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Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Total population
Regions with significant populations
United States (Arizona)

Akimel O’odham, Xalchidom Piipaash, and English


Traditional beliefs, Christianity

Location of Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Maricopa women gathering saguaro fruits, circa 1905

The Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community comprises two distinct Native American tribes—the Pima (Akimel O'odham) and the Maricopa (Piipaash)—many of whom were originally of the Halchidhoma (Xalchidom) tribe. The community was officially created by an Executive Order of US President Rutherford B. Hayes on June 14, 1879. The community area includes 53,600 acres (217 km2) of which 19,000 remain a natural preserve.

The community borders the Arizona cities of Scottsdale, Mesa, and Fountain Hills.

The Great Seal of the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community is a representation of I'itoi, commonly referred to as the Man in the Maze.


Business enterprises

The community operates two casinos on its land, both operating under the Casino Arizona brand name; the facilities attract gamblers from the local Phoenix area as well as out-of-state tourists. There is also a limited amount of office development, and a major outdoor shopping center The Scottsdale Pavilions (featuring national retailers such as Target, Barnes & Noble and Home Depot), on the portions of tribal land closest to the northern business and financial districts of neighboring Scottsdale.


The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community supports the preservation of the Akimel O’odham and Xalchidom Piipaash languages through teaching and learning for everyone within the Community and encourages all Community members to preserve the Akimel O’odham and Xalchidom Piipaash languages within their homes (Council Resolution SR-2026-2000).

Some tribal employees who work within the community take classes so they have a better understanding of the community and people and have a better working relationship with the people they serve. Children decide to learn the Pima language because they come home from school and want to know what older family members are saying. When children are no longer learning a language, that language is in serious trouble. Some learners want to fill that void in their experience of their own culture and they want to know more about who they are. Some want to learn so they can understand whether their aunts or parents are talking about them.

Extreme poverty, school dropout, drug use, and border issues hinder the progress of language revitalization as the resolution of these issues appear more important to tribal members. After all, the needs of the tribe must be met as problems are prioritized. The effort and extent of revitalization makes it more difficult to come before other issues. Language activists are looking to reverse the language endangerment in their community but a commitment to the goal is needed to continue.

Man in the Maze

Central to the beliefs of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is the story of the Man in the Maze, which is the symbol seen on the great seal. This ancient pattern visible at the right is representative of the journey we make through life. The figure is called Elder Brother and he is about to make his way through the maze where at the center, he will find the Sun God who is there to greet him and bless him into the next world. Basket-weaving is a valued skill of Pima woman and since the Man in the Maze is a cherished symbol, it is often incorporated into the baskets. Ancient traditions and symbol in the Native American culture are extremely valuable to the point that modernizing them in ways to display them as logos or tattoos can be seen by elders as both honorary yet other the other hand unnecessary.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 33°31′13″N 111°47′36″W / 33.52028°N 111.79333°W / 33.52028; -111.79333



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