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Havasupai tribe, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, will block tourism until June

By: - January 5, 2022 4:31 pm

Havasu Falls, one of five Havasupai waterfalls deep in Arizona’s Havasu Canyon, an offshoot of Grand Canyon National Park but on lands administered by the Havasupai Indian Tribe. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith | Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Tourism has been closed on the Havasupai Nation since March 2020 after its government passed a resolution to temporarily suspend tourism. 

Since then, the nation’s Tribal Council has extended the resolution four times, the latest being passed in December, expanding the suspension of tourism until June 1 due to COVID-19 concerns.

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“The Tribal Council has continued to consult with health experts and has ultimately decided that we will continue the suspension of tourism until June 1, 2022,” Chairman Thomas Siyuja, Sr., said in a statement. 

“There are still so many unknowns with the new COVID-19 variants that for the health and safety of our tribal community, it is in the best interest to remain closed to tourists,” he added.

The Havasupai Nation has been on lockdown and will remain on lockdown for the foreseeable future, according to a statement from the tribe. This is done out of an abundance of caution for the protection and survival of tribal citizens.

The tribe requests people not to travel to any Havasupai tribal land or the Supai Village. All tourists are prohibited from entering.

The Havasupai Tribe’s homeland is located eight miles below the rim of the Grand Canyon, and hundreds of people every year rush for a chance to visit and hike down to see the infamous Havasu Falls. Bookings for visits are usually accepted online, and often sell out soon after the tribe opens for the season.

Individuals who were lucky enough to book dates before the closure will be rescheduled for the same date in 2023.

People with bookings dated after May 31, 2022 are not impacted by the suspension of tourism for now, according to a statement from the tribe. No new reservations will be available for purchase while tourism is suspended, and the Havasupai Tribe look forward to welcoming tourists back when it is safe to do so.

For more information or questions email [email protected].

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Shondiin Silversmith
Shondiin Silversmith

Shondiin Silversmith is an award-winning Native journalist based on the Navajo Nation. Silversmith has covered Indigenous communities for more than 10 years, and covers Arizona's 22 federally recognized sovereign tribal nations, as well as national and international Indigenous issues. Her digital, print and audio stories have been published by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic, Navajo Times, The GroundTruth Project and PRX's "The World." Silversmith earned her master's degree in journalism and mass communication in Boston before moving back to Arizona to continue reporting stories on Indigenous communities. She is a member of the Native American Journalist Association and has made it a priority in her career to advocate, pitch and develop stories surrounding Indigenous communities in the newsrooms she works in.

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