The Gila River Indian Community is an Indian reservation in Arizona, lying adjacent to the south side of the city of Phoenix, within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area in Pinal and Maricopa counties. Gila River Indian Reservation was established in 1859, and the Gila River Indian Community formally established by Congress in 1939. The community is home for members of both the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Pee-Posh (Maricopa) tribes.
The reservation has a land area of approximately 584 square miles and according to 2000 Census population of 11,257. It is made up of seven districts along the Gila River and its largest communities are Sacaton, Komatke, Santan, and Blackwater. It has one of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the world, around 50%. The community has been very helpful in type 2 diabetes research, participating in many studies of the disease.
It is a privilege and honor to be welcomed into the communities of the Gila River Indian Tribe to work or study among the people who have persevered, despite drastic and detrimental changes in their culture, tradition and diet. Today, issues of concerns include the changes in healthcare and budgets that are affected by the changes at our Governmental level of politics and administration.
Every month I sit in on the monthly meetings of “The Gila River Indian Community Elders Concerns Group” which was organized for the purpose of providing a forum in which Elders address issues of concerns regarding quality of life and quality of services. In addition, the organization supports and advocates on behalf of the Elders to resolve concerns and issues, preserve and share culture, traditions and wisdom.
As an advocate for the elderly and disabled, and representative of Soaring Eagles Home Care, I am given the opportunity to introduce the services we offer through Soaring Eagles Home Care and our commitment to “Honoring Those We Serve” among our native people.