Gila River Indian Community Applauds Passage of Homelands Legislation by Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
December 7, 2018
Communications & Public Affairs Office
Gila River Indian Community
On Nov. 26, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs passed H.R. 4032, the Gila River Indian Community Federal Rights-of-Way, Easements and Boundary Clarification Act, with bipartisan support.
The legislation fully implements a prior settlement agreement with the federal government which settles a trust accounting suit brought by the Community and requires recordation of all federal rights-of-way on the Reservation.
The legislation also clarifies a section of the Community Reservation boundary that will avoid a title dispute with the City of Phoenix. In exchange for the lands at issue in the disputed area along the Northwest boundary of the Reservation, the bill allows the Community to add approximately 3,400 acres of culturally important lands in the Estrella Mountains to its Reservation.
The Community is in the process of purchasing this culturally significant land from the Bureau of Land Management.
When the legislation passed the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Governor Stephen Roe Lewis remarked “I am pleased that H.R. 4032 passed the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs today, and can now be considered by the full Senate.
I appreciate that Chairman Hoeven, Vice-Chair Udall and the members of the Committee prioritized this legislation that is critical to the Community’s efforts to manage our reservation lands, settle the reservation boundary and help the Community acquire lands that are culturally significant. We are hopeful this legislation can be passed by the full Senate before it adjourns in December.”