On June 13, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and its friends celebrated 136 years of the SRPMIC’s existence as a sovereign nation.
More than 500 people came out on a warm evening to recognize the historic day. The Community Day event, organized by the SRPMIC Office of Community Relations, took place at the Two Waters buildings at Longmore and Osborn roads.
Attendees enjoyed a barbecue meal, provided by the Round House Café, as Council member Jenelle Howard read the Community Day Proclamation. The proclamation dates back to June 2004 and states that Community Day is a special day that “all Community government departments and programs, organizations, schools, places of worship, and members of our Community commemorate in an appropriate matter.”
President Delbert Ray, Sr. welcomed the crowd, which also included Community members, SRPMIC Council members, and members from the Scottsdale City Council.
“It is 136 years since we’ve been here, and we’re going to be here a lot longer than that,” said Ray. He also thanked Skehg’ Hiosik Galindo for serving her Community this past year as Miss Salt River 2014-15.
The Community recognized this important day with food, vendors, entertainment, and traditional dancing and singing, along with the introduction of new royalty and the presentation of the Caring 4 Salt River Award.
The Caring 4 Salt River Award gives Community members the opportunity to recognize individuals who contribute to the Community. The four categories in which a person can be nominated are Youth, Community Member, Friend of the Community and Elder. Each year the Office of Community Relations receives nominations from enrolled Community members with a short statement stating why they believe their candidate deserves the award.
This year’s recipient is Little Fawn Loring, nominated by a Community member. Loring was recognized for her artwork at Alma School and Thomas roads. In the submitted letter, the Community member stated that Loring’s artwork not only depicts the month or holiday, but also incorporates her love for the Community and also “reminds visitors that they are on unique territory, the O’odham and Piipaash land.”
Loring was unable to attend the event. Emcee Martha L. Martinez, Miss Indian Arizona First Attendant, accepted the award on her behalf.
The evening continued with people dividing their time between the traditional singers and dancers in the traditional area near the museum and a chicken scratch dance on the Two Waters stage. This year’s entertainment was provided by Two Rivers.