Gathering will bring together youth

Emma Hughes 

Gila River Indian News


Gila River Indian Community member, Joseph Davis from District 5 has been organizing a first-ever four-tribes youth gathering; “Vecij O’odham Hemapa” will take place Saturday, Oct. 26. at the Sacaton Fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for O’odham youth between the ages of 13-24.The event will host speakers and demonstrations on the traditional men’s and women’s games, traditional roles and teachings for men and women, agriculture, entertainment, and much more.


The purpose of the gathering is to encourage youth to take on traditional teachings from the four sister tribes; Gila River Indian Community, Tohono O’odham Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and the Ak-Chin Indian Community. 


“O’odham himdag is something that everyone, especially young people, should be utilizing and living with everyday,” says Davis. The full-day program of events will focus on teaching and celebrating O’odham culture. “This is not going to be like a regular conference. This is truly just a gathering.


We’re going to get back to what we use to do and that’s putting technology down and just coming together for the sake of culture, our himdag,” said Davis who has put together a planning committee that has been working on the gathering for the past 10 months. 


Davis who has been actively involved in the Community, has served on the Akimel O’odham/Pee Posh Youth Council and developed into somewhat of a local celebrity alongside his brothers, who in the past have created comedic videos on social media that related to O’odham life.


“Learning our culture can be hard and it can be intimidating. But going forward, we need to work together to remove whatever obstacles there are and to carry on our teachings and culture,” said Davis, and encourages all youth to join the event and see what it’s all about.


For more information on the event or to register, you can contact Joseph Davis at (520) 858-4841 or visit the website at