Pheonix, Arizona
Gila River Reservation

Population: 14,000

Tribe: The Pima Tribe (“The River People”)

Location: Lies in south-central Arizona, south of Pheonix, Tempe, and Chandler, Arizona.

Economy: Roughly 53 percent of the population live below the poverty line. The Gila River Tribes still maintain an agricultural economy. Their crops include cotton, wheat, alfalfa, barley, melons, pistachios, olives, and citrus. They also operate fertilizer and grain storage facilities, and a cotton gin. With economic strength spurred by revenue from casinos and other enterprises, the tribe has reinvested in the community to provide for its many shared social needs, recreational activities, and cultural projects. The community operates a few stores and a gas station, plus an arts and crafts center.

Education: 34.6 percent of the Pima adult population did not finish high school. American Indians have the highest drop out rate of any US racial group.

Finance: Around 53 percent of the Pima Indians in this area are unemployed. There are limited job opportunities through the tribe.

Government: Consists of an executive, legislative, and judicial branch of government, the governor, leutinant governor, and the tribal council.

Additional Information: A larger percentage of the elderly suffer from diabetes. Over the years, Au’Inca has worked closely with a foundation to deliver toys, food boxes, diapers, clothes, and shoes to the reservation. Au’Inca has also helped repair a church building and supply it with air conditioners and a heating unit. The Gila River Indian Reservation was the first reservation that co-founder of Au’Inca, Ramona Hill, visited back in 1995. She began her work with the Native American Indians on this reservation. For 10 years she has provided many needed items and spiritual guidance for members of this tribe.