Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gila River Reservation

Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino on the Gila River Reservation, 2010 (Photo By: Trainor Glass Company) 
Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino on the Gila River Reservation, November 2011 (Photo By: Hannah Al-Ghareeb)
The Gila River Reservation is an American Indian Reservation, south of phoenix, located by the Gila River. The population consists of the Akimel O’odham(Pima) and the Pee Posh (Maricopa) tribes. The Maricopa and Pima originally joined together and became allies with the common goal to obtain freedom. Both cultures had their own ethnic identity but agreed to have one single council that would work for them, which led to today’s reservation made up of Maricopa and Pima living together. Natives have endured trials and tribulations throughout history, especially after World War II that changed American Society and affected the lives of Native Americans.

In 1952 the government created the Indian Relocation Program, designed to encourage the Indians to leave the reservation, divide them and have control over their land. Over 750,000 natives were separated throughout the cities of Chicago, Denver, St. Louis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dallas. They were promised with special incentives, such as temporary housing, guidance and counseling to finding new jobs but those promises were not kept. Jobs were paying extremely low, for example an average family was making 80 dollars a month, Many of them were away from their families, which resorted some to drink alcohol and getting in trouble with the law. They were manipulated by the government just for the purpose of controlling more land. Similar to the Japanese Internment Camps, when more than 13,000 Japanese were forced to leave their home after the attack on Pearl Harbor and sent to Gila River and lived in small camps with horrible living conditions. The government inability to distinguish which Japanese were loyal to Japan and which were possible threats led to this corruption. I feel the Government manipulated both Japanese and Indians for their own personal gain and because they’re not “true Americans" but minorities.

The history of the Community has always been about farming. Going far back as of 300 BC, the ancestors (Hohokam) of the Pima tribe changed a dirty desert environment into fertile land. The Hohokam created a system of Canals that were used to transform the desert into a farmland which provided food for all the people. This knowledge was passed from generation to generation and helped formed the Landscape of Arizona. City of Phoenix became relied on Pima and Maricopa crops, such as wheat, grain and corn that allowed incoming settlers to survive. In the late 1800’s farming was in jeopardy by a system of dams that led the Pima and Maricopa to rely on federal assistance to survive. The federal Assistance helped paved the way to greater economic development within the community, which led to increased agricultural, industrial and recreational activities. The increasing agricultural activity led to more cotton, grains and citrus being distributed. The economic development, led to the evolution of the Gila River gaming enterprises. The gaming enterprises include the Wild Horse Pass Casino and Vee Quiva Casino. These casinos had opened in 2009 and have placed the Gila River Gaming Enterprises at number one in Arizona and continue today. The Casinos include over 1000 slot machines, 75 table games, a big showroom that play host to entertainers and a high energy nightclub. Gila River Gaming Enterprises mission is to generate income for the community, provide employment opportunities for the community and help contribute in the economic growth of the community.

- Hannah Al-Ghareeb and Ben Tsegai


➢ Continuing Maricopa Identities: Gila River Reservation, ArizonaMarsha S. Kelly, Journal of Southwest Vol. 47, No. 1, Oral History Remembered: Native Americans, Doris Duke, and the Young Anthropologists (Spring, 2005), pp. 47-56



Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP)

Old Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP), November 2011 (Photo by: Ben Tsegai)
New ICCP building, November 2011 (Photo by Hannah Al-Ghareeb)  
This location occupied by the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP), was once a Baptist church and is now an Islamic mosque and community center. This institution provides a safe space for religious worship, social support, guidance, and communal unity for Muslims of many nations. The original center has been in use since 1984, however moved to the present address in 1997. However the process to create a new upgraded center beside the current one started in 2004, and is currently awaiting donations to complete phase two of its final construction. The current location has about 400 loyal worshippers, which of whom have donated their own funds to assist in the new center’s 1.5-2 million dollar estimated cost. It has been known to provide services to new Bosnian immigrants, as well as people from Afghanistan, Sudan, and Somalia recalled Usama Shami, the community board chairman.

The new center will be a gated property of 16,000 square feet designed with a main dome about 42 feet, smaller domes around it, a library, shop, office for the religious scholars, a kitchen in the basement for catering events like weddings, a covered courtyard, as well as security cameras to prevent hate crimes and/or vandalism.

There is no illusion that hides the increased discrimination, prosecution, and fear that has surrounded Muslims, American-Muslims, Arabs, and immigration of Muslims into the U.S., in the post 9/11 era. Both immediately as well as years after have been followed by discrimination of all types on all levels with much persistence through misconceptions about the Muslim religion. Whether it is unequal opportunity at jobs, suspicious accusing attitudes and taunts within neighborhoods and schools, or simply the unfair treatment of Muslims by the U.S. law enforcement and government, discrimination against Muslims in the post 9/11 era has become the new institutionalized racism.

The government and media are involved in a dual partnership in creating and utilizing these strong misconceptions. Since September 11th, there have been a series of Acts implemented for the safety of the American people. These new laws are used to closely monitor the activity of Muslims at mosques, Islamic centers, airports, immigration offices, and institutions involving money; especially charities.

Some of the programs and acts passed that limited the freedom of mobility, prosperity, and rights as primary or even secondary citizens, were Early Detention, Material Witness Statue, Mass Interviews, National Security Entry-Exit Registration Systems (NSEERS)Program, Material Support Prosecutions , and the Invisible Investigative Steps. These will briefly be defined. Early detention occurred after the trade center attacks and was spurred by the investigation PENTTBOMB that sought to identify those involved in the attack. 1,200 individuals across the U.S. were detained only one of which was not Muslim, and 40% were not given Notice to Appear (NTA), that officially explained the reason for detention. The Material Witness Statues was used for many years although nowhere near the extent with Muslims, allows the government to arrest and detain people that may give a testimony. The witnesses must be able to give information to a criminal case and/or have a reason to not require a subpoena; coincidently this case mostly has to do with foreign nationals. There also happens to have no time limit for detention in this case, as with many, so the vagueness of the law may be bent and abused to convenience. The Mass Interviews occurred two months after the attacks, and rounded up 3,216 people of Arab or Muslim decent, from countries “which intelligence indicates al Qaeda terrorist presence or activity”. This included people who had come into the U.S. after 2000, or who were using student visas to go to school. None of which were found to have any terrorist affiliation. The National Security Entry-Exit Registration Systems (NSEERS) program required the photographing and digital fingerprinting of aliens going into the U.S., annual registration if residing longer than a month, and exit registration. All of the 25 high security countries other than North Korea were primarily Muslim/Arab countries. Now, the Material Support Prosecutions put great suspicion on funds raised or contributed “never intended to further terrorism could subject someone to terrorism support charges”. For ‘material support’ is broad and may include “any physical asset (e.g. a book), training, [or] expert advice”. This explains why charities are being more and more investigated. Finally, the Invisible Investigative Steps include acts such as the Patriot Act.

