Respect Equality

‘Offensive’ name of popular Grand Canyon camping ground to be changed

Indian Garden on the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park will soon be called Havasupai Gardens.
There is a moment in ever dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath.” ― Douglas Adams Sunrise fall colors at Indian Garden – along Bright Angel Trail, 3000 feet (914 m) below the canyon rim. For a list of what’s open this first week of December: #GrandCanyon #Arizona #Sunrise #WednesdayWisdom #FallColors #autumn #ImageDescription: Yellow autumn cottonwood trees along a creek with 3000 ft tall cliffs towering overhead. Sunrise light is just beginning to illuminate the canyon rim. NPS Photo/ K. Pitts.

Story at a glance

  • National Park Service officials announced this week a popular hiking spot in Grand Canyon National Park will be renamed.  

  • The spot will have its named switched from Indian Garden to Havasupai Garden in honor of the Indigenous people that called it home.  

  •  The last Havasupai resident to inhabit the area was forcibly removed in 1928.  

Grand Canyon National Park’s Indian Garden camping ground will be renamed Havasupai Gardens in honor of the Indigenous people who once called the area home, officials announced this week.  

Earlier this year, the Havasupai Tribe sent a request to the National Park Service (NPS) to change the name of the campground that serves as a frequent stopping point for hikers and backpackers traveling along the park’s Bright Angel Trail.  

In response, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names voted 19-0 in favor of approving the request to rename the spot.

The spot was previously known as Ha’a Gyoh before the last Havasupai resident, Captain Burro, was forcibly removed in 1928, the National Park Service said in a statement.  

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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,” said Havasupai Tribal Chairman Thomas Siyuja.  

“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.” 

Work is currently being done to change signage around the site, according to NPS, and the department along with the Havasupai Tribe are planning a rededication ceremony in the early spring of 2023.  

The move to rename the campground is the latest in a national push to change the name of public lands, particularly if the places use derogatory terms for Native Americans.  

In September, U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the agency would remove the term “squaw” from close to 650 place names on federal lands.