Grand Canyon Destination Changes Its ‘Offensive’ Name


In the Grand Canyon National Park, a well-liked location is changing the name of its “offensive” sign.

Since the Black Lives Matter movement brought racism in society to light, several goods, places, and sports teams have changed their names.

As an illustration, the 2020 rice company Uncle Ben’s changed its name to Ben’s Original in response to complaints of “race stereotyping.”

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Brewery Greene King altered the name of the Black B**** in Linlithgow when it was still in the UK because locals and the former SNP first minister Alex Salmond thought it would be “racist.”

The bar was renamed The Willow Tree after 350 years under its previous name.

In the wake of George Floyd’s passing, there was a widespread realisation of systematic racism, leading some US sports teams to recently change their names.

The Cleveland Indians of baseball have changed their name to the Cleveland Guardians, while the Washington Redskins of the NFL have become the Washington Commanders.

The Havasupai Gardens will now replace Indian Garden, a well-liked rest spot along the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon National Park.

The name change, according to a statement from Grand Canyon management, is an effort to make amends for the past.

“The Havasupai people have actively occupied this area since time immemorial, before the land’s designation as a national park and until the park forcibly removed them in 1926. 

“This renaming is long overdue. It is a measure of respect for the undue hardship imposed by the park on the Havasupai people.”

An area of the Grand Canyon has been renamed Havasupai Gardens. Credit: NPS Photo & K Pitts

The timing of this statement is particularly significant because November is National Native American Heritage Month.

Thomas Siyuja Sr, tribe chairman, added: “Every year, approximately 100,000 people visit the area while hiking the Bright Angel Trail, largely unaware of this history.”

Before adding that the “renaming of this precious location to Havasupai Gardens finally amends that injustice,” he called the former name “offensive.”

A rededication ceremony is scheduled for the spring of 2023, and signs have already been updated to reflect the new name of the facility, Havasupai Gardens.

Carletta Tilousi, a member of the Havasupai Tribe and former council member, commented: “I am glad to see that we will always remember and honour the true history of my family’s forced relocation due to the development of the Grand Canyon National Park.

“I hope this historic action will help other tribes take similar steps and reclaim lands back by changing place names for historic and cultural preservation purposes.”

The Grand Canyon is not the only place in North America attempting to atone for its tumultuous past by renaming places that are offensive to Indigenous groups.

The Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort in California, which served as the Olympic skiing location, changed its name to Palisades Tahoe last year.

The resort’s management admitted that the word “squaw” was “racist” and “sexist.”

When settling on a new name for the region, they consulted the nearby Washoe tribe.

Featured image – Credit: Alamy