The discriminatory oppression of Muslims can be related to the U.S. government’s history of controlling the prosperity and vulnerability of other racial groups that they decide “unfit” to be ideal citizens or simply groups which need to be controlled. The government and media use isolated events and misconceptions to generalize racial groups, thus criminalizing the people that have something in common with the actual criminals. There seems to be a pattern here. Whenever criminality is associated with a group, there is a decrease in compassion, concern for humane treatment, and allows for the rationalization of the “spaces of exception”. This occurred with the Japanese internment camps after Pearl Harbor, by using the same ideology of “some of them may be dangerous, so they all are a threat”. It is seen with associating the Mexican illegals crossing the border with the drug cartel movements. This criminalization rationalization is even seen within the camps of our time, such as Guantanamo Bay, the holding and interrogation camps overseas, which are excluded from the Geneva Convention because they are or may be affiliated with the war on terror.

The state plays the largest role in institutionalizing this discrimination with the subjection of Muslims and America. The loose labeling done by the government and media determines the power and rights of Muslims in America, and thus determines their vulnerability and relationships with the state.

Although the discrimination persists, there has been an increase in Muslim migration to the U.S, as well as positive turnovers. People from Islamic Community Center of Phoenix have said that although they were negative, the attacks "also made people more interested in learning about the faith, [Usama] Shami [board chairman of the ICCP] said. And, at the same time, it made Muslims aware of the need to build bridges (to non-Muslims)."

This is the very reason for activism, so that people oppressed by the government can share experiences, and make strides toward change. Places like the ICCP provide this freedom and innovation needed for positive change. All in all, the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix is a space of significance. For space and land represent power and freedom to choose and practice religion even if its origins may be from a “foreign” country, of whom its citizens may be “forever foreign”.

- Ben Tsegai and Hannah Al-Ghareeb



➢ ISLAMIC FAITHFUL AWAIT NEW MOSQUE BUILDING WILL RISE AT I-17, ORANGEWOODAnchors, Sarah. Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Ariz] 04 June 2004

Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Ariz] 12 Sep 2001: EX.17.

➢ Muslims in America after 9/11: The Legal Situation
Philip Heymann*

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church

Original Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (Old Adobe Mission), 2009. (Photo by:

New Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church,  November 2011. (Photo by: Ben Tsegai)
Prior to the building of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (OLPH), was the initial Old Adobe Mission that was built by Mexican immigrants in 1933. “[The] site was selected in Scottsdale’s original town near the barrio where the first Hispanics settled as they migrated to the valley to work in the cotton industry”. It was started by a few men with 50 pound adobe bricks, and was later founded that year by around twenty families that made the pews used for kneeling themselves. Many decedents of these families were present at the celebration mass and reception on Oct 14the for the 75th anniversary. Maggie Fabian Castillo recalled, “I was a little girl when my father was building this church”. The first Catholic Church in Scottsdale was completed with 4,000 adobe bricks and 15 stained glass pieces were made by Bernabe Herrera; the tinsmith for Scottsdale. Which have since been restored to its original setting. The old mission was designed similar to the San Xavier del Bac by Tucson. Fr. Hever made efforts to restore the mission in 2000, for it was not as busy starting 1956. This is when the Catholic population shifted and started attending the new Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church that was not even a mile down the road. By 2005, the first four phases for restoring the Old Adobe Mission began. It has since become a monument. In 1977 it even started to be rented out by the Scottsdale Symphony Orchestra.

The new church, had been led for forty years by Monsignor Eugene Maguire, who was a priest originally ordained in Ireland. As the number of followers increased, the pastor opted for a larger space to build a new church. Next door where the pastor was living was a family that owned 20 acres of land for their dairy and poultry ranch. The son, Paul Messinger wrote an article about his former neighbor Maguire after he had passed recently in 2006. Paul’s father and colleague, Charlie Ronan worked at law offices. Paul’s father suggested that he offer the priest their southern 10 acres. Ronan spoke with Maguire and Bishop Daniel Gercke about it and the purchase was made. At the time Miller road where the church is located, was dirt. Families such as the Zimmermans, Schraders, and others were still raising crops and cattle. Presently, Old Town Scottsdale surrounds it. Since, Paul Messinger and his wife purchased three acres from his family and built their first mortuary there. Today they have their own mortuary company called Messinger Mortuaries.

Our Lady of Perpetual Church today serves many community services. It has a catholic school connected to it, facilitated with a Boys and Girls club, volunteer opportunities, regular mass, Sunday ordinations, as well as many outreach programs.

One interesting way the church reaches out is with a particular case of Kate Fogler, who attended the church regularly. She had volunteered for almost three summers at the “Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (Our Little Brothers and Sisters) orphanage in Miacatlan, Mexico”. She had heard about this orphanage through OLPH, and described building relationships and giving the children attention that they couldn’t receive in an orphanage of 500. At one point she was inspired to do more, and started working as a nanny to be able to afford sponsoring a child for $30 a month. It is impressive how the church tries to connect back with Mexico, perhaps because of its heritage with the Mexican people. The original inspiration of the Old Adobe Mission was built by the Mexicans, and there has long been a strong Spanish influence in the area, let alone Arizona.

