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Bill to block casino could increase water rates

If U.S. Congressman Trent Franks’ H.R. 2938 (Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Clarification Act) passes, Arizonans’ water bills may increase again. But his bill isn’t actually about water at all. The bill was submitted to prevent construction of a casino on a strip of land between Peoria and Glendale. The 25-year-old government treaty with the Tohono O’odham Nation allows the tribe to acquire land to replace the part of its reservation that was flooded due to construction of the Painted Rock Dam on the Gila River. In the deal, the tribe also surrendered its rights to 32,000 acre-feet of water each year.

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Thousands of Native Americans in Arizona set to benefit from lawsuit settlement

As many as 30,000 Native Americans from seven Arizona tribes stand to benefit from the final settlement this week of a years-long, $3.4 billion lawsuit against the U.S. government.

Members of the Tohono O’odham, Navajo, Salt River, Pima-Maricopa, San Carlos Apache, Hopi, Gila River and Colorado River tribes are part of the class in Cobell v. Salazar.

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Arizona’s Initial Point (access required)

At Phoenix International Raceway near turn four, there is a hill often used for hillside seating that holds a little-known historical monument — a concrete cross that marks the point where almost all private parcels of land in Arizona are surveyed from.

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The Oasis at a Cultural Crossroads (access required)

For almost two centuries, Spanish missionaries, mountain men, ’49ers, Civil War soldiers and American settlers benefitted from — and often depended on — the plentiful crops and hospitality of the Pima and Maricopa people.

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