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Water deal helps tribe return to farming heritage

A recently water rights settlement signed into law by President Bush is helping the Gila River Indian Community of Arizona return its roots as an agricultural community.

The tribe cultivated crops using a complex system of irrigation canals long before the arrival of Europeans. But the agricultural economy was killed when the federal government began placing dams on the Gila and Salt rivers.

With access to thousands of acre-feet of water under the settlement, the tribe is expanding its farming business. A cotton farm on the reservation employs 125 full-time workers, 85 percent of them tribal members.

Get the Story:
Water deal allows Gila tribe to renew tradition of farming (The Arizona Republic 1/19)

Get the Settlement Bill:

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