Gila River Indian Community
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Gila River Indian Community
Location of Gila River Indian Community in northwestern Pinal County, Arizona. The Phoenix metropolitan area is located north of the reservation.

The Gila River Indian Community is an Indian reservation in the U.S. state of Arizona, lying adjacent to the south side of the city of Phoenix, within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area in Pinal and Maricopa counties. Gila River Indian Reservation was established in 1859, and the Gila River Indian Community formally established by Congress in 1939. The community is home for members of both the Akimel O'odham (Pima) and the Pee-Posh (Maricopa) tribes.

The reservation has a land area of 583.749 square miles (1,511.90 km2) and a 2000 Census population of 11,257. It is made up of seven districts[1] along the Gila River and its largest communities are Sacaton, Komatke, Santan, and Blackwater. Tribal administrative offices and departments are located in Sacaton. The Community operates its own telecom company, electric utility, industrial park and healthcare clinic, and publishes a monthly newspaper. It has one of the highest rates of Type 2 diabetes in the world, around 50% of the population. The community has voluntarily contributed to Type 2 diabetes research, by participating in many studies of the disease.

House with Bow Roof, Sacaton vicinity, Pinal County, AZ. Photo from Historic American Buildings Survey, 1938



Under their constitution, tribal members elected a governor and lieutenant governor at-large. They also elect 16 council members, from single-member districts or sub-districts with roughly equal populations.

Officials listing

  • Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor[2]
  • Monica Antone, Lt. Governor[3]
  • Arzie Hogg, Council Member, Dist 1
  • Joey Whitman, Council Member, Dist 1
  • Carol A. Schurz, Council Member, Dist 2
  • Carolyn Williams, Council Member, Dist 3
  • Rodney Jackson, Council Member, Dist 3
  • Christopher Mendoza, Council Member, Dist 4
  • Jennifer Allison, Council Member, Dist 4
  • Nada Celaya, Council Member, Dist 4
  • Angela Allison, Council Member, Dist 4
  • Brain Davis Sr., Council Member, Dist 5
  • Janice Stewart, Council Member, Dist 5
  • Robert Stone, Council Member, Dist 5
  • Franklin Pablo, Sr., Council Member, Dist 5
  • Albert Pablo, Council Member, Dist 6
  • Charles Goldtooth, Council Member, Dist 6
  • Anthony Villareal, Sr., Council Member, Dist 6
  • Devin C. Redbird, Council Member, Dist 7[4]


The Gila River Indian Community owns and/or operates three casinos, a resort hotel, a spa, an equestrian center, two golf courses, an arts & crafts center, two tribal museums, an NHRA-certified race track, a race-car driving school, and a racing-boat course.[] The first casino opened in 1994.[5] It has a market base of more than four million potential customers in the Phoenix metro area,

Current communities


The community owns and operates Gila River Memorial Airport, a small, private-use airport, located 4 miles southwest of the central business district of Chandler. It is used for cropdusting and air charter operations, with no scheduled commercial services. There are plans to redevelop the airfield as a casino.

Notable people

  • Ira Hayes, one of four soldiers depicted in the WWII photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima in 1945, was born and grew up here. He was living here at the time of his death.
  • Jay Morago, served as the first Governor of the Gila River Indian Community from 1954 until 1960, and helped to draft the reservation's 1960 constitution.[6][7]
  • Mary Thomas, was the first woman elected as Governor of the Gila River Indian Community, serving from 1994 until 2000.[5]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Admin. "Governor Stephen Roe Lewis". Retrieved 2015. 
  3. ^ Admin. "Lt. Governor Monica Antone". Retrieved 2015. 
  4. ^ "Gila River Indian Community Introductory Information". itcaonline. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. Retrieved 2015. 
  5. ^ a b McKinnon, Shaun (August 22, 2014). "Mary Thomas, first woman to lead Gila River, dies at 70". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2014. 
  6. ^ Boehnke, Megan (May 20, 2008). "Gila River's first governor dies at 90". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2008. 
  7. ^ "Jay Morago Jr. Obituary". Casa Grande Dispatch. May 17, 2008. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved 2008. 

External links

Coordinates: 33°09?16?N 111°55?36?W / 33.15444°N 111.92667°W / 33.15444; -111.92667

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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