District 7 welcomes visitors to the Mustering In Celebration

Kyle Knox

Gila River Indian News


The first weekend of September, the Gila River Indian Community observes Mustering In Day Celebration in District 7. The celebration took place Sept. 7 where Community members honored the historic sacrifices of the Pee Posh and O’otham warriors and active servicemen and women. 


The celebration marked the 154th Anniversary of the original event that called for the United States Army to muster in two companies of Akimel O’otham and Pee Posh soldiers. 


Waylon Pahona from District 7 provided remarks about the history of Mustering In. He said, “Mustering In Day’s primary focus is to commemorate the selfless act of the 94 Pee Posh  and 88 O’otham who volunteered for U.S. military service back in 1865.”


The parade of 15 floats lined 87th Avenue concluding at the District 7 Multipurpose Building after the morning run. Mr. Randall Allison was the grand marshal. Posting of colors, a 21-gun salute, and the national anthem kicked off the program before lunch, and everyone could visit the resource booths and water slides. 


Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis acknowledged the continued success of the District 7’s annual events applauding Community Council Representative Devin Redbird, the staff, and volunteers.  


Gov. Lewis said, “We are here today to honor our men and women that have always had to step-up to answer the call to service. This celebration celebrates and honors that spirit of our service history.” 


Lt. Gov. Robert Stone also addressed the audience that morning. “I’m happy to be here and with you all in District 7. It’s always good to be here and to honor our veterans near and abroad currently serving.” 


Lt. Gov. Stone thanked everyone for attending and was pleased with the strong presence of veterans in attendance from the Community and those visiting from neighboring tribes.


Traditional dances took place throughout the day including O’otham basket dances, Pee Posh Bird Singing, and a Yaqui Deer Dance. Later in the evening, Seven Layer Army hosted their “United We Shred” skate competition. And then rounding out the evening was an outdoor concert that had everyone taking to the dance floor with music provided by D Faktion Nyne. 


Sun Sets on District 7 Skate Park

When the sun set, Saturday, Sept. 7 at the District 7 Skate Park, skateboarders competed for the last time at the park’s “United We Shred” Skate Competition. The skate park will be dismantled to make way for the development of an ambulance substation to serve the Western portion of the Community.


“This will be the last skate competition we (SLA) will have here,” said Reuben Ringlero, who was the announcer at the competition.  The decision for the location was made back in May of this year.


District 7 Community Council Representative Devin Redbird shared that the substation will address the long wait times Community members face in times of emergency.


The skate competition proceeded, with the skaters participating in the final event at the soon-to-be dismantled park. 

Scoping and preliminary planning meetings are under way for the site of the substation.


Winners for the competition in their respective brackets:

Van Johns (1st), Jacob Jones (1st), Jojo Johns (2nd), Antonio Hernandez (3rd), Adrian Thomas (1st), Jeremy Rhodes (2nd), Byron Donahue (3rd).