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The ceremony, a National Park Service Centennial event, commemorates the grand re-opening and rededication of the Watchtower from a souvenir shop to a cultural heritage place. Representatives from the NPS, Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon’s InterTribal Advisory Council (ItAC), and the American Indian Native Alaskan Tourism Association (AIANTA) will be present. “Thanks to the hard work of the ItAC and our partners, this project re-envisions how visitors experience Desert View and the entire park. This will lead the NPS into the next century,”said Grand Canyon Superintendent Dave Uberuaga.
The Desert View area has been used as a gathering place for thousands of years. Visitors can see a glimpse of the ancient past at the Tusayan Ruin and Museum. Architect Mary Colter modeled Desert View’s centerpiece, the Watchtower, after the architecture of theAncestral Puebloan people of the Colorado Plateau. Today Desert View represents the physical and cultural gateway from Grand Canyon National Park to the Navajo and Hopireservations.
Desert View has transformed into a place to celebrate, share, and learn about inter-tribal cultural heritage. The revival of Desert View as a cultural heritage site provides opportunities for the public to connect with Grand Canyon National Park’s Traditionally Associated Tribes through displays and the Cultural Demonstration Series.
For the weekend of the ceremony, join Hopi musician and artist Ed Kabotie and Navajo moccasin maker Bill Thomas, Jr. at the Watchtower. At shade shelters near the Watchtower, meet Havasupai storyteller Diana Sue Uqualla, Zuni silversmith Duran Gaspar, Zuni fetish makers Jimmy Yawakia and Eric Lasiloo, and Hopi and Zuni potters Bobby Silas and Tim Edakkie.
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What are the translations of ‘Grand Canyon‘ in local Indigenous languages?
How can visitors make the most of Desert View Watchtower?
How would locals beyond the gateway in the Navajo and Hopi reservations like to engage visitors?