“The Colorado River is sacred, water is life, the peoples are the keepers of the River, and we take full responsibility to care for the River.” So begins the vision of Tribes that live and rely on the Colorado River and have united to protect its cultural and ecological resources.
The Ten Tribes
The Ten Tribes Partnership is a coalition of Upper and Lower Basin Tribes that have come together to claim their seat at the table and raise their voices in the management of the Colorado River as water challenges persist. Formed in 1992, the goal of the Ten Tribes Partnership is to increase the influence of tribes in Colorado River management and provide support for the protection and use of tribal water resources.
Water is Life
Since time immemorial Native Americans have had historical and cultural connections to water. For Tribes, water is life – It not only sustains them, supports agriculture and farming, native wildlife and riparian plants, food and sustenance, but is sacred to Tribal people.
The Colorado River is the primary source of water for 40 million people and 90 percent of the nation’s vegetable production, and yet we are using more water than the natural flow provides.
“Water is life. Water is the giver and sustainer of life. Water is a sacred and spiritual element to the Tribes of the Partnership…. The Partnership will embrace and own the stewardship of the Colorado River and lead from a spiritual mandate to ensure that this sacred water will always be protected, available and sufficient.” – Ten Tribes Partnership Vision Statement
Drought has been a common occurrence on the Reservation throughout history, and the future impacts of climate change present concerns for the future livelihood and health of the region. Tribal lands suffer during frequent drought cycles that reduce available water supplies, especially since tribal water storage has not been developed.
Plants and Animals of the Basin
On the Arizona-California border, where the Colorado River pushes against Headgate Rock Dam, churning water pours into a wide canal and runs across the desert, flowing toward the farmlands of the Colorado River Indian Tribes.Read More
Opinion: What’s the reaction to the prospect of leasing the Colorado River Indian Tribes’ water in Arizona? Publicly, it may be crickets. But privately, many have thoughts.Read More
Earlier this year, Arizona — one of seven southwestern states that rely on the Colorado River — was in the midst of a heated discussion about water. “It’s time to protect Lake Mead and Arizona,” the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, said in his state of the state address...Read More
Sprouting through the cracked floor of the Sonoran Desert, tepary beans thrive in the dry heat and carry with it centuries of resilience from the indigenous Pima people of southern Arizona.Read More