Gila River Indian Community
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 sq mi (1,511.902 km²) and a 2000 Census population of 11,257. It is made up of seven districts 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. As of 2012, the Gila River Indian Community Governor was Gregory Mendoza. It has one of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the world, around 50%. The community has been very helpful in type 2 diabetes research, participating in many studies of the disease.
The Gila River Indian Community, with over four million potential customers in the Phoenix metro area, 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.
Currently inhabited communities
- Bapchule (Pihpchul)
- Blackwater (Chukma Shuhthagi)
- Casa Blanca
- Co-op Village (Chichino)
- Gila Crossing (Kuiva)
- Goodyear (Valin Thak)
- Komatke (Komadk)
- Maricopa Colony
- Sacate Village
- Sacaton (Ge'e Kih)
- Sacaton Flats (Hahshani Kehk)
- St. John's
- Santa Cruz (Hia-t-ab)
- Santan/Santa Ana (Santan)
- Stotonic (S-totonigk)
- Sweetwater (S-iʼovi Shuhthagi)
- Vahki (Va'akih)
- Wet Camp Village
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 into a casino.
- McKinnon, Shaun (2014-08-22). "Mary Thomas, first woman to lead Gila River, dies at 70". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2014-10-05.
- Boehnke, Megan (2008-05-20). "Gila River's first governor dies at 90". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
- "Jay Morago Jr. Obituary". Casa Grande Dispatach. 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
- Gila River Reservation, Arizona United States Census Bureau