The original OLPH church has been officially listed as a monument. It is important, for its uses, design, and perseverance, “provides tangible evidence of the local Hispanic families contribution and role in the evolution of Scottsdale”. It has been described as humble and modest, while proudly representing “a high degree of integrity with many intact features that represent the distinctive characteristics of the local interpretation of Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture”.

It is ironic that monumental pieces as the OLPH church, that resonate powerful Hispanic culture coinciding and inspiring the settlement of a permanent town of Scottsdale, can be forgotten when it comes to the topic of immigration restriction. It seems that there is significant quantity and quality of Hispanic, specifically Mexican history and culture.

Yet, SB 1070 is being pressured on the citizens of Arizona. As if the influx of Mexican migrants just started to sporadically pour in, not only uncontrollably, but as a possible threat? It is ironic, that citizens of Arizona fear for their jobs, their culture being “taken over”, and all of their rightful opportunities as citizens being stolen by the Mexican people. They fear the fears of the media. Conveniently this group of people is termed “illegal alien”. Why not refugees? Many citizens of Arizona now look at Mexican illegals and instead of seeing people destroyed by a neglectful government looking for a better life; as other countries have done so thus creating refugees throughout history, they see criminals that are predominantly concerned with drug cartels and the murdering of ranchers. It seems throughout history, manifest destiny has long been the quiet motivation of American Imperialism, and remnants of that ideology still remain within institutionalized power. It is powerfully spread by the overwhelming media. This then creates ethnocentric lawmakers and citizens, thus allowing the Mexican contribution to the culture and history of Arizona, to be more easily forgotten.

- Hannah Al-Ghareeb and Ben Tsegai


U.S. Census Data


➢ Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church Website

➢ Historic Significance and Integrity Assessment Report for Listing Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission Church on the Scottsdale Historic Register Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission Church

Messinger, Paul

➢ Impact athletes
Bordow, Scott. Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Ariz] 19 Aug 2011: C.8.

➢ Catholic Sun
Scottsdale mission marks 75 years of history.By Ambria Hamme

Sky Harbor Airport


Sky Harbor Airport, November 2011. Photos by Tierra Ellis.

3400 East Sky Harbor Boulevard Phoenix, AZ 85034

Growing up in Phoenix I was always intrigued by the airport that seemed to sit right in the middle of my city. It seemed to be a city of its own with its complex highways and growing infrastructure. The planes flying overhead became so regular that as time passed I barely noticed them anymore. They were just a part of my life. I’ve heard stories about the airport, but I’ve never done any research on my own.

Sky Harbor Airport is a major influence in the development of Phoenix, Arizona. Sky Harbor has served as a catalyst of growth for the city, and as the city grows the airport grows. After the expansion of Sky Harbor, the poor Mexican community; the Golden Gate Barrio, was to first to be affected by it (Dimas, 93). South East Phoenix was the location of the Golden Gate Barrio, which in 1930s was a flourishing Latino community that was occupied by small shops and adobe buildings (Dimas, 172). The significance that this prospering community has with the airport is its force from the federal government to relocate in order for Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to expand and economically grow (Dimas, 95).

The location of Sky Harbor airport is another problem that is posed. South Phoenix is where majority of minorities live in Arizona and also where the Sky Harbor’s flight pattern is located. Environmental racism is an issue that these minorities are risked to deal with because of the airport’s location. Redlining in past decades is the root reason to why African Americans and Latinos are heavily populated in South Phoenix. Majority white neighborhoods would not allow Sky Harbor airport to be built close to them out of fear of the air pollution as well as sound pollution. They were able to do this because they were able to gather the funds to protest having Sky Harbor airport built near their neighborhood, whereas people in minority neighborhoods did not have access to these same resources (Bolin, 2).

Sky Harbor came from humble beginnings as a one-runway airport developed in the 1928 by Scenic Airways as a privately owned operation. Sky Harbor was dedicated in 1929 before a crowd of 8000 people. At the time Sky Harbor was on the outskirts of the city and was nicknamed “The Farm.” Scenic Airway’s ownership of Sky Harbor was short due to the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and they were forced to abandon the airport. The airport spent a short time under the ownership of ACME Investment Corporation before being bought by The City of Phoenix in 1935 for $100,000. The city had a dedication of its own for Sky Harbor in 1935 and from there the airport began to rise to worldwide prominence.

The end of the 1930’s was modernizing Sky Harbor. Phoenix was investing heavily into the airport with technology, and it was paying off. The addition of a $40,000 two way radio system made the airport attractive to many major area carriers of the time including Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA). TWA began mail and passenger service between San Francisco and Phoenix. By 1940 a host of other cities and airports were added to Sky Harbor’s logistical network (“Phoenix sky harbor,” 2011).

The 1940’s were also wartime for the United States, and Sky Harbor was made headquarters by the US Army. The Army would use Sky Harbor as a place to refuel planes during World War II (“Phoenix sky harbor,” 2011). Sky Harbor was becoming increasingly busy as it ushered in the modern age of flight.

By 1948, Sky Harbor Airport was named the busiest airport in the United States by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. Sky Harbor was growing with the city, and the city was growing with Sky Harbor. By 1949 The Arizona National guard leased space for 99 years at the airport. By the 1950’s four main airlines were offering flights in and out of the newly completed Terminal 1 that cost about $800,000 to complete. Terminal 2 was completed in 1962 and cost about 2.7 million dollars to complete. By this time the airport had added international to its name, and was one of the busiest airports in the world. Terminal 3 was completed in 1976 and cost almost 50 million dollars to complete, and Terminal 4 opened in 1990 and cost a “staggering” 248 million dollars to complete (“Phoenix sky harbor,” 2011). It was safe to say the Phoenix realized the importance of this airports growth to the growth of the surrounding city. The once one-runway airport now was bigger than a small city sitting on roughly 3000 acres.

The airport handles around 45 million passengers yearly, which average out to about 108,000 passengers a day. Statistically it is the 18th busiest airport in the world. There are over 30,000 parking spaces allocated to the airport to serve its passengers and employee needs.

