Grand Canyon Stories and Tips

Havasupai Reservation

In the bottom of the western Grand Canyon is a Native American community of one hundred Havasupai, or "People of the Blue-Green Waters." My expectations of what an Indian Reservation would be like were met with the realization that the lives of the Indians are a complete mystery to me.

The Havasupai are descendants of a hunter-gather tribe, the Cerbat, who inhabited the canyon in the 1300’s. Today, the Havasupai continue their traditions of farming, forestry and cattle raising with the addition of tourism. Operating a campground at the base of Havasu Falls, a lodge where visitors can stay and a restaurant which serves Indian tacos, Coke and burgers, the Havasupai's lives revolve around the hikers who come to visit and their own friends and family in the community. Although they have access to television, radio, computers and the occasional movie, there is not much to do in the canyon besides exploring and working. Surprisingly, the Havasupai do not swim, or even hike to, Havasu Falls. And although the children have field trips to places like Disney World, it is a four hour hike out of their village.

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