Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe Tourism Enhancement Project
The Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe have long expressed interest in developing an economically viable alternative route through Arizona Indian Country to the Grand Canyon via State/Tribal Route 264. NPTAO consulted with cartographer Jeff Del Nero. Mr. Del Nero and other outside consultants have held planning meetings at strategic chapter and village locations throughout the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe since this project commenced early in 2004. Route 264 runs from Gallup, New Mexico, through the Navajo and Hopi reservations and to the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. This project will establish an alternative route to the Grand Canyon where Navajo and Hopi artisans can sell their wares to tourists along Route 264. A mapping system and brochures are currently under development to identify kiosk sites along the route. Several community meetings have been held with the Navajo and Hopi Tribes to gain input on their needs and desires for the program. Information Centers (kiosks) designed by architect Randall Ewers are to create a pro-forma map to identify and locate local artisans and other vendors along the route who wish to participate in the long-term implementation of this project. So far, three kiosks have been built along the route using scoria building material. (The process involves the mixing of volcanic rock with cement. This material is more cost effective and has proven to last for many years without the need for maintenance). Northern Arizona University will provide tribal artisans with entrepreneurial training, and tribal tourism websites can be tailored to assist the 264 project. The University of Arizona Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office is providing technical assistance for this project.
The kiosk curriculum, integrated into a general or specialized high school curriculum, serves as a service learning project for students between the ages of 15-18. When local students are involved in the planning and construction of a tourism kiosk they have the opportunity to apply aspects of mathematics, physics, science, architecture, interviewing/writing skills, and team building. It is believed that this application of service learning, community participation, and follow-up maintenance by tribal youth may prevent behaviors such as juvenile delinquency as the students are given the chance to take ownership in a community project that will endure for generations to come. If you are interested in implementing the curriculum and/or the kiosk project, please contact Claudia Nelson.