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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Zion's Village of Many Nations

Cowboy Ted Hallisey, Kane County Office of Tourism, sent us this news release:

Zion's Village of Many Nations – A Native American Cultural Experience

Zion Mountain Resort, which is located a few short miles from the east entrance to Zion National Park, has opened a new Native American experience: the “Village of Many Nations.” Zion Mountain Resort has expanded its services in 2006 to also include horseback riding, ATV tours, mountain biking, rock climbing and canyoneering. With ownership of 2,700 acres of private land, Zion Mountain Resort (www.zmr.com) even offers a herd of buffalo roaming on several hundred acres or open meadow.

“The new Native American Village fits well into the theme for our western America experiences” says owner Kevin McLaws. “This has already been of great interest to people from around the world. Our area was inhabited anciently by various historic cultures so this is an appropriate way to showcase the lifestyles of the ancient and modern Native American people.”

The village, the dream of Art and Carol Letkey, began operation in 2000 at the east end of Kanab, Utah; however they decided to move this year to the new location at Zion Mountain Resort because of its close proximity to the east gate of Zion National Park. “We knew this location would be much better for us and our guests,” says Art Letkey, owner of the village. People are already staying overnight in the historic style Tipis and walking through the village to experience the history, crafts and activities of America’s Native American people.

Visitors may choose from several different types of experiences that range from opportunities to walk through the village to having stories and entertainment in one of the large Tipis, or on select evenings, an on-stage production of “Legends of the Chiefs.” Guest also may enjoy sleeping overnight inside a Tipi.

Other than the Tipis, the village now has two Navajo Hogans that have been blessed by a medicine man. The Hogans were constructed by Daniel Smallcanyon and his family. Daniel is originally from Navajo Mountain , which is a sacred mountain to the Navajo people. The wood in the base of one of the Hogans comes from the Hogan of Daniel’s grandfather who was a medicine man. The Hogans were blessed by Buck Navajo who is 83 years old and is the last medicine man on Navajo Mountain. Buck blessed the village to have success and to always be a place that is kind and lighthearted in spirit.

The village is slated for gradual expansion. “Our goal – over the next five years – is to represent seven different villages or nations,” says Carol Letkey.

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