Significantly, Sky Harbor is a catalyst to the economic prosperity of its surrounding community. The City of Phoenix has grown around Sky Harbor, and it seems to sit right in the middle of the city, and can be accessed from almost every major highway. The airport is essentially the well-being of Phoenix’s Tourism Industry which plays heavily on Phoenix’s 300 plus days of sunshine a year (“Phoenix sky harbor,” 2011). From golf courses to shopping centers to zoos Phoenix has something to offer anyone looking to visit and its residents. Phoenix is an escape for the snowbirds that chose to abandon their winter climates for the seemingly more favorable low 70 average during Phoenix’s “winter.” Sky Harbor International Airport is a catalyst to Phoenix, Arizona and helped the city rise to prominence.

- Tierra Ellis

Works Cited

Jones, Pamela. "1935 and The Farm -- Sky Harbor's Early Years and Memories." N.p., 08 30 2010. Web. 29 Nov 2011.

“USA Airports - North America Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) History, Facts and Overview (Phoenix, Arizona - AZ, USA).” N.p., 11 27 2011. Web. 29 Nov 2011. .

Phoenix Airport (PHX) Information: Airport in Phoenix Area, AZ, USA. Web. 11 29
Nov. 2011. .

Dimas, Pete R. Progress and A Mexican American Community’s Struggle for Existence. New York: Peter Lang, 1999. Print.

Bolin, Bob. "The Geography of Despair: Environmental Racism." Research in Human Ecology 12.2 (2005): 156-68. Print.

Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church


Tanner Chapel AME Church, November 2011. Photos by Tierra Ellis.

20 South Eighth Street Phoenix, AZ 85034

Tanner Chapel is the oldest African American Church in Phoenix, AZ (Galloway). An assembly of slaves founded Tanner Chapel African American Methodist Episcopal Church in 1787 in Philadelphia. Its first name was the Free African Society. At this time Richard Allen of the St. George Methodist Episcopal Church escorted out slaves and free persons in Philadelphia in resistance of segregation. In 1816 the name changed again to the Methodist Episcopal Church from the Free African Society. The major points the church became known for were freedom fighting, self-help, and mutual aid.
Charles Ward, Sister Ward, N.D. Valentine, and Reverend H. Valentine, all proposed for the establishment of the Christian mission fostering “family life”, established Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Phoenix in 1886. According to Courthouse records, an African Methodist Episcopal Mission is what the property was owned by in 1886 (Galloway). Second Street and East Jefferson Street was the location of the first property and also where another section of the property was added in 1899, which also led to the new name of Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was named after Bishop Benjamin T. Tanner. Bishop Tanner was the 19th century Bishop. By permission of an Admiral Dahlgren, he was also the individual who organized the first freedmen school geared towards the United States navy yard (McMickle). Tanner was born in 1835 and died in 1923. The Women’s Missionary Society was named after Bishop Tanner’s wife, Sarah Tanner.

The original location on second street and Jefferson is now occupied by the U.S Airways Center. However, there is no connection to the U.S Airways Center and Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The church is now located on eighth street and Jefferson. The old property was sold several years after the property was purchased. The Bishop was Reverend A.H Hamilton at the time of the rebuilding of the new church. Reverend Hamilton is known as the inspiration for the rebuilding of the new church that was completed in 1929. Today, Reverend Dr. Benjamin N. Thomas Sr. leads Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Tanner Chapel is a staple in the Phoenix, Arizona and African Methodist Episcopal Church communities. The African Methodist Episcopal Church Denomination was born out of segregation and is free to all people to attend. Tanner is the oldest black congregation in Phoenix, Arizona with records dating back to 1886. Tanner Chapel’s present structure was built in 1929, and is currently under the pastoral leadership of Reverend Dr. Benjamin N. Thomas Sr.

Today Tanner continues to serve as a cultural beacon in the Phoenix, Arizona Community. Many of Phoenix’s most powerful African American figures attend Tanner Chapel. The church is often the centerpiece of most black communities and Tanner Chapel is no exception. Tanner Chapel is located Downtown Phoenix near the Southside where most of Phoenix’s Black residents reside. It is a short commute for many of its patrons. Tanner is located in the shadows of Chase Field which towers across the street. This serves as a testament that Tanner has stood the test of time in a city that continues to grow around it.

- Tierra Ellis

Works Cited

Tanner chapel African Methodist Episcopal church history. (2009, October 19). Retrieved from

Kwan, Samantha. "Navigating Public Spaces: Gender, Race, and Body Privilege in Everyday Life." Feminist Formations. 22.2 (2010): vii-xi. Print. .

McMickle, Marvin. "Benjamin T. Tanner, 19th Century A.M.E Bishop." African American Registry: A non-profit education organization. Judson Press, 2002. Web. 28 Nov 2011.

Galloway, Floyd. "Tanner Chapel Receives Historic Designation." Arizona Informant [Phoenix] 22 Dec 2010, n. page. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.

Santa Rita Hall



Clockwise from top left: altar outside Santa Rita Hall; entrance; door entering the hall; gates. November 2011. Photos by Stefany Sheridan

South 12th Street, Phoenix AZ

Santa Rita Hall was the location of a highly regarded activist event during the 1970’s, the Fast of Love by Cesar Chavez. Cesar Chavez, was a historical and important leader for labor workers in Arizona and the United States, founded the United Farm Workers of America. The UFWA organizes agricultural workers, many of whom are Mexican Americans. Cesar was a native to Arizona, and after a decade after founding the UFWA his native state pushed House Bill 2134, which denied farm workers the right to boycott and strike during harvest seasons. After asking to meet with Republican Governor Jack Williams to help them and appeal to veto the bill, the Governor denied the meeting and immediately signed the bill on the spot. The governor remarked, “as far as I’m concerned, those people don’t exist (Whiting, 2003).”

