Gila River Indian Community is located on 372,000 acres in

south-central Arizona, south of Phoenix, Tempe and Chandler.

The reservation was established by an Act of Congress in 1859.

The tribal administrative offices and departments are located

in Sacaton and serve residents throughout the seven community

districts.

 

The Gila River Indian Community is steadily increasing industrial,

retail and recreational development activities. Three industrial parks

housing 36 operations are located on the reservation, and the Lone-Butte

Industrial Park is considered to be among the most successful

Indian industrial parks in the nation. A “theme park, ”Gila Heritage

Park, is also operated by the tribe. Commercial complexes developed

in Sacaton and Komatke, house several tenants providing services to

local residents.

 

Agriculture continues to play a prominent economic role. The

community's farm grows crops such as cotton, wheat, millet, alfalfa,

barley, melons, pistachios, olives, citrus, and vegetables on 12,000

acres. In addition, they own and operate related agricultural activities,

such as chemical fertilizer, cotton gin and grain storage facilities.

Independent farming operations cultivate 22,000 acres of similar

crops for a total agricultural product value in excess of $25 million.

The Gila River casinos are both owned and managed by the Gila

River Indian Community. All profits from gaming are utilized by the

community to expand the tribe's economic development, to provide

additional social services to community members, and for tribal

operations. Both casinos employ approximately 1,000, of which 80

to 85 percent are community members.

 

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, a four-story pueblo

built by the Hohokam Indians in the 13th century, lies just southeast

of the reservation. The Gila Indian Center, located along Interstate

10 at the Casa Blanca Interchange, sells one of Arizona's finest

selections of Southwest Indian arts and crafts including pottery, basketry,

jewelry, carvings and paintings. The center also contains an

excellent museum and restaurant/coffee shop. Gila Heritage Park

features self-guided tours of traditional Indian homes from the Pima,

Maricopa, Papago and Apache tribes.

 

The annual Tribal fair “Mul-Chu-Tha,” with its parade, Indian

dances, All-Indian rodeo, arts and crafts, and food sales is held in

February at Sacaton. The St. John's Indian Mission Festival is held

annually on the first Sunday in March and also presents Indian

foods, dances and arts and crafts. Both events are popular with

tourists and residents.