History and Culture

SRP-MIC History and Culture

(cited from the About SRP-MIC and History and Culture pages)

Although the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRP-MIC) is now a single Indigenous nation, it derives from two distinct cultures and languages. These two communities were allies for many generations, interacted regularly and shared many of the same values. Although each of these peoples formerly recognized its own leaders and independently managed its own day-to-day affairs, intertribal commerce, decision-making, military action and social interaction were common.

This friendly alliance ultimately developed into a more formalized confederation that benefited both groups, allowing them to act as a single political power. This accord was exemplified when establishing official relations with the United States. Hence, they are now federally recognized as one nation by the US Federal Government.

The territory of O’odham and Piipaash, who resided along the Salt River, was originally recognized by the US government via executive order, signed by President Rutherford B. Hayes on January 10, 1879. Unfortunately, a subsequent executive order on June, 14, 1879, reduced the Salt River portion of the reserve from approximately 680,000 acres to just under 47,000 acres. The second order also created two disconnected land bases, separating the Salt River O’odham-Piipaash from their relatives living along the Gila River. In 1940, the Salt River Community adopted a constitution and bylaws under the provisions of the Federal Indian Reorganization Act and is now governed by an elected president, vice president and council.

Pronunciations and Terms

Maricopa (mair-i-kOH-puh)

Onk Akimel O’odham (onk akimel OH-uh-dahm) (akimel - mAn If bEd/ah key mahl)

Pima (pEE-muh)

Xalychidom Piipaash (hahl-chi-dome pEE-posh)

Akimel O’odham: river people

Hohokam: an archeological term (borrowed from the Pima people) to define a specific culture that existed from about 1 - 1450 AD

Huhugam: a Pima word for those who have gone

O’odham: people

The Pima refer to themselves and their linguistic relatives as such in their own language.

Onk Akimel O’odham: Salt River people

Tohono O’odham: desert people

Patayan: an archeological term (borrowed from one of the Yuman languages) to define a specific culture that existed from about 500 - 1500 AD

Piipaash: people

The Maricopa refer to themselves as such their own language.

Piipaa Nykor: Maricopa term for deceased ancestors (people from before/long ago)

Xalychidom Piipaash: upriver people

A specific group of Maricopa who now primarily reside in the Lehi District of the SRP-MIC.