“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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December 7, 2023

Community Comes Together for Annual Thanksgiving Dinner


After a wet and rainy morning, the clouds parted over the Two Waters Courtyard just in time for the annual Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Thanksgiving Dinner to begin, which brought family and friends together for a special day on November 18.

Jr. Miss Salt River 2023-2024 Jizelle Juan emceed the event and provided a blessing before dinner was served to Community members.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, performed by the Young Warriors, SRPMIC President Martin Harvier welcomed those in attendance.

“Where we’re at in this world, … I know for a lot of Native Americans it’s hard to say ‘Have a Happy Thanksgiving,’” said Harvier, talking candidly and suggesting “Giving Thanks Day” as an alternative.

Harvier continued, “I’m grateful, as the current president, to look back on leadership that we had in the past to get us to where we are today. Our responsibility as members of Council is to make sure that those kids who are running around today [pointing around to the kids in the Courtyard] say the same thing about us: ‘I’m grateful for the decisions that they made.’”

SRPMIC Council members joined other volunteers in serving the turkey dinner inside the Round House Café while the Lopez Band provided music.

“We served over 1,500 meals,” said SRPMIC Events Manager Yvonne Schaaf. “We’re really pleased with the turnout! Going from the rain to this great sunny weather, it’s been an awesome time.”

While families ate their meal, they enjoyed a turkey-calling contest in which SRPMIC Council member Jacob Butler made an appearance dressed up as a turkey. Other entertainment included a performance by the 9 Dragons Lion Dance group and the magic act Magic by Robbie.

There was a designated kids’ area near the basketball courts with inflatables to jump around on and oversized games to play with. Within the kids’ area, door prizes were given out and the Young River People’s Council held a “Goodie Walk.”