The Salt River Treaty Settlement Agreement: A Historic Milestone in Indigenous Rights

In 2020, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community made history by successfully negotiating a $100 million settlement with the United States government over longstanding disputes relating to water and land rights. The settlement, known as the Salt River Treaty Settlement Agreement, represents a major victory for the community and a step forward in the fight for Indigenous rights.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is located in central Arizona and is home to over 10,000 members. The community`s history dates back over 2,000 years, and its people have long fought to maintain their sovereignty and cultural traditions. However, the community has faced numerous challenges over the years, including historic land theft, forced removal, and the ongoing threat of water scarcity.

Water has been a particularly contentious issue for the Salt River community. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the US government built dams and canals on the Salt and Verde Rivers, diverting water away from the community`s lands and causing significant damage to the ecosystem. The community has been fighting for fair access to water ever since, and the Salt River Treaty Settlement Agreement marks a major step forward in that struggle.

Under the terms of the settlement, the US government will pay the community $100 million to resolve long-standing claims relating to water rights and breach of trust. The settlement also includes provisions for the US government to return over 100,000 acres of land to the community, including several sacred sites and important cultural areas.

The settlement was hailed as a historic victory by the Salt River community and its supporters. In a statement following the announcement of the settlement, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Martin Harvier said, “This is a historic day for our community. This settlement is a testament to our strength and resilience and the power of our people to effect change.”

The Salt River Treaty Settlement Agreement represents a significant milestone in the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights in the United States. It demonstrates that, with persistence and determination, Indigenous communities can hold the US government accountable for past wrongs and secure a brighter future for their people. As we move forward, it is vital that we continue to support Indigenous rights and work to build a more just and equitable society for all.