Just a little about us.
In the Navajo language we call ourselves “Diné”, there may be some variations on how it may be spelled, but it means, “The People”. The Diné are a part of the Athabaskan that currently reside as far as the very north of North America, then eventually fades away into Northern Mexico. To this day there are more than 300,000 Navajo recorded by the Navajo Nation.
Navajo family history has been carried down by word of mouth for generations, most of it may have been changed or exaggerated, but most of the important parts remained. The most recent history of our people being recorded accurately was around the 1880’s; with writing, and the advent of film and still photography. During that time many families gradually became a part of the more modern society. Some went to work off the Navajo reservation, some joined the US military, and many attended schools. Our family was no exception, we lived off the reservation working labor jobs, while the young attended public schools. But though life was improved elsewhere, many return to their origins.
Sandstone Tours and Vehicles
The company was founded in 2010. Many tour companies operate in Monument Valley, and have their own style of tours. But we have stayed with a format and originality of our founder’s uncle, Stanley Blackwater. Stanley has been a tour guide most of his life in Monument Valley, taking his tours to many to points of interest.
Sandstone’s tour vehicles were designed by Willie Blackwater. Willie worked as a certified union welder/metal worker on the many generating stations scattered around the southwest. The vehicle conversion systems are designed to withstand the rigors of the unpaved and sandy conditions of the valley, they take our guests to areas of interest reliably, safely, and comfortably.
Direct descendants of the Northern Navajo leader Hoskininnie Begay, who was a Northern Navajo Chief in the mid to late 1800’s. In 1856 he led a resistance against the U.S. government to keep the Navajo from being removed from what is now the northern Navajo Nation, later he also fought to protect to preserve the lands that were important and spiritual to the Navajo.
Willie and Happy Cly, great grandparents, were residents of Monument Valley all of their lives. They lived a nomadic life living off the land; grazing sheep and tending gardens. As times changed, they witnessed the birth of tourism and trading to the region. As modernization moved in, they were recorded by film makers, early tourist, and the became the one of first to trade with traders that came to Monument Valley.
Our family would like to welcome you to Monument Valley as we have done for generations. We too have the knack for preservation and tourism as both grandparents did, and try to juggle both in this modern world. We like to hear your stories and insight from your part of the world, and too like to share a part of ours.
Over a century being in Monument Valley, we pride ourselves to doing our best, to have you experience Monument Valley.
© Sandstone Tours Inc. 2023