Gila River

Gila River Indian Community

The Gila River Indian Community is an Indian reservation in Arizona, USA, lying adjacent to the south side of the city of Phoenix, within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area in Pinal and Maricopa Counties. It was established in 1859, and 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 1,511.902 km² (583.749 sq mi) 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. The Gila River Indian Community Governor is William R. Rhodes (2007).

The reservation was the birthplace of Ira Hayes and his home at the time of his death. Corporal Hayes, USMC, helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima in 1945.

Jay Morago, who served as the first Governor of the Gila River Indian Community from 1954 until 1960, and helped to draft the reservation's 1960 constitution, died on May 14, 2008.


The Gila River Indian Community, taking advantage of 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.

Trespassing laws

Non community members should be aware of the extremely strict trespassing laws. Violation of the laws can be as simple as parking off the pavement of any rural road. Violators can be fined or arrested and have their vehicle and property impounded. Do not drive down any dirt road or hike on any trail without obtaining permission. Trespassing notices are not generally posted, but heavily enforced.

Currently inhabited communities

Deserted/historical communities

References and external links


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