Responsible travel requires practice in the places we travel. Ultimately, we want our travel guests to make positive impacts in the space they find themselves with efforts to maintain the integrity of local cultural heritage and the environment. When you visit the Navajo Nation area keep these 7 tips in mind.
1. Hire a Navajo guide. Navajo Nation government law requires travellers to hire a Navajo guide when trekking off Navajo Tribal Parks or Monument areas. Respect signs that say no trespassing.
2. Leave it be. Don’t take rocks or disturb rock formations. They are unique. Let’s preserve their uniqueness for the next visitor.
3. Hiking etiquette. Let’s hike the right way. Stay on paths unless directed by your Navajo guide. Be conscious of your surroundings.
4. It’s attitude not technology. Be creative and capture those memorable moments, but don’t forget to pause and absorb beautiful scenes.
5. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Have a reusable water bottle and shopping bag. A shopping bag and water bottle will help curb your carbon footprint while traveling on Navajo lands.
6. Ask before you click. Ask permission before taking photographs of locals. Strike up a conversation, because storytelling breaks down walls of fear and just so you know, the Navajo philosophy of learning is sustained through storytelling.
7. Buy local. The Navajo Nation has many local vendors selling authentic items. For many, this is their everyday income. Negotiating the price of a product is discouraged because many items already have a markup value less than 5%. Monetary payments or item exchanges are great.