- Native Connections
- Native American River Guide Training Program
- Cultural Tourism
- Research and Initiatives
- About the San Juan River
- Partners & Links Info for Guides
- Meet Native Guides
The mission of Native Connections is to build capacity of and support for Native peoples to bridge diverse cultural perspectives through experiential education, professional development, innovative research, cultural tourism, and diverse initiatives rooted in the landscape.
Native american river guide training program
The Native American River Guide Training Program is a series of experiential courses and mentored internships focused on the fundamentals of river guiding, cultural interpretation and leadership.
This program offers opportunities for students to learn about and practice river guiding skills(rigging, rowing, camp management, client safety) and how to effectively share elements of Native culture and indigenous perspectives of Mother Earth with visitors to the region. Native American elders, river guides, and instructors guide the program which is open to Native and non-Native students alike.
Click Here to view photos from the program on Flickr
Watch this video about the Native American River Guide Training Program:
The program’s main goal is encourage and support Native Americans and other Indigenous people to become professional river guides and cultural interpreters in the places they call home. Native people are uniquely able to authentically share the history of the land, the people, the plants and animals, earth, and sky through stories learned from elders reflecting the rich and diverse cultural heritage born in the landscapes of the region.
Native American River Guide and Cultural Interpretation Training I
The 8-day introductory course begins and ends with a day on the NAU campus with the remainder of the course conducted along a 50-mile stretch of the San Juan River near Bluff and Mexican Hat, Utah. Students will learn:
- Basic river guiding & navigation skills
- Introduction to river safety and rescue
- Interpreting from a cultural perspective
- Stories of the landscape, geology and landforms
- Stories of people and animals from the area
- Leave no trace ethics
- Teamwork & leadership skills
- Next steps for pursuing a career in the guiding and tourism industry
The course is available for 3 NAU credits. Students must be 17 years or older to participate. Click here to view the 2011 flier: May 20-27.
Native American River Guide and Cultural Interpretation Training II
This 3-day course is designed for guides and cultural interpreters who want to enhance their interpretation skills. The course conducted on the upper San Juan River near Bluff, Utah between Sand Island and Mexican Hat. Students will learn from experienced guides and interpreters through observation and practice while following a standard commercial San Juan River trip itinerary. Students will learn:
- Alternative and varied approaches to cultural interpretation
- Stories about key features of the region
- Approaches to keeping interpretation fresh
The course is available for 1 NAU credit. Students must be 17 years or older to participate and must have some guiding or cultural interpretation experience or have completed the Native American River Guide and Cultural Interpretation I. Check back for the 2011 trip dates and flier.
Check back for additional seminars and mentored interships.
Northern Arizona University
PO Box 5845
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5845
Applied Research and Development Bld., #56
Phone (928) 523-0716
Fax (928) 523-0717
Karan English, Director
Phone: (928) 523-0670