Presentation #114.01 in the session Dark Sky Heritage and Ethnoastronomy.
In 2019—the 100th anniversary of Grand Canyon’s designation as a national park—the International Dark Sky Association certified Grand Canyon National Park as an International Dark Sky Park. While this heralded a new era of dark sky protection at the park, it also served as a reminder of the rich heritage of astronomical observations by the eleven indigenous tribes that maintain a historic connection to the area now encompassed by the park. One of these tribes, the Havasupai, is the only one to still live below the rim and is also the last to live in the area recently renamed from Indian Garden to Havasupai Gardens, in honor of the tribe’s rich heritage there. The Havasupai relied on astronomical observations for marking the start of a new year, arrival of certain months, and the time of night. The tribe also incorporated many constellations into their mythologies.