A little about who we are.
We refer to ourselves as “Diné” in the Navajo language; the spelling may vary slightly, but it means “The People”. The Diné are an Athabaskan group that presently inhabits the far north of North America before vanishing into Northern Mexico. Over 300,000 Navajo people are registered with the Navajo Nation to this day.
For many generations, Navajo history has been passed down by word of mouth; while some details may have been altered or inflated, the majority of the significant details have persisted. With the advent of writing, film, and still photography in the 1800s, our people’s history was at last accurately documented. Over generations the Navajo were assimilated into the more contemporary society by force or in rare circumstances, by choice. During the early 1900’s, many children were taken from their families and forced into modern schooling, many were obligated to use English as the primary form of communication. As time progresses our language and heritage has become interwoven with modern society, our family was not an exception; we also worked modern jobs to support ourselves, gradually newer generations attend public schools, and ultimately attend higher forms of education. Despite the fact that life has improved elsewhere, many people choose to return home.
Sandstone Tours and Vehicles
The business was established in 2010. In Monument Valley, there are numerous tour companies, each with their own unique tour offerings. However, we have continued to follow the style and creativity of the late Stanley Blackwater, the uncle of our founder. Stanley has spent the majority of his life in Monument Valley as a tour guide, visiting numerous sites of interest.
Willie Blackwater designed the tour vehicles for Sandstone. Willie was employed as a certified union metal worker and welder on the numerous generating stations dotting the southwest. The vehicle conversion systems are reliable, safe, and comfortably transport our guests to areas of interest despite the unpaved and sandy conditions of the valley.
Offspring of Hoskininnie Begay, a prominent Northern Navajo chief during the mid-to late 1800’s, spearheaded an uprising against the American government in 1856 to prevent the Navajo people from being forced out of what is now the northern Navajo Nation. Later, he battled to defend and maintain the lands that were sacred and significant to the Navajo people.
Great grandparents Willie and Happy Cly spent their entire lives in Monument Valley. They grazed sheep and tended gardens as they led a nomadic lifestyle. They saw the emergence of trade and tourism in the area as times changed. They were filmed by early tourists and filmmakers as modernization spread, and they were among the first to trade with newcomers to Monument Valley.
Just as we have done for many generations, our family would like to welcome you to Monument Valley. Like both of our grandparents, we too have a knack for preservation and tourism, and we attempt to balance both in this contemporary world. We enjoy sharing a bit of our world with you and listening to your tales and observations from your region.
Transcending over a century in the area, we take great satisfaction in trying our hardest to make sure you get to experience the scenic and historic Monument Valley.
© Sandstone Tours Inc. 2023