WASHINGTON — Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva’s H.R. 4881, the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives. 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.
“I am proud to represent the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and of the effort made to protect these sacred lands,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act is a bipartisan bill that will raise the tribal standard of living, improve system coordination and integration of service delivery, and promote the ongoing transmission of Yaqui knowledge, culture, history, and traditions for future generations.”
“Today is a good day for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Old Pascua is an Arizona treasure, and this proposed law will help us maintain our ties to our community and help us strengthen and protect our culture, religion, and the San Ignacio cultural area, consistent with our right to self-determination,” Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio said in a statement. “We applaud Congress for their steadfast support of the Tribe’s efforts to create jobs, build homes, and continue to improve the welfare of our people and the people of Tucson during a pandemic. We are grateful for all of our partners, including Chair Raúl Grijalva and other House leaders.”
“We are thankful for and appreciate the bipartisan support, which was essential for passage in the House today. The bill is a recognition of our elders, an investment for our future generations, and we will be blessed if it becomes law,” Chairman Yucupicio continued “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.”
“My thanks to Chairman Grijalva for ushering this historic agreement through Congress and to Chairman Yucupicio and all parties who helped in this process,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. “This effort builds on the strong partnership the City of Tucson and Pascua Yaqui Tribe have long enjoyed while acknowledging the cultural and historical significance of the area known as ‘Old Pascua’.”
The Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act has garnered widespread support locally, across the state of Arizona and passed in a bipartisan manner in the U.S. House of Representatives.
More information on the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act can be found here.
Rep. Grijalva’s speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in favor of the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act can be found here.