Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona



Bernadine Burnette, President
Paul Russell, Vice President
Albert Nelson, Council Member
Gerald Doka, Council Member
Verlene Baptisto, Secretary
Pansy Thomas, Treasurer

(updated February 2024)

Contact Information

Address: PO Box 17779 Fountain Hills, AZ 85269

Phone:    480-789-7000

Acting Health Division Director:

Rosemarie Kennaley

Education Director:

Dr. Victoria Corlett


GOVERNANCE: The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is governed by a Tribal Council comprised of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and two Council Members. Council members serve staggered 4-year terms, and elections are held in January of even-numbered years. The Council meets the first Tuesday of every month. Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is in Congressional District 6; Legislative District 23.


COMMUNITY PROFILE: The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation was created by Executive Order in 1903.  The Reservation is located in the territory of the once nomadic Yavapai people. Two important victories have shaped the history of the Nation: The Orme Dam Project and the fight for gaming rights.  In the 1970s, the community came together with other tribes to successfully fight the construction of the Orme Dam, a project that would have flooded the Reservation and forced members from their homeland.  And in 1992, tribal members held a three-week standoff with the government, a protest that persuaded the Arizona Governor to sign a gaming compact with the Tribe. May 12th is now a tribal holiday honoring that victory. 

The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is located 23 miles northeast of Phoenix, Arizona.  The Reservation is bordered by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on the south, the Town of Fountain Hills on the west, and the Tonto National Forest on the north and east.  The Reservation is one of the smallest in Arizona, covering just 40 square miles. The Verde River flows north-south through the middle of the Reservation and converges with the Salt River. 

The Nation operates Fort McDowell Tribal Farm which produces alfalfa, pecans, and citrus.  The Nation also runs the Fort McDowell Casino, and offers tourist activities through Fort McDowell Adventures.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2017-2021 American Community Survey, the population of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Reservation is 1,057. The following document provides a Census snapshot of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation 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 two of their reports for the East Maricopa region, which includes the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Reservation: