161st Annual Five Tribes Treaty of Peace Celebration

GRIN Staff
Gila River Indian News 


About 800 people, including Community members and other tribal and non-tribal visitors, attended the 161st annual Five Tribes Treaty of Peace celebration held Saturday, April 13, in District 7- Maricopa Colony.


The event recognizes the 1863 peace treaty between the Akimel O’otham, Pee-Posh, Hualapai, Yuman, and Chemehuevi tribes. These tribes banded together as sovereign nations to promote peace among their people and protect the land.


The celebration began with an early morning two-mile walk/run at the field across from the District 7 Multi-purpose Building. During that time, the American and tribal flags were raised in the District 7 cemetery.


Later that morning, cars lined the sides of 83rd Ave. in front of the District 7 Multi-purpose Building to watch the parade of 20 floats pass by as judges were present for the parade. They designated the following winners:

  • First place, Leuhua Lani Dosela, a contestant running for 2024 Miss Indian World
  • Second place, Royalty from the San Xavier District in the Tohono O’odham Nation
  • Third place, The Maricopa Colony Bird dancers and singers

After that, 2024-2025 Gila River royalty introduced themselves and welcomed attendees, followed by the pledge of allegiance; District 7, Council Rep. Devin Redbird and Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis then proceeded with speeches honoring the event that is so monumental to the Community.


“We became five tribes strong,” said Gov. Lewis. He recalled the history of the tribes uniting to fight and protect each other, resulting in this unique occasion.

“Five tribes, it’s historical. I mean, just the length of time of 161 years of celebrating all the five tribes coming together and signing a peace treaty. When Arizona, wasn’t even a state yet… we should be proud that we celebrate this treaty that has been around for 161 years,” said Redbird.


The day’s festivities were filled with vibrant performances from red and black Fort Yuma, Fort Mojave bird dancers, gourd singer Albert Harper from Chemehuevi, and many more artists, all coming together to celebrate the Five Tribes’ Treaty of Peace Celebration.


“This is a great event that they’re putting on, a lot of people come out and participate. A lot of youth that we’re bringing up to learn these songs and the dances,” said Harper.


Community arts and crafts vendors and informational booths from GRIC departments were also present throughout the day. The event also included a horseshoe tournament and plenty of outdoor activities for youth, followed by a bird dancing competition and a dance to close the celebration off for the night.


“I’m saying the tribes got together and made peace so we can have a feast,” said Jennifer Perchero, Grand Marshal of the 161st Five Tribes Treaty of Peace Parade.