A day of remembrance, family and fun in District 7
May 20, 2016
Thomas R. Throssell
Gila River Indian News
The Estrella Mountains served as the early morning backdrop of the 153rd Five Tribes Treaty of Peace event, May 7, as runners jogged their way northward up 83rd Avenue in recognition of the 1863 treaty signing that brought Pima, Maricopa, Hualapai, Chemehuevi, and Yuma tribes together in friendship and peace.
Following the run, parade floats wound their way down 83rd Avenue as spectators cheered and clapped from the sides of the road. Parade entries included the Pee-Posh Veterans Association, a Gila River Telecommunications, Inc. float, Gila River Royalty, and Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis and Lt. Gov. Monica Antone handing out gifts to Community members.
At the flag raising, royalty from different tribal nations sang the National Anthem and gave the Pledge of Allegiance. Shortly after, a ten-gun salute, performed by Haskell Osife-Antone American Legion Auxiliary Unit 51, rang outward across Pee Posh Park as a member of the unit solemnly played Taps.
As the last note of Taps was played, Community members dispersed into all corners of Pee Posh Park and the District 7 Service Center, reveling in a variety of activities ranging from the physical, intellectual, and spiritual.
Activities included billiards, dominoes and horseshoe tournaments, powwow, social bird dance, the annual bird dance competition, rides for the kids, an obstacle course, cooking contests, live chicken scratch, and skateboard tournament.
Families and friends drifted from one activity to another throughout the day, laughing, eating, and dancing, while others dozed off on the grass in the center of the park, taking advantage of the near-perfect weather, and when all was said and done, a near-perfect day in the Community.
A Brief History of the Five Tribes Peace Treaty
Over 153 years ago, before Arizona was a state, representatives from five tribes traveled to Fort Yuma, Calif. to pledge themselves into a treaty of peace. Those five tribes were the Maricopa, Pima, Hualapai, Chemehuevi, and Yuma.
At the time, the race for gold began in 1848 when settlers first discovered gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley. News spread quickly, enticing gold miners and settlers alike to travel west in search of riches.
This created a lot more horse and foot traffic in what we now know as southern Arizona and with that attacks from Apaches increased on the gold-seeking settlers. It was because of these attacks that the five tribes and the United States military came together at Fort Yuma, from April 7—11, 1863, to develop a formal document in which each tribe pledged to one another mutual peace and to protect American settlers from further attack.
The representatives of each tribe at Five Tribes Treaty of Peace are as follows:
Maricopa: Chief Juan Chievaria and Sub Chief Juan Jose.
Pima: Chief Antonio Azul
Yuma: Chief Jack
Hualapai: Chief Wauba Yuba
Chemehuevi: Chief Pay Coyer
Since the peace treaty, the American Southwest has flourished and grown. It has become home to world-class cities and universities, populated by millions, and enriched with the culture of the tribes that have called the desert landscape home for millennia.
Just think what would those chiefs, those six men who traveled to Fort Yuma 153 years ago, think of their legacy of peace?