Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona



Calvin Johnson, Chairman
Charles Lopez, Vice Chairman
Lucinda Flores, Council Member
Joe Morgan, Council Member
Steven Johnson, Council Member

(updated February 2024)

Contact Information

Address: Tonto Apache Reservation 30

Payson, AZ 85541

Phone: 928-474-5000

Community Health Director:

Heather Armenta

Chairman, Education Committee:

Belinda Guerra


GOVERNANCE: The Tonto Apache Tribe is governed by a Chairwoman, Vice Chairman, and three council members. Council members serve two-year terms, the Chair and Vice Chair serve four-year terms.  Elections are held annually on the second Saturday of June. Annual meetings are held the second Saturday in October. The Tonto Apache Tribe is in Congressional District 4; Legislative District 6.


COMMUNITY PROFILE: The traditional lands of the Apache Ndeh (The People) extended from Texas through New Mexico and Arizona into Mexico and California. Over time, the many bands of the Apache were forcibly relocated to reservations. The Rio Verde Reserve was established in 1871 for the Tonto and Yavapai Indians. In 1875, the Tonto and Yavapai were forcibly moved to the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Twenty years later, some of the Tonto Tribe returned to the Payson area. The Tonto Apache Tribe was federally recognized by Congressional Act in 1972. 

According to the 2017-2021 U.S. Census, approximately 137 individuals live on Tonto Apache Tribal land or Off-Reservation Trust Land in northwestern Gila County, approximately 95 miles northeast of Phoenix. The Reservation is 85 acres adjacent to Payson, Arizona, and is the smallest land base Reservation in the state. 

The Tonto Apache Tribe is known for bead work and basketry, items that can be purchased on the Reservation. The Tribe operates the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, one of the largest employers in Payson, Arizona.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2017-2021 American Community Survey, the population of the Tonto-Apache Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land is 137. The following document provides a Census snapshot of the Tonto-Apache community 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 there most recent reports for the Gila region, which includes the Tonto Apache Tribe.