Some of you may have at one point experienced the clear blue waters of Little Colorado confluence and some of you may know that there is a very real and near threat to the serenity of that place. This threat, The Escalade Project, is once again pushing legislation through the Navajo Council for a large development within the Grand Canyon.
What is the Escalade Project?
This is a development plan to create a tramway from the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers down below. The structure is estimated to transport 10,000 visitors to the confluence each day and it would build restaurants, rv parks, hotels, gift shops and water treatment areas on the rim and along the river.
What are the negative effects?
More important than the fact that it’s an eyesore, the confluence is of utmost importance to the spiritual lives and history of the local tribes. The Zuni, Navajo, Hopi, Hualapai, Kaibab-Paiute, and other native peoples of the region all see this place as tremendously sacred. This ticky-tacky tourist stop will desecrate the scenery and serenity of the place and mar a tribal cathedral. The agreement between the Navajo Nation and the developer is heavily skewed toward the developer, providing only 8-18% to the Navajo, and the remainder to the developer. We are also concerned that this proposal does not include plans for sewage treatment down at the river.
What is happening this week?
The Navajo Nation enjoys sovereign nation status, so it is their decision to make. We are sensitive to the fact that we are also an outside group asking them to consider our wishes with regard to their land. We also acknowledge that there is a great need for jobs and economic opportunity on the Reservation. This development is not in the best interest of the Navajo people and certainly not the Grand Canyon.
The protection of this land is of paramount importance. If you too are heartbroken over these events please take part in these things before the deadline of 5:00 p.m. MDT this Friday, September 2nd:
- Read in detail about the issue
- Reach out to your Navajo friends
- Sign the petition
- Share on social media