Gila River Indian Community

Mailing Address

525 W. Gu U K
Sacaton, AZ 85247

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Gila River Indian Community was created in compliance with the Presidential Executive Order in the year 1859. The community was formalized in the same year upon the adoption of their constitution and its by-laws. The Gila River Indian Community is said to be the largest ancestral community of Native Americans who are settled in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The community is actually a dwelling for two other tribes, the Akimel O'odham also known as the Pima and the Pee-Posh or the Maricopa. These two tribes are distinct and separate from one another. The Pee-Posh, for example is actually a Yuman band who migrated from the southern part of the Colorado River Area. 

The tribe, after their migration, became a friend of the O'oodham tribe. These two tribes are known to have fought and won over battles as well as kept each other secured. On the other hand, the Pee-Posh tribe has likewise established a habitat located in a hamlet of what is called the Maricopa Colony. This settlement is situated on the western-most part of the reservation. These two tribes have settled an agreement that states that both of them would retain their traditions and will similarly build a single governing council to take care of their concerns. It is from these primary reasons that the name Gila River Indian Community came to be. 

The Gila River is a flowing river that passes through the heart of the reservation thus serving as the lifeline of the tribal community. The reservation covers not less than six hundred square miles of land territories. The primary community is based on the basin and in the range area of the Sonoran Desert Valley located in the central portion of Arizona. The boundaries of the community are the San Tan and the Sacation Mountains on its eastern side, the Estrella Mountains on the western side and the South Mountains on its northern boundary. 

Because of the tribe's continuous struggles towards the progression of their economical issues, the tribe has managed to survive the poverty that has long oppressed the other neighboring tribes. The tribe has also managed to keep their lands despite the influences from the outside word.

Because of the determination of the tribal community, they have established the Gila River Farms in the latter part of the 1960's. The farm has been a major economic factor that affected the growth of the tribe. It encompasses not less than sixteen thousand acres of which are mostly composed of cotton trees, other grains as well as citrus plants. The farm employs at east ninety percent of its tribal members. The Gila River Farm has since then maintained a stand in the economic development of the tribe. Without it, the tribe would have never been successful. Aside from this, the tribe also operates casinos such as the Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte and Vee Quiva.

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