After the bill was signed, Cesar returned to Arizona and began a 24-day water-only fast in Phoenix, at Santa Rita Hall, which is pictured above. He chose Santa Rita Hall, because it was the site for his “Fast of Love.” Around the area of Santa Rita Hall, many Mexican immigrants located here because of the labor work that has historically happened in the area. The hall is located on South 12th Street, in Phoenix. While located here, the fast immediately took a bad toll on his body, and Cesar was bedridden within a few days. He was visited by a group of Latino and political workers, advocating for what Cesar was doing for the labor workers (Whiting, 2003).

Cesar chanted “Si, si se puede!” (Yes, yes it can be done) while he was getting weaker and weaker from the fast. He spent most of the fast in the tiny room known as Santa Rita Hall that was barely big enough for a single bed, small table and chairs. Outside the room, thousands of people, including the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, US Senator George McGovern, and Joseph P Kennedy the third, attended masses (Whiting, 2003).

The fast ended on June 4th, 1972 when Cesar was too weak to even speak. Passages were read for his followers and advocates for labor working laws. Still to this day the bill is still in the works, but Cesar’s famous words have been an inspiration to people all over the world. Even President Obama used “Yes we can!” during his 2008 presidential campaign, along with many other Latino labor workers (Whiting, 2003).

The site of Santa Rita Hall connects well with our course material because of the obvious connections with the history of a largely influential Mexican civil rights leader, Cesar Chavez. Juan Alvarez, 58, of Phoenix was quoted saying, “In the 60s, Cesar is my hero. Today, he is my icon.” Still to this day Cesar is seen as a very influential individual towards the rights of labor workers, especially those descending from Mexico. Many Mexican American activists’ are pushing for March 31st as a state holiday, due to the fact that it was Cesar Chavez’s birthday and the influence he made on the Mexican workers here in the United States.

- Reggie Halstrom and Stefany Sheridan


“Chavez Embraces Unity” Whiting, Brent AZ Republic, 22 Mar 2003

Phoenix Indian Medical Center



Clockwise from top left: east wing of the Phoenix Indian Medical Center; front wing; sign, "The Phoenix Indian Medical Center is a Place for Healing"; plaque dedicated to Hon. Carl Hayden. November 2011. All photos by Stefany Sheridan

4520 N. Central Ave, Phoenix AZ

The Phoenix Indian Medical Center is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor under the Workforce Investment Act to support comprehensive employment and training activities for Native American Indians, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian individuals. The hospital is located on 4520 N. Central Ave, in Phoenix Arizona. Along with comprehensive employment and training activities, the Medical Center also emphasizes their services on HIV care, treatment, research, and intervention. The estimated rate of AIDS diagnosis for American Indian and Alaska Native adults and adolescents was 9.3, the 3rd highest after the rates for black adults and adolescents and Hispanic adults and adolescents (World Disease Weekly, 2006). According to Dr. Anthony Decker of the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, “Indigenous peoples have the highest rates of sexually transmissible diseases and a higher burden of substance abuse than many other geographic and ethnic communities, causing a greater risk of HIV infection (World Disease Weekly, 2006).”

The Phoenix Indian Medical Center delivers health care to approximately 140,000 Native Americans across the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The hospital works with closely 40 tribes in the Phoenix Area. Along with HIV services, many other services are provided to clients of the Indian tribes, such as dental, diabetes, pharmacy, etc. The hospital holds 179 beds for certified clients, 32 beds for the surgical unit, 39 beds for the medical unit, and 22 beds for the pediatric unit. There are also 10 beds for the OB unit, along with 10 nursery beds. The Phoenix Indian Medical center also provides a lot of research, in which 21 beds are in the research unit, along with 5 beds in the ICU (World Disease Weekly, 2006).

The hospital gained its location because of the tribal and HIS facilities in the area. The goal of the hospital is to provide the highest quality culturally competent HIV services. These services include clinically based intervention and medically appropriate care and treatment. The hospital provides HIV counseling and testing, intervention with infected and also at-risk clients, STI prevention, and also community outreach and education. As for their care and treatment for their clients, they integrate medical, behavioral, and traditional Native American concepts to their treatment. Licensed psychiatrists also provide mental services, and HIV certified physicians, pharmacists, and nurse care gives medical care. The belief among many in the hospital is that if they are able to maintain or handle the outbreak of HIV in the Native American community, then it could speak volumes for how to deal with the issue on a more national, or even global scale.

The Phoenix Indian Medical Center is a very unique facility in the area of Phoenix. It hospitalizes and services to only members of federally recognized tribes, Native Alaskans, or Native Hawaiian’s. Individuals must reside in Maricopa, Navajo-Apache, or Yavapai Counties and must be off the reservation for a minimum of 30 days. Members acquiring services from the Phoenix Indian Medical Center must submit various documents, such as a tribal enrollment record, proof of residency, and family income for the past six months.

When we visited the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, we were able to talk with Roberta Arthur who gave us much of this information regarding the center. However, it was difficult to learn information more in depth because we were unable to meet the requirements of individuals accepted at this facility, and thus had a hard time getting into direct contact with a doctor or administrator. Furthermore, even though we visited in the early evening, the hospital seemed to be operating at capacity, and seemed to have a steady flow of people into the building. We noticed that the facility looked much older, and many of the wings of the hospital were located in trailers, meaning that the size of the facility was severely lacking. The facility was created in 1972, and while many in the Native American community have called for the hospital to be renovated and updated, these cries have gone largely ignored. Also among the facilities was a helicopter-pad in which individuals could be transported to the hospital quickly if needed. The Phoenix Indian Center is connected to our course ideas, because the center was located upon where main Indian tribes were located within Phoenix. The facility also services to only members of tribes, to help conquer and treat individuals and stop these problems in the future. The center tries to keep its focus on the needs and ills of the Native community, but seems unable to consistently meet the growing demand on the small facility. There are about 150,000 Indian Americans in the treatable area.

- Stefany Sheridan and Reggie Halstrom


“HIV/AIDs Education; Conference to address the impact of HIV/AIDs on Native Americans” World Disease Weekly, 5/9/2006, pg. 1218

Bracero Camps


Site of former bracero camps today. Clockwise from top left: photo of area today; farmland; housing in area; dam used by workers. November 2011. All photos by Stefany Sheridan

32nd St & Baseline, Phoenix AZ

The site of the Bracero Camps is located on 32nd Street and Baseline in Phoenix, Arizona. This site was a historical and significant site for Mexican as temporary “guest workers,” to retrieve jobs. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, many Mexican Americans were forced to deport back to Mexico due to the large influx of unemployed Americans. However following World War 2, the labor demand was extremely high, and the United States was forced to seek Mexican labor workers, in order to fulfill this demand. In August of 1942, the United States and Mexico exchanged laws and diplomatic agreements for the importation of laborers from Mexico to the United States, in an effort to appease the growing demand for labor.

American President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Mexico’s President Manuel Avila Camacho, in order to discuss the agreement behind the guest workers being brought into the United States from Mexico. The Bracero Program was then created to reach both the demands of the United States, and also the Mexican labor workers. The guest worker program, also known as the Bracero Program, was operated between the years of 1942 and 1964 (Robinson, 2010). The program initially prompted demand for manual labor, such as farming and crop management, and many agricultural labors were also brought over to harvest in the United States. Labor workers were also given residencies among these camps they were stationed at in the US.

The Bracero Camp program sponsored nearly 4.5 million border crossings of guest workers from Mexico into the United States (Robinson, 2010). The pictures above are what the area looks like now. The area is full of acres of flat farmland, where Mexican labor workers would work for hours, on daily routines. The farmland also houses a local dam, in which workers would retrieve water for both the crops, and for living standards, since the workers not only worked on the farm, but also resided there. The land is largely being use as housing developments today, with numerous housing complexes littering the area, surrounded by farmland and desert.

The connection between the Bracero Camps and our course ideas is that the Bracero Camps were during a very liberal time in the United States. The United States was giving the Mexican laborers a place to live, however the places they were given were very uncomfortable and in very unsanitary environments. Inside the Bracero Camps, workers had to sleep inches away from each other and were not given much time for personal needs. The workers were also given extremely low wages, and since they were “guest workers,” the Mexican workers needed to stay for the duration of their contract. The attitude with many members of Congress was vehemently racist, with one member being quoted as saying: “It actually would encourage wetbacks to come cross the border- encourage more disease ridden Mexicans to handle our food.” Texas was even denied Bracero Program Labor Workers, because the state was found guilty of mistreating numerous Mexican guest workers.

- Stefany Sheridan and Reggie Halstrom


“Taking the Fair Deal to the Fields: Truman’s Commission on Migratory Labor, Public Law 78, and the Bracero Program, 1960-1962” Robinson, Robert S. Agricultural History; Summer 2010, Vol. 84 Issue 3, p. 381-402,

Department of Economic Security, Peoria

The Department of Economic Security, November 2011, Photo by Nathan Kryn.

Image of the Parking Lot where Noor Almaleki was run down,
Phoenix New Times, April 2010
The Department of Economic Security in Peoria is located at 4323 W Olive Avenue, off of 43rd Avenue and Dunlop.

This particular DES office is significant for two reasons. The DES is responsible for distributing EBT and food related social welfare goods. Although social welfare programs such as food stamps may be adept at preventing malnutrition, they have become increasingly racialized through both political and social discourse (Marchevsky and Theoharis, 2010). This site was also the location of murder and alleged ‘honor killing’ of Noor Almaleki by her father Faleh Almaleki. Honor killings have been widely debated, and critics of the ruling argued 2nd degree murder wasn’t strong enough of a sentence.

One significant function of the DES is to distribute social welfare such as food programs like EBT. Social Welfare programs have historically served as a safety net for societies most vulnerable (Marchevsky and Theoharis, 2010). Detractors say social welfare breeds a culture of poverty and a pathology of dependence. However, Marchevsky and Theoharis argue that arguments that appeal to an underclass work on age-old stereotypes of black or Latino men and women as lazy or sexually promiscuous. Rather than addressing whether or not the basic structure of the economy was responsible for poverty and unemployment, especially among minorities, the 1996 passing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act endorsed the idea that the workers, not the system, were broken. The result was a more stigmatized and more racialized form of social welfare, in which workers could show no selectivity in job acceptance, and work problems didn’t ensure jobs training (Marchevsky and Theoharis, 2010).

In 2009, Faleh Almaleki ran down his daughter in the parking lot of the Peoria DES. A judge convicted Almaleki of 2nd degree murder, despite prosecutors seeking 1st degree for the alleged honor killing. Judge Roland Steine, however, did not agree, arguing in his ruling that it was a selfish crime of passion (, February 2011). Judge Steine argued that ruling it a 1st degree honor killing would racially stigmatize what was a domestic crime of passion. Gerald Caplan explains that domestic killings and honor killings both have their root in male possessiveness and entitlement. Statistically, he argues, we don’t see a rising epidemic of violence. Ruling honor killings a distinct category would place too much undue emphasis on race, while actually undermining multiculturalist ideas (Wiseman, 2010).

- Nathan Kryn


Halverstadt, L. “Glendale man gets 34 1/2 years in prison in honor killing case.” April 16, 2010.

Marcehvsky and Theoharis. “Welfare reform, globalization, and the racialization of entitlement.” American Studies 41: Summer/Fall 2000.

Wiseman, R. “Honor Killings Debate”. Prepared for the “Gender, Culture and Religion: Tackling some difficult questions” Symposium, October 1 - 2, 2010. Chumir Ethics Foundation.

Chandler City Hall

Chandler City Hall, November 2011. Photo by Nathan Kryn
Full view of  Chandler City Hall, Copyright CTSINC.
Chandler City Hall is located at 175 S. Arizona Avenue in the heart of the Historic Downtown Chandler. 

The facility opened on October 25, 2010 and is the result of a 73 million dollar project. The completed City Hall is part of the Arizona Avenue Streetscape Project, which aimed to improve the pedestrian experience and breathe new life into Historic Downtown Chandler businesses. The building has won 17 awards total, including one from the American Minority Contractors Association for providing opportunities for small minority-owned contractors. (, 2011)Without a doubt, the new Chandler City Hall has revived a sector of businesses and improved the aesthetic value of Downtown Chandler. The location is in the heart of a heavily Hispanic area. In the 85225 zip code, nearly 35% of the population is Hispanic or Latino (, 2011). Given this, it seems as if much of the benefit of a new capital building was distributed to Hispanic populations. However, it seems as if the project might have unintentionally favored traditionally white businesses.

Despite the high critical acclaim, the new building might be seen in a more prejudicial light. Drive down Arizona slightly farther and one sees a different portrait of Downtown Chandler. One sees a plethora of small businesses, many looking rundown, including tire and rim shops, day laborer centers, and closed down bars. Day labor workers stand on nearly every corner waiting to be picked up by contractors for day jobs. It seems as if the investment in Downtown Chandler favored traditionally white businesses while the historically Hispanic downtown businesses and neighborhood remained stagnant. More than a year after the opening of the new capital, this area has still not seen the same investment in walking space, nor the economic gains as historic downtown chandler. Meanwhile, Tumbleweed Park in the heart of the historic district hosts a slew of events that brings business to wine bars, fine dining, and boutique shops.

While much of the success in the historic district has been due to wise decisions by conscious small business owners, much of the success could be attributed to white privilege. Lucal argues that a relational view of race demands that we look at not only the disadvantages of one group, but also the advantages of another (Lucal, 1996). In Chandler, owners of “white” businesses in the historic district have benefited greatly from the attention and events hosted in the district. Meanwhile, traditionally Hispanic and Latino businesses just down the road have not shared the same benefit.

- Nathan Kryn

References November 2011. “Chandler City Hall Complex.”

Lucal, Betsy. Teaching Sociology. “Oppression and White Privilege: Toward a Relational Conception of Race.” Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul., 1996), pp. 245-255. American Sociological Association,

U.S. Census Bureau. 2011.

Luke Air Force Base

Lt. Frank Luke Jr. (by Lauren Marlowe)

One of the many models for the Air Force (by Lauren Marlowe)
Luke Air Force Base located in Glendale, 20 miles northwest of Phoenix, is home to the 56th Fighter Wing and 944th Fighter wing. Luke Air Force Base is the largest and a major training base of the Air Education and Training Command. Luke Air Force Base is named in honor of Second Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr. This base has housing for 95 officer family units; 715 enlisted family units; and 996 unaccompanied spaces. But there are no schools on the base but there is child care and health care which includes seven bed hospital and a center for 150 kids (Luke AFB). The reason for naming the base in Arizona after a Lieutenant is because he was known as “Arizona Balloon Buster.” Luke was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1897 and died in action near Murvaux, France September 29, 1918. He’s death was a big day for him because not only did he shot down three balloons near the Meuse, he was wounded after taking down the first balloon by German Fokker aircraft who was patrolling the skies; and instead of return to base to get medical treatment he kept fighting. Then his plane crashed and even then he didn’t surrender he toke his pistols and was killed in a gun battle with German soldiers. He earned the title “Arizona Balloon Buster” because he destroyed 14 German balloons and four aircraft during World War II (2nd Lt. Frank Luke Jr.).

The base was built on March 29th, 1941 a year after the U.S. Army sent a representative to Arizona to choose a site for an Army Air Corps training field for advanced training in conventional fighter aircraft. The City of Phoenix bought 1, 440 acres of land which would be used for the base. The first class that graduated was 10 pilots on August 15, 1941. During World War II, Luke was the largest fighter training base in the Air Corps, graduating more than 12,000 fighter pilots. However during the 1960s, thousands of American fighter pilots left Luke to carve their niche in the annals of Air Force history in the skies over Vietnam (Jones, Bill).

- Gaudy Silva


Jones, Bill. "History of Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona History." Top USA Directory and US City Resource Guide. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. .

"Luke AFB." The Military Zone - Military Portal for Resources and Information. The Military Zone. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. .

"2nd Lt. Frank Luke Jr." The Official Web Site of the U.S. Air Force. 2 Nov. 2010. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. .

Pro's Ranch Market

Ranch Market on 67th and Camelback (October 10, 2011 photo by Gaudy Silva) 
Ranch Market from the inside (October 10, 2011 photo by Gaudy Silva)
The Phoenix Ranch Market located at 67th Ave. and Camelback is one of the seven stores located in Arizona, other locations are 5833 South Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ, 5802 West Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ, 1602 Roosevelt St. Phoenix, AZ, 3223 West Indian School Rd. Phoenix, AZ, 3415 West Glendale Ave. Phoenix, AZ, and 1118 East Southern Ave. Mesa, Az. 

 This Market place is one of the few places Hispanics can shop to find items they know from back home. The first Ranch Market place was opened in the year 2002 here in Arizona; the founders of this market were Mike Provenzano Sr. and his four sons’. Mike Provenzano Sr. is the CEO of Ranch Market, at the age of 13 he worked for a little mom and pop store sorting bottles. He said when interviewed “I really enjoyed dealing with the people in a Hispanic area,” he also says “I knew then what I wanted to do in life.” Then he went to work in Los Angeles where he started to pursue his dreams about developing a market (Igo, Julio). The reason they wanted to create a Hispanic store was because they saw how the communities were changing, so they wanted to “give the customer the variety, brands, and fresh authentic foods they know and love in a warm, upscale environment.” This is how they also came up with the name for the store. Ranch Market was as huge success that it led to additional stores not just in Phoenix but also in El Paso, Texas and one in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not only does Mike Provenzano and his sons own nine Ranch Markets, they also own” a gas station, two Laundromats, an 80,000 square foot corporate office warehouse in California, and a 13000 square foot warehouse in Phoenix (Welcome to Pros Ranch Markets).

The reason I chose Ranch Market place as one of the sites to research was because I’m Hispanic and have been to the Market before. Another reason is because I thought it would be nice to know the background of one of the famous stores provided for Hispanics. I found it ironic that a “white” family constructed a Hispanic store and is now very popular for Latinos to go grocery shopping. The irony is that the store is structured like a pueblo store, one that you would find in Mexico. It also has a Latino vibe in the store, because in the store they have Spanish music playing, most of their employees are Hispanic, the products one finds in the store are those that wouldn’t normally be in a market, and it’s decorated with a lot of pride towards their culture. So it’s hard to believe that a Caucasian family owns the market when in fact Ranch Market doesn’t have their culture in it.

However the state of Arizona announced in April 2010 that they wanted to pass a law called SB 1070 were it aimed at discouraging illegal immigrants from entering or remaining in the state (Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070). This law affects Ranch Markets business because most of their customers and employees were Hispanics, and this law was aimed more towards Hispanics because the majority of immigrants coming to Arizona were Latinos who came from South of the state. Although before SB 1070 event took effect Ranch Market fired around 300 of its 1,500 valley employees in April, after a federal Immigration (Laudig, Michele). ICE had found out that Ranch Market had 300 undocumented employees therefore Ranch Market had to fire all those who had false documentation. This started a controversy when Americans found out why it was hard to find jobs.

- Gaudy Silva


"Arizona Immigration Law (SB 1070) - The New York Times." Times Topics - The New York Times. The New York Times, 11 Apr. 2011. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. .

Igo, Julio. "Success Built Around Family." Arizona Food Industry Journal (2008): 12-13. Pro Ranch Market. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. .

Laudig, Michele. "Phoenix Tradiciones Has Lost Its Spice - Phoenix New Times." Phoenix News, Events, Restaurants, Music Phoenix New Times. 11 Nov. 2010. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.

Welcome to PROS RANCH MARKETS. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. .

Chase Field

Many people especially here in Arizona know who the Arizona Diamondbacks are and where they play. The Chase Field is one of the most unique baseball stadiums and most recognizable landmarks here in the United States, because of its amazing technological aspects and its retractable roof that’s able to open and close depending of the weather. Like anything else, Chase Field has history, bet further yet the land in which it stands on has interesting history that isn’t thought much about or isn’t known of. Back in the 1800s the land where Chase Field stands on today used to be a for-site of a Chinatown and it remained so for many years. Back in the nineteenth century Chinese immigrants were a big problem to society of other ethnic groups, and a lot of prejudice and racism developed against Chinese immigrants. Rhonda Tintle (2004) mentioned that in “1882 America passed a federal act excluding Chinese immigrants and remained in effect from 1882 until 1943”. Even though the year 1943 was a while ago, it still seems like all of this was still going on fairly recently and that a Chinatown was still present exactly where Chase Field is at today. Years passed by and slowly Chinatown started depolarizing and started becoming more popularized, with construction taking place and other cultures and ethnic groups coming along as well. Located on Jefferson Street, it is also bounded by Seventh Street, Fourth Street and now also railroad tracks. Bank One ballpark which is now Chase Field was built in 1898, with the purpose of it being the biggest baseball stadiums and attraction site in Arizona. It was designed by Ellerbe Becket and is currently owned by Maricopa County. Sara Gilbert (2007), did mention that “The mission of the Maricopa County Stadium District is to provide fiscal resources and asset management for the community and visitors to Maricopa County so they can attend Major League Baseball games and other entertainment events in state-of-the-art, well-maintained facilities”. “The stadiums name was changed to Chase Field from the previous bank one ballpark after the merger between Chase and Bank One”. With Chase Field being one of the most unique baseball stadiums like stated before, many people profit from it and from its use during baseball season with Diamondback games going on and also at times throughout the year with other events that take place in the stadium other than baseball. Richard B. Chase (1999), states that “The state of Arizona of course also profits from Chase Field and its use year round”. With events taking place in this stadium a lot of money definitely comes in, in which becomes a government issue when it comes to all of the money coming in. The chase field not only benefits Arizona economically, but it also benefits it by making it a state with a unique aspect, by having an amazing baseball stadium like Chase Field and making Arizona more familiarized within other states.

- Valeria Espinoza and Evelyn Ruiz

Work Cited

Gilbert, Sara. (2007). The Story of the Arizona Diamondbacks. pp. 1-49

Richard, B., Chase. (1980). A classification and evaluation of research in operations
management. Journal of Operations Management, 1. p. 9. doi: 10.1016/0272-6963

Tintle, Rhonda, (2004). A history of Chinese immigration into Arizona territory: A frontier
culture in the American west. p. 1-81

Sky Harbor Airport

Sky Harbor Airport is obviously one of the biggest and most known airports here in the United States, with a positive background leaving people with good experiences using sky harbor’s services. Of course Sky Harbor Airport also has plenty of history about it and about the land that it’s on today, which most people have completely forgotten about it, or even worse know nothing about the history at all. Before 1935, which was when Sky Harbor became the airport that it is now, the land used to be mostly an agricultural and farming land hundreds of years ago and for a long time. Back in those days farming and good agriculture were a very important and a big deal to people, especially because they wanted the best for their environment. Mexican Americans had a lot to do with fast production in their environment even though they were of low class and weren’t expected to do as much as the Anglos did before them. Chris Lukinbeal (2010), “Urban colonies in the Salt River Valley formed in one of three ways: as working-class neighborhoods on the fringe that filtered down from Anglos to Mexicans”. Like just stated, Mexican Americans took over most of the land that had been started by Anglos and even though Mexican Americans did work for cheap labor they did a good job and they “took over the valley”. Peter M Smith (1995) also commented that “cotton camps were also important and quite common to have, and were also run by Mexican Americans”. It was very interesting knowing that Mexican Americans back in that century were looked upon to do a good job in providing for their environment. Farming and agriculture kept going on for many years, while production kept getting bigger as well. OV Trujillo (1998) did mention that many years later in 1928 Scenic Airways, which collapsed a year later but was later re-built, did the first runway. In 1935 like stated earlier, Acