Since time immemorial, we, the O’odham and Piipaash, have survived and thrived in and beyond what is now called the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The Sonoran Desert environment and the riparian areas, nourished by the Salt and Gila Rivers, provided all we needed to support happy healthy lives. Our environment took care of us and in return we took care of it.
Indeed, many things have changed over time, and we now find ourselves surrounded by a metropolis composed of millions of people who now also call this valley home. We necessarily adjusted our life ways to survive these changes, but we continue to exist as a tribal nation with distinct languages, cultures and histories. While these attributes have always provided a foundation of strength for our people, we recognize they are yet vulnerable if not continuously valued, cared for and nurtured. We also recognize that sharing some of this knowledge with the rest of the world contributes to humanity’s cultural intelligence and fosters intercultural relationships.
We welcome you to the new Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Cultural Resources Department website. This site was established as a tool to facilitate the sharing of information with and about the O’odham and Piipaash. I am pleased to invite you inside to explore, learn and utilize all we have to offer.
Director, SRPMIC Cultural Resources Department
The SRPMIC Cultural Resources Department was created in 2005 by combining several previously existing programs that addressed culturally related issues but were formerly organized under different tribal departments. This reorganization was just one component of the Tribal Council’s greater vision for creating a structure that is more streamlined, more efficient, and more in tune with improving services to the Community. The Cultural Resources Department is comprised of four programs with distinct focus areas:
The Cultural Resources Department is a branch of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s tribal government over which the ultimate governing body is the SRPMIC Tribal Council. The CRD Administration manages and oversees all divisions and programs within the Cultural Resources Department.
“The CRD is dedicated to the mission of protecting, preserving and revitalizing the distinct histories, cultures and traditional values of the O’odham and Piipaash.”
The CRD fully recognizes the importance of our own mission yet also recognizes the limits of impact that any single government department may have on such an immense endeavor. Ultimately, protecting preserving and revitalizing our cultures is the responsibility of the entire tribal organization, from top to bottom. Most importantly, it is the responsibility of every tribal member.
This traditional shield design was adopted by the Cultural Resources Department as a symbol to represent our effort to protect, defend and perpetuate the traditional O’Odham and Piipaash cultures. This particular design was painted on the rawhide shields of both O’Odham and Piipaash Warriors who guarded our nation. Our endeavor is to assume this responsibility with pride, dignity and respect for all.
© 2002 to the present, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community – Cultural Resources Department