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The Ak-Chin culture’s history of specialization

Arizona’s Ak-Chin Indian community was established in 1912, when President Taft signed for a reservation area that covered 47,600 acres – which was reduced to less than half that the following year.

Their name “Ak-Chin” translates to “mouth of the wash,” and refers to a type of farming that relies on washes to irrigate crops. A 1984 federal settlement gave them rights to the Colorado River, enabling the community to continue specializing in irrigation-based farming of their arid lands.

Today, the Ak-Chin community is one of the largest farming communities in the U.S., with almost 16,000 acres dedicated to agriculture.

– Carlisle Willard, The Arizona 100

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