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Arizona Lottery partners with Grand Canyon Conservancy for Desert View cultural site
$100,000 sponsorship to help transform Desert View into Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site

A reimagined Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site at Desert View Watchtower, located at the eastern entrance of Grand Canyon National Park will allow visitors to learn about and interact with Arizona tribal members. (Photo/Grand Canyon Conservancy)

A reimagined Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site at Desert View Watchtower, located at the eastern entrance of Grand Canyon National Park will allow visitors to learn about and interact with Arizona tribal members. (Photo/Grand Canyon Conservancy)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — The Arizona Lottery is teaming up with Grand Canyon Conservancy, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, in their effort to reimagine the site at Desert View.

Desert View represents the physical and cultural gateway from Grand Canyon National Park to tribal lands that surround it. In fact, in 2019 alone, one million park visitors visited Desert View to learn more about the 11 American Indian tribes that call the Grand Canyon home.

Perched on the rim of the canyon, the historic 70’ tall Desert View Watchtower is modeled after the architecture of the Ancestral Puebloan people of the Four Corners region. Visitors can meet cultural demonstrators to learn about local indigenous cultures, spot the Colorado River turning west and glimpse the Painted Desert extending towards tribal lands.

The Arizona Lottery’s $100,000 Gives Back Sponsorship (matched by the National Park Foundation’s centennial appropriations for $200,000 in impact) will fund opportunities for this Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site to teach visitors about past and present indigenous life and culture in and around Grand Canyon. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact directly with tribal members, listen to their stories, and observe a variety of cultural demonstrations.

Projects this funding supports include:

• The creation of an accessible, intuitive Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site, to immerse visitors in life and culture of the associated tribes;

• Improvement of the arrival experience by creating an Orientation Area, Shade Structure, Picnic Areas, and revision of the parking lots;

• Enhancement of the heart of Desert View by adapting the amphitheater and other areas to ensure access for all;

• Revision of the Pedestrian Paths to enhance the visitors’ travels along this natural, cultural, and tribal journey and

• Expansion of the popular Cultural Demonstration Series at Desert View for artisans from the 11 traditionally associated tribes to share their crafts with park visitors, raising awareness and appreciation of the history and diverse cultures of the region.

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A reimagined Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site at Desert View Watchtower in Grand Canyon National Park. (Photo/Grand Canyon Conservancy)

Arizona Lottery Executive Director Gregg Edgar said the Arizona Lottery has been funding efforts to preserve Arizona’s unique wildlife and landscapes for over a quarter century and there is no landscape that is more iconic to Arizona than the Grand Canyon.

“By sponsoring the expansion and improvement of Desert View, we are helping to ensure that this important inter-tribal cultural heritage site will be there to educate Arizonans about this natural wonder of the world and the peoples who call it home for generations to come,” Edgar said.

Grand Canyon Superintendent Ed Keable said the project was conceived of by its tribal partners who continue to collaborate with us to expand first-voice tribal interpretation, improve visitor orientation and enhance the overall visitor experience at the site.

“Here at Grand Canyon, we have a rich legacy of featuring live cultural demonstrations in celebration of native people, heritage, history and cultures,” Keable said.

He said with the assistance of Grand Canyon Conservancy and its partnerships with the Arizona Lottery, they will be able to strengthen the programs even further and make lasting change for many years to come.

“Desert View is one of our most important projects, said Grand Canyon Conservancy CEO Theresa McMullan. “ It is a high priority for Grand Canyon National Park and the National Park Service in general. This generous gift from the Arizona Lottery brings us one step closer to setting the stage for how parks work with tribal representatives and tribal members, showing the whole nation how it can be done.”

More information is available by visiting https://www.grandcanyon.org/our-work/current-priorities/desert-view/ or following Grand Canyon Conservancy on Facebook (@grandcanyonconservancy).

About Arizona Lottery

Since 1981, the Arizona Lottery and its retail partners have generated more than $4.4 billion in net funding in support of programs that help to improve the quality of life for the people of Arizona. Proceeds from Lottery ticket sales fund programs in higher education, economic development, environmental conservation and health and human services. The mission is to support Arizona programs for the public benefit by maximizing net revenue in a responsible manner. Learn more at ArizonaLottery.com.

About Grand Canyon Conservancy

Grand Canyon Conservancy is the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, raising private funds, operating retail shops within the park, and providing premier educational programs about the natural and cultural history of the region. Our members fund projects including trails and historic building preservation, educational programs for the public, and the protection of wildlife and their natural habitat. Grand Canyon Conservancy inspires generations of park champions to cherish and support the natural and cultural wonder of Grand Canyon. For more information, visit www.grandcanyon.org.

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