About

Our History

The Ak-Chin Indian Community was established by the U.S. Government in 1912 when President Taft signed for a reservation of 47,600 acres, which was reduced to less than 22,000 the following year. Our tribe's government was formed in 1961 under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. In a 1984 federal settlement, we gained water rights to the Colorado River, enabling us to continue using irrigation to support our agriculture and other needs.

Our first major enterprise was Ak-Chin Farms. Now with 15,000 productive acres, we are among the largest farming communities in the U.S. We entered the gaming industry in 1994 with Promus/Harrah's management for a 72,000 square-foot casino.

The Ak-Chin Him Dak Eco-Museum is a first-of-its-kind living museum that includes and preserves our culture, land and heritage. The Museum hosts the Him-Dak Celebration held in April and the Native American Recognition Day Celebration in September. Him-Dak means "way of life."

Our Language

"Our language is our medicine. We lose our language, we lose our medicine" -Gabriel Lopez

The Native American language for Ak-Chin Indian Community is O'odham. Ak-Chin is an O'odham word meaning "mouth of the wash." As of April 2019, the Ak-Chin Indian Community is the first to have state-certified O'odham language teachers. 

Location

The Ak-Chin Indian Community lies 35 miles south of Phoenix in northwestern Pinal County at an elevation 1,186 feet. State Route 238 intersects the community at the north and east corners. State Route 347 runs through to connect I-8 and 1-10.

Our Community

The Ak-Chin Indian Community is composed mainly of Akimel O'odham and Tohono O'odham as well as some Hia-Ced O'odham members. Ak-Chin is O'odham for "mouth of the wash"—the place where it recedes into the ground. It refers to a type of farming that relies on washes created by winter snows and summer rains. We currently have just over 1,100 tribal members.

 

 

 

Tribal Seal

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In 1962, the seal for the Ak-Chin Indian Community was designed by Wilbert "Buddy" Carlyle and drawn by Sylvester Smith. The four symbols represent the ideals upon which our community is based.

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The Arrow

Represents the Ak-Chin Community as Native Americans.

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The Scales

Represent equality and justice to the Community.

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The Lightning

Represents inspiration and energy to uphold the ideals of the Community.

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The Sun

Represents our belief in a brighter tomorrow.

Community Council

 

The Ak-Chin Tribal Council serves as the governing body for our community. Established under the Articles of Association in December 1961, The Council includes a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, and three council members.

 

 

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Entertainment

We have always understood the importance of balancing work with play, both within our community with events such as our annual Masik Tas Celebration—as well as enterprises such as Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino Resort, Ultrastar Multi-Tainment Center, and Southern Dunes Golf Resort.

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