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Perspectives from tribal elders of Southern Paiute, Hopi, Zuni, Ute, and Navajo peoples on Bryce Canyon, describing ancestral and modern relationships with the land and its inhabitants.
Paiute Indians occupied the area around what is now Bryce Canyon starting around 1200 A.D. The Paunsaugunt Plateau was used for seasonal hunting and gathering activities, but there is no evidence of permanent settlements.
The legend of Bryce Canyon was explained to a park naturalist in 1936 by Indian Dick, a Paiute elder who then lived on the Kaibab Reservation:
Fremont and Anasazi people occupied the portion of the Colorado Plateau near Bryce Canyon from around 200 A.D. until 1200. The Fremont were more to the north and west, with the Anasazi more to the south and east. There is recently discovered evidence of the mixing of these two cultures on the Kaiparowits Plateau.
Native Americans first occupied the Colorado Plateau 12,000 years ago, but no evidence of their activities has yet been found on the Paunsaugunt Plateau.
Last updated: June 23, 2020