Purple Heart

"My husband and I have two daughters, and my brothers and sisters live here.

My father taught us to value the cultural resources God has given us," she said.

"So our children, and our children's children will know their cultural heritage.

Will come to know this place and sing the songs."

The Colorado River Indian Reservation, through which the Colorado River flows, was established March 3, 1865, for the "Indians of said river and its tributaries."

The indigenous people were the agricultural Mohaves and the Chemehuevis.

However, in 1945, a portion of the reservation was reserved for colonization by American Indians of other tribes, specifically the Hopi and Navajo.

The Mohave tribe has inhabited this area since prehistoric times, living by small-scale farming, gathering wild foods, hunting and fishing, according to information from the Mohave Museum of History and Art.

Religious beliefs, revolving around death ceremonies and the acquisition of power by dreams, are still important to some Mohave, as is faith in the curing powers of their medicine men.

The Colorado River Indian Reservation is also occupied by members of the Chemehuevi tribe (who are not of the Yuman family, but derive from the southern Paiute).

Some of the Chemehuevis once lived on the Chemehuevi Reservation, located in California but now almost uninhabited.

In ancient times, this tribe occupied the eastern half of the Mojave Desert, living by seasonal plant gathering and hunting.

Now, they live and work in non-Indian communities and practice no tribal or religious ceremonies, information indicates.

The Mohaves and Chemehuevis now farm irrigated land for cash crops such as alfalfa and cotton and they raise cattle as well as work as machine operators, surveyors, mechanics and laborers.

The reservation is one of the wealthiest for its size, with 34,000 acres in agricultural production and 127,000 acres of potential farming land.

The Colorado River represents an increasingly important source of income from tourism.

Fishing, boating and water sports are also recreational activities there.

Hunting and fishing permits are issued by the two tribes, which also lease space in tribal trailer parks along the river.

Highly organized, the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) has senior water right to 717,000-acre feet of the Colorado River, which is almost one-third of the allotment for the entire state of Arizona.

Historic sites include the Old Mohave Presbyterian Mission and the Poston Memorial Monument, located 18 miles south of Parker.

The 'Ahakhav Preserve is located near the tribal administration complex on Rodeo Drive, off Mohave Road.

The preserve consists of about 250 acres of aquatic habitat, a landscaped picnic area, and a spur tail planted with native trees.

Environmental and nature study programs are held at the preserve.

Close to the administrative complex at 11300 Resort Drive, in Parker, is the Blue Water Resort and Casino, which opened its doors in June 1999.

The resort includes two restaurants, two cocktail lounges, 200 rooms and a gambling casino as well as an indoor water park with four swimming pools, a water slide, children's pool and a Jacuzzi.

Live entertainment at the outdoor amphitheater, along with a miniature golf course, an Olympic style exercise center and various retail shops are also on the premises.

The resort also features an 8,000-foot conference center with banquet and catering services.Tom Murray, left, Veterans of Foreign Wars service officer with the U.S.


partment of Veterans Affairs in Kingman, pins a Purple Heart on Vietnam War veteran Terry Schmitt.