arizona, Economic Development, Gila River Indian Community
For countless centuries, the people of the Gila River Indian Community — the “River People” of Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh ancestry — farmed alongside the central Arizona riverbanks that give our community its name. Our farming heritage taught my people all about the value of diversification and persistence, two key elements that have guided the renaissance of our community’s economy.
But the key factor driving economic development on our lands has been vision — the ability to see beyond the desert scrub and jackrabbits that once marked the Gila River reservation and to conceive and implement what visitors see today: A development corridor marked by championship golf, high-end gaming, upscale shopping, hospitality, entertainment, fine dining, and a luxurious spa. Today, our community employs thousands of residents of the East and West Valley, and our business interests along the I-10 corridors pump tens of millions of dollars into the economies of cities from Mesa to Chandler, Avondale to Glendale.