Havasu Canyon

The Havsuw’ Baaja (Blue Water People), or more commonly in English the Havasupai, are an American Indian tribe that has called the Grand Canyon its home for at least the past 800 years.  Located primarily in an area known as Cataract Canyon, this Yuman-speaking population once laid claim to a land reservation the size of Delaware. In 1882, however, the tribe was forced by the federal government to abandon all but 518 acres of its land. The Havasupai witnessed a silver rush and the Santa Fe Railroad in effect destroyed what was fertile land.  Furthermore, the inception of the Grand Canyon as a National Park in 1919 pushed the Havasupai to the brink, as their land was consistently being unlawfully entered and misused by the National Park Service. Over the next century the tribe used the United States judicial system to fight for the restoration of the land.  In 1975, after years without progress, the tribe succeeded in regaining 251,000 acres of their ancestral land with the passage of Congressional bill S. 1296.

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