Grand Canyon Changes A Controversial Name

( The popular Indian Gardens campground and rest area inside the Grand Canyon has been officially renamed the Havasupai Gardens.

In a statement last Monday, the National Park Service announced that the US Board of Geographic Names unanimously approved a request by the Havasupai Tribe to rename the “offensive” Indian Gardens campground, claiming it was “long overdue.”

The original name of the area that today is located along the Bright Angel Trail was Ha’a Gyoh. But in the early 1900s, federal policies forced the Havasupai Indians from Ha’a Gyoh.

The final Havasupai resident of Ha’a Gyoh, Billy Burro, was removed in 1928.

Thomas Siyuja Sr., the Havasupai Tribe’s chairman, said in a statement that the eviction from Ha’a Gyoh, along with the “offensive name” Indian Garden caused “detrimental and lasting impacts on the” families and descendants of the Havasupai who once lived there.

He said the tens of thousands of visitors to the area each year are “largely unaware of this history” and said renaming the campgrounds Havasupai Gardens “will finally right that wrong.”

Currently, there are still many Havasupai Indians living on the Havasupai Reservation just west of Grand Canyon National Park.

The descendants of Billy Burrow later changed their name to Tilousi, which means “storyteller.” For generations, it has been the Burro-Tilousi family that has led the fight to protect the tribe’s history.

Carletta Tilousi said she hoped that this “historic action” will embolden other native tribes to “take similar steps and reclaim lands back by changing place names for historic and cultural preservation purposes.”

Ed Keable, the superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park said in a statement that the Havasupai Indians “actively occupied this area since time immemorial,” long before the area was designated a national park but were “forcibly removed” in 1926. He said renaming the area was “long overdue.”

The National Park Service said a rededication ceremony is planned for the spring.