Cave Creek high schooler introduces Biden at Grand Canyon monument ceremony

By Al Macias
Published: Wednesday, August 9, 2023 - 2:17pm
Updated: Monday, September 11, 2023 - 5:15pm

President Joe Biden
Al Macias
President Joe Biden speaks before signing a proclamation designating the Baaj Nwaavjo I'Tah Kukveni National Monument at the Red Butte Airfield on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, in Tusayan, Arizona.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden designated nearly a million acres in northern Arizona as the new Grand Canyon National Monument. He had special praise for the Valley teen who introduced him before his remarks.

Maya Tilousi-Lyttle is a high-school student from Cave Creek. She is Havasupai and Hopi.

"It is now my honor to introduce a true leader, pursuing environmental justice, President Joe Biden," she said at the ceremony.

During her brief speech, she also spoke about her mother’s efforts as a Havasupai tribal leader to protect the Grand Canyon.

"I’ve had the privilege to travel with my mother on her journey to protect our sacred homeland," she said.

Her father said Tilousi-Lyttle is shy, and she declined a reporter’s request for an interview about her role.

According to her father, Tilousi-Lyttle only found out a week ago that she was selected to introduce the president. 

Biden said he was impressed that despite the short notice, Tilousi-Lyttle delivered her introduction smoothly.

"When I was your age, to be able to stand up and introduce anybody, let alone the president, I would have frozen. Thank you," Biden said.

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