As morning light painted the far-reaching buttes of the Grand Canyon gold, Renae Yellowhorse stood at the edge of the canyon’s rim, looked out toward where the rivers met below her, and smiled.
“It is my church, it is where I say my prayers. It is where I give my offerings. It’s where I commune with the holy ones, the gods that walk along the canyon,” said Yellowhorse, a member of the Navajo Nation.
This place, called “the confluence,” is where the Colorado River meets the Little Colorado River on the canyon’s east side. According to the Navajo creation story, the confluence is where their people first emerged.
And now this Navajo-owned land is at the center of an ugly land-use dispute…