GOVERNANCE: The Executive Branch of the Gila River Indian Community government is led by a Governor and Lieutenant Governor, each elected for a three-year term. The Legislative Branch includes a 17-member Tribal Council representing seven districts. Elections are held yearly for the council members serving three-year staggered terms, and every third year for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The Council meets the first and third Wednesday of every month. The Gila River Indian Tribe resides in Congressional District 1; Legislative Districts 8 and 27.
Click here to read a presentation on research guidelines by Barnaby Lewis, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer.
COMMUNITY PROFILE: The Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indians were small bands that lived along the Colorado River. Eventually these bands migrated East and became known collectively as Maricopa. Upon migrating East, they became allies with the Akimel O'Odham (Pima) Indians, uniting against the Yuman and Apache Tribes. Some Maricopa settled in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, while others settled along the Gila River. In 1859 Congress established the Gila River Indian Community, comprised of both Maricopa and Pima Tribes.
According to the 2018 Census, approximately 11,150 individuals live on the Gila River Indian Community Reservation in Arizona, located 34 miles south of Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. The reservation is roughly 640 square miles, or 372,000 acres. This includes 15,000 acres dedicated to agriculture: cotton, wheat, millet, alfalfa, barley, melons, pistachios, olives, citrus, and vegetables. Independent farming operations include an additional 22,000 acres of similar crops.
In 2004, the Gila River Indian Community opened the HuHugam Heritage Center. The Center is dedicated to preservation and display of Native artifacts, and includes an amphitheater for storytelling, gatherings, and ceremonies. The community also operates the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, three championship golf courses, three casinos, and Firebird International Raceway.
Gila River Indian Community Reservation
|Number of Households
|Average Household Size
|Population Under Age 18
|Population Over Age 65
|Speaks a Language Other Than English in Household
|Owner-Occupied Housing Units
|Age 25+ with High School Degree or Higher
|Median Household Income
|Below Federal Poverty Threshold
|Households with at Least One Computing Device
|Households with a Desktop/Laptop
*All statistics are from the 2014-2018 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates.