An area in Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park is having its name changed due to being “offensive,” officials said Monday.
Members of the US 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.
“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.”
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.
The name change will be updated on signage, websites and other parks materials.