Cocopah Tribe of Arizona



Sherry Cordova, Chairwoman
Rosa J. Long, Vice Chairwoman
Winnie Ortega, Council Member
Irwin Twist, Council Member
Neil White, Council Member
Lilia Tafoya, Executive Secretary to the Chairwoman

(July 2022 - July 2024)

Contact Information

Address: 14515 S. Veterans Drive

Somerton, AZ 85350

Phone: 928-627-2102

Director of Tribal Health Maintenance Program: Sheryl Taylor

Tribal Administrator: Elizabeth Benitez

Tribal Education Coordinator: Wynnie Ortega

Cultural Resources Manager: Frank Reece


GOVERNANCE: The Cocopah Tribe is led by a five-person Tribal Council. Council seats are held for 2-year terms with elections held in July of even-numbered years. Council meetings are held the second Friday of each month. The Cocopah Tribe is in Congressional District 3; Legislative District 4.


COMMUNITY PROFILE: "The Cocopah Sovereignty is the foundation that preserves traditional cultural values and educational empowerment for a healthier way of life." - Cocopah Tribe Vision Statement, Adopted May 2012.

The Cocopah Indian Tribe, known as the River People, have lived along the lower Colorado River for centuries. The Cocopah Reservation was established in 1917, and in 1964 the Tribe established a Tribal Council. The Cocopah Indian Tribe is one of seven descendant Tribes from the Yuman language-speaking people that lived along the Colorado River. Although the Cocopah people had no written language, history and traditions have been passed down orally and through the diaries and journals of outside travelers along the Colorado River. According to the 2018-2022 Census, approximately 1,158 individuals live on the Cocopah Tribe Reservation in Arizona. 

The Cocopah Tribe is located in the southwest corner of Arizona near the California and Mexico borders. The land area consists of more than 6,500 acres along the lower Colorado River, with a land base of 9.4 square miles. The Cocopah Tribe is actively involved in habitat restoration efforts along the Colorado River. The reservation is comprised of three non-contiguous regions: the North, East, and West Reservations. The East and West Reservations are located 15 minutes from each other on either side of the town of Somerton. The North Reservation is located in Yuma.  

The Cocopah Museum and Cultural Center is located on the West Reservation and includes hand-crafted exhibits, meeting space, and a gift shop.  The museum is surrounded by a 1.5-acre park featuring a traditional dwelling replica made from natural elements.  The Cocopah Tribe also operates the Cocopah Casino, Resort, and Conference Center, the Cocopah Speedway Race Track, the Cocopah RV and Golf Resort, and the Cocopah Rio-Colorado Golf Course. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2018-2022 American Community Survey, the population on the Cocopah reservation is 1,158. The following document provides a Census snapshot of the Cocopah Tribe with comparisons to the state of Arizona and the United States as a whole.


Note: When interpreting data for small populations or rural areas, it is important to note the margin of error, which is provided where possible. The margin of error can be interpreted as providing a 90 percent probability that the true value lies within the estimate plus and minus the margin of error.

First Things First is Arizona's early childhood agency, providing health screenings and a variety of services across the state. Included here are their reports on the Cocopah Tribe.