Native American Tribes at Grand Canyon – Past and Present




Native American Tribes at Grand Canyon

Humans have been living at Grand Canyon for at least 4000 years. Split twig figurines are the oldest evidence of their presence. These animal figurines are a few inches in height, made primarily from twigs of willow or cottonwood. They are found in caves below the rim. The split twig figurines were fashioned by the people of the Desert Culture.

The ancestral Puebloan people of the Southwestern United States made their home in the four corners region, where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona share a common point. Their record in this region is rich and spans the time period from 200 B.C. to A.D. 1300.

Hopi People: Descendants of Ancestral Puebloans

Hopi People - east of Grand Canyon

The ancestral Puebloan people are believed to be the ancestors of the Hopi people, who inhabit a region east of Grand Canyon. The Hopi name for these ancestors is Hisatsinom (hee-SOT-sin-ahm). The Hopi people believe they emerged from the canyon and that their spirits rest here.

Havasupai: Inhabitants of the Inner Canyon

The Havasupai people inhabit the inner canyon in a region west of Grand Canyon Village. In this remote and beautiful corner of the canyon sits the village of Supai and the descendants of a people who have lived within the canyon for several hundred years. The village remains accessible only by foot, pack animal or from the river but is still heavily visited each year by tourists.

Navajo People: Descendants of Athabascan Migrants

The Navajo People - descent of the Athabascan

The Navajo people make up one of the largest tribes in North America. The Navajo live throughout the region and on the Navajo Reservation, which borders the park to the east. Relative newcomers to this region, they are the descendants of Athabascan peoples who migrated into the southwest from the north in the 15th Century.

Hualapai Reservation: Home of the Grand Canyon Skywalk

The hualapai Nation - home of the Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Hualapai Reservation borders the canyon to the south. The Hualapai are descendants of the Cerbat people and have been in the area since A.D. 1300.

Southern Paiute Indians

The Southern Paiute Indians occupy land north of the Colorado River in what is known as the Arizona Strip. They have traditionally used the canyon for hundreds of years.

Zuni People

The Zuni people view the canyon as their place of origin, though today they live in New Mexico.

As you can see, there is rich Native American history at the Grand Canyon!

Frequently Asked Questions?

How many Native American Tribes are there?

The federal government officially recognizes and maintains a list of over 570 tribes.

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