Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Hopi Welcome Tourists But Guard Their Secrets


The Hopi Tribe has been split on whether tourism is a good idea. With half the tribe unemployed many have said it’s their best chance at economic development. But some worry inviting tourists to their villages has left them vulnerable to thieves.

Many travelers visiting the Southwest have driven more than a hundred miles from the Grand Canyon to Hopi, the isolated reservation in northeastern Arizona. A sign on First Mesa read: “All visitors must be accompanied by a tour guide from this point.” But many have ignored the sign.

On a recent visit two authorized tour guides Sheril Benson and Meredith Qotswisiwma drove me to the top of a narrow mesa known as Walpi. Ancient stone houses clinged to the top.


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