WASHINGTON— Recently, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva introduced H.R. 4881, the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act. This bill will solidify an agreement in the 2021 Pascua Yaqui Tribe-State of Arizona Amended and Restated Gaming Compact, to take tribally-owned lands into a trust on behalf of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. The lands are part of the Old Pascua Community and contain churches, sacred sites, and ceremonial grounds that are culturally significant to the Pascua Yaqui people.
“Historical and sacred sites in the Old Pascua Community belong to the Pascua Yaqui people, plain and simple,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The bill acknowledges the relationship between the Pascua Yaqui and the City of Tucson, is reflective of numerous stakeholder meetings and negotiations, and allows the tribe to preserve their traditional homelands while promoting economic opportunities and new housing options for the community.”
“This legislation will allow the Tribe to provide economic development and job opportunities, that will support our ongoing efforts to provide critical housing for our tribal members and continue to improve the general welfare of our people,” Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio said in a statement. “We are grateful for all our partners, including the City of Tucson, our Congressional representatives, our State Representatives, Governor Doug Ducey, Chairman Grijalva, and the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs for helping us create much-needed jobs and provide opportunities for the local community.”
“The addition of these lands to the Pascua Yaqui Reservation would be of enormous cultural and historical importance to our tribe and would allow us to engage in economic development that will provide hundreds of jobs and other commercial benefits to the citizens in the surrounding Tucson community,” continued Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio. “Our intent is to be good stewards of this land, protecting the culturally important areas, while establishing a first-class gaming enterprise that benefits the entire community.”