Cover Story

Traditional O'odham singers and dancers perform traditional songs and social dances as they celebrate SRPMIC Community Day.

Today is a Day Where We [SRPMIC] All Gather as One

By Richi Corrales and Sheila Begay
Au-Authm Action News

Members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, along with family members and friends, gathered on June 15 at the Two Waters Complex to celebrate the 128th birthday of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

The SRPMIC was established by an executive order issued by President Rutherford B. Hayes on January 10, 1879. That order was modified by a second executive order on June 14, 1879, which defined the boundaries of the Community to encompass 52,600 acres.

More than 700 people gathered for the celebration. The festivities started on Saturday morning at the Huhugam Ki Museum, where the staff prepared a mesquite pancake breakfast and presented a traditional-food recipe contest into the afternoon. O’odham and Piipaash artists demonstrated a variety of traditional crafts, including beading necklaces, painting gourds and making pottery.

Even with scorching 100-degree-plus temperatures, everyone managed to stay cool and out of the sun underneath a large tent that was set up.

Community members were also introduced to the newly crowned royalty, Jr. Miss Briah Johnson and Miss Salt River Martha Ludlow Martinez. Onlookers also witnessed the swearing-in of newly elected members of the Young River People’s Council; President Jose Martinez, Vice-President Kaily Toney, Correspondant Secretary Nani Reina, Clerical Secretary Jacob Willeford, Members Kiana Reina, Antonio Briones, Mavi Leonard, Bruin Reina, and Pretty Flower Galindo.

The Onk Akimel Waila band played chicken scratch music throughout the evening while everyone ate dinner. Dinner and social gathering was a part of the celebration as everyone ate outside of the Community’s Round House Café to enjoy the entertainment.

Pima and Maricopa dancers and singers took turns dancing and sing traditional songs at the end of the night.

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