REI celebrates the designation of Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni - Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument

New monument protects the cultural connections of at least 12 Tribal Nations who have long stewarded the Grand Canyon region.

Aug 8, 2023

REI Co-op celebrates the establishment of Baaj Nwaavjo I'tah Kukveni - Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. (In Havasupai, Baaj nwaavjo means "where tribes roam" and in Hopi, i'tah kukveni means "our ancestral footprints.") Spanning nearly a million acres of federal lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park, this new monument protects the cultural connections of at least 12 Tribal Nations who have long stewarded the Grand Canyon region.

Just one-quarter of U.S. national parks and monuments are dedicated to telling the stories of diverse communities, according to the Center for American Progress.

REI has committed to becoming a fully inclusive, anti-racist, multicultural organization. As part of this commitment, the co-op has been supporting community-led efforts to establish culturally significant places as monuments. These sites help tell the full truth of American history by amplifying the stories of communities who have been historically and systemically disenfranchised.

Indigenous-led efforts to permanently protect the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining and other threats began decades ago. For too long, indigenous and other communities who call the area home have endured elevated cancer rates, contaminated soil and water due to the extraction of the land's resources. This new designation will not just protect these communities from the continued exploitation of the land, but secure habitats for endangered species, provide additional opportunities for outdoor recreation and preserve waters that flow into the Colorado River-providing fresh water for more than 40 million people in the Southwest.

We recognize and applaud the leadership of the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition, which includes leadership of the Havasupai Tribe, Hopi Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab Paiute Tribe, Las Vegas Band of Paiute Tribe, Moapa Band of Paiutes, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, Navajo Nation, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Yavapai-Apache Nation, Pueblo of Zuni and the Colorado River Indian Tribes.

REI has been proud to support their efforts alongside other organizations, brands and activists, including the Grand Canyon Trust, The Conservation Alliance, Arizona Wildlife Federation, Arizona Trail Association, Monuments for All, the Arizona Faith Network, the Conservation Coalition and more.

Join us via the Cooperative Action Network as we work alongside partners to establish additional monuments and special places at www.rei.com/places.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 24 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. If you can’t visit one of our many stores, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. Everyone is welcome to shop REI, but members who join the co-op enjoy a range of benefits. More than a retailer, REI is a purpose-driven and values-led company dedicated to enabling life outside for all.