artisans from Grand Canyon’s traditionally associated tribes to learn about their history through crafts.
Help bring this vision to life with a tax-deductible contribution.