Havasupai Tribe Tells River Trips To Stay Away

By Laurel Morales
Published: Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 2:02pm
Updated: Monday, July 27, 2020 - 2:33pm

Audio icon Download mp3 (802.49 KB)
Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

As Grand Canyon National Park allows its first trips of the season down the Colorado River, the Havasupai Tribe has told river guides to stay off its land.

In the original notice to river outfitters, the Havasupai Tribe banned guides from hiking visitors to its popular waterfalls on its “traditional use lands.” The only problem: those lands are not within the tribe’s jurisdiction. The reservation boundary is at Beaver Falls. Park spokeswoman Joelle Baird said river runners will be allowed to hike to that waterfall but not beyond.

"We respect the Havasupai Tribe and their need to safeguard tribal members and their lands," Baird said. "Both the tribe and the park share the objective that there is to be no contact with Havasupai and river runners at Havasu Creek during the pandemic." 

The Havasupai have said they will have officers stationed at the reservation boundary. The small isolated tribe has no coronavirus cases and plans to keep it that way. It does not have the health care staff or resources to deal with a pandemic.

FronterasTribal Natural Resources