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Kaibab Paiute Nation Named a Dark Sky Community

Kaibab Paiute Nation

Northern Arizona is now home to the world’s first "dark sky nation." As Arizona Public Radio’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians has been recognized for its efforts to preserve the night sky.

The tribe has become the first Native American nation to be recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association. John Barentine, the organization’s dark sky program manager, says the Kaibab Paiute’s application was unique.  

“It was the first time that a group of people anywhere in the world who were all related to each other by culture and language adopted dark skies principles,” Barentine said.

The Kaibab Paiute tribe, on the Arizona-Utah border, recently passed an outdoor lighting ordinance and began educational activities to combat light pollution on the reservation.

Daniel Bulletts is the tribe’s Environmental Program Director. The tribe has stories about stars that need to be told to our youth again,” he said. “Why dark sky matters? Just look up one night and see.”

The Kaibab Paiute Nation joins two other International Dark Sky Communities in the state, Flagstaff and Sedona. 

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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