President Biden announced the creation of a new national monument at the Grand Canyon Tuesday. Biden signed a proclamation establishing the Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, also known as Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kikveni. Baaj nwaavjo means “where Indigenous peoples roam” in the Havasupai language, and i’tah kukveni means “our ancestral footprints” in the Hopi language. The name reflects the significance of the Grand Canyon area, not just to one, but to many Tribal Nations. “Today’s designation is the product of hard work and relentless determination of thousands of Arizonans from diverse backgrounds and interests, including Arizona tribal communities, local leaders, conservationists, sportsmen, and many more — all with a shared passion for protecting Arizona’s air, land, and water for future generations,” said Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema. She adds, “I’m honored to help make the Grand Canyon National Monument a reality so Arizonans and visitors alike can continue to enjoy the beauty of Arizona’s national treasure.” Senator Mark Kelly said, “President Biden’s designation of this new national monument is a welcome decision that will protect cultural sites as well as the communities and recreation jobs that depend on this land. It’s also the result of years of advocacy by Arizona community and tribal leaders who I was proud to support by leading this effort alongside Senator Sinema in the United States Senate.” The new monument will conserve nearly one million acres of public lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park.
To listen to Biden’s speech at the Grand Canyon, click here: