Resort project near Navajo Nation stirs culture controversy
December 21, 2020
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— A large campground resort project proposed for a northern Arizona high desert site near the Navajo Nation is stalled amid objections centering on cultural sensitivity in general and teepees in particular.
The planned inclusion of wagons and teepees — the conical tents that were widely used by tribes on the Great Plains but typically not by Indigenous people of the Southwest — drew scorn from one county official considering a rezoning request and development plan for the project.
“If you’re truly going to respect and honor the Native people, then do so,” said Coconino County Supervisor Lena Fowler. “Don’t be building something that just really is a stereotype again."