PHOENIX, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arizona Indian Gaming Association and the Havasupai Tribe will honor the transfer of gaming rights from the Havasupai Tribe to Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in a special ceremony on Tuesday, April 29. The event will take place at 2:45 p.m. in Supai Village, located in Cataract Canyon at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Featured speakers include Governor Janet Napolitano and Don Watahomigie, Havasupai Chairman along with other dignitaries. The Guardians of the Grand Canyon will perform a traditional dance. The transfer of gaming rights is possible because of the successful passage of Proposition 202, the Arizona Indian Self-Reliance Initiative in November, 2002. Proposition 202 enabled the state and tribes to sign new gaming compacts which allowed reservations in remote areas to share in the economic benefits of Indian gaming through transferring gaming rights. "This tribe is a microcosm of the serious economic, health, housing and education needs that exist on all Arizona Indian reservations," said David LaSarte, Executive Director, Arizona Indian Gaming Association. "With revenues from gaming, Havasupai will now be able to begin to meet its many critical needs." Everything in Supai, from food to building materials to mail, must be brought down by horseback or helicopter. This remote tribe has an unemployment rate over 40% with tourism being the only source of income. Tourism jobs are seasonal. Those jobs, along with tribal government jobs, provide the only source of employment for tribal members. Seventy-five percent of the adult population is diabetic with no dialysis available in the Canyon. Thirty to forty homes are needed immediately. Education is limited to K-8. High school students must attend boarding school. The Havasupai, the people of the blue green waters, are the traditional guardians of the Grand Canyon. The reservation covers 188,077 acres which includes the plateau and the village which is located in a canyon 12 miles long and 5 miles wide. Tribal membership is 660. Approximately 550 people live in Supai Village.
SOURCE Arizona Indian Gaming Association