Frumuseţea naturii

Grand Canyon Genesis and the Native American First Nations

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The iconic Grand Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated in the southwestern state of Arizona in the United States. Stretching across 277 miles (446 kilometers) in length, up to 18 miles (29 kilometers) in width, and as far as 6,000 feet (1.8 kilometers) in depth, this immense and astoundingly beautiful landmark is also visible from space. The raising of the Colorado Plateau to its present height occurred between 70 and 30 million years ago. Six million years ago the Colorado River was born, and the erosive power of some 500,000 tons of water per second has carved through the ancient layers of rock to form the present canyon.

The series of small canyons, buttes, mesas, mountains, terraces, and caves that make up the Grand Canyon are special to the Native American Indians who first called this place home and built the First Nations. The Zuni, or A:shiwi people, renowned for their construction of cliff dwellings and multi-storied houses, have lived in the Southwest of the United States for thousands of years as part of the Puebloan Native Americans.

The Hopi are considered a cousin First Nation of the Zuni Pueblo, and today around 7,000 Hopi still live in and around the Grand Canyon. Today, the Hualapai First Nation is the caregiver of approximately one million acres within the western region of the Grand Canyon. The Havasupai are closely related to the Hualapai and were once part of the same First Nation. Today they maintain a headquarters eight miles (13 kilometers) below the Western Rim in the deep gorges. The Navajo Nation, whose people are also known as Dine', maintains the largest Native American region in North America, comprising 16 million acres, centered amidst the four state borders of Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. The First Nation people of Kaibab Paiute still maintain 121,000 acres between the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Utah border and also have cultural and language affinities with the Uto-Aztecan people.

With great awe for the magnificence of the Grand Canyon and the rich history that it houses, we pray for the wellbeing and prosperity of all its inhabitants.

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