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Indian Reservation - Timeline

This page and the following web pages are from the city’s archives – click here for the most up to date information on this topic.

The Gila Bend Indian Reservation was one of three reservations creating the Tohono O’odham Nation (formerly referred to as the Papago Indian Tribe of Arizona) that was established by Executive Orders dated December 12, 1882 and June 17, 1909.  It was designated the San Lucy District.  The reservation consisted of 10,297 acres that was divided by the Gila River.  The following dates are relevant to the issue of the Tribe’s proposal to create a reservation in Glendale.  A more detailed timeline is available at Historical Summary.

1960 Corps of Engineers completes construction of Painted Rock Dam on the Gila River ten miles downstream from the reservation
   
1964

Federal government secures easements with Tribe and non-Indian landowners

  •  Provided perpetual right to flood the land
  • $130,000 paid to tribe in compensation
  • Members living in Sil Murk Village, located on private land within reservoir flood plain, relocated San Lucy Village
   
1981 Tribe petitions the U.S. for a new reservation land suitable for agricultural development
   
10/20/86

Congress enacts the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act [P.L. 99-503 October 20, 1986, 100 Stat 1798]

  • Tribe assigns to U.S. all rights, title, and interest in 9,880 acres of land within reservation
  • U.S. pays tribe $30,000,000
  • Tribe may purchase private lands not to exceed 9,880 acres as replacement lands
  • Secretary to hold replacement land in trust, provided land meets certain requirements:
    bullet point imageMust be in Maricopa, Pinal, or Pima counties
    bullet point imageCannot be within the corporate limits of any city or town
    bullet point imageLimited to three areas
    bullet point imageAt least one area must be contiguous with San Lucy Village
  • Secretary may waive these requirements if he determines additional areas are “appropriate”
   
10/15/87 The Tribe transfers reservation land to U.S. and waived claims
   
10/17/88 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act enacted by Congress
   
1992 Arizona statute was modified to disallow Governor approval of Indian gaming on new reservation land
   
9/2002 Voters pass Proposition 202, the 17-Tribe Initiative, allowing for continuation of Indian Gaming in Arizona based on the commitment that gaming interests would stay on existing reservations and out of the communities
   
8/21/03

Tribe purchases the property for the proposed casino site

  • Purchase is in the name of Rainier Resources, Inc., a Delaware corporation, with a Seattle mailing address
  • Site within the exterior boundaries of the City of Glendale,
    bullet point image Within the Glendale Municipal Planning Area
    bullet point image Included within the statutorily-mandated Glendale General Plan since its adoption
   
1/28/09

Tribe meets with City Glendale for first time.

Tribe transfers the proposed casino site to its own name and files application requesting that the Secretary of the Interior take the proposed casino site into trust for the tribe for use as a gaming site

   
1/29/09 Tribe publicly announces intention to build a “Las Vegas-style” casino at the proposed casino site
   
3/23/09 City staff meets with Tohono O’odham.  Specific information with respect to proposal requests several days prior.  Tribe refuses to provide information until after reservation is created.
   
4/7/09 Glendale City Council passing resolution in opposition to
   
5/11/09 Tribe meets with Glendale officials, again refuses to provide specific information until after reservation is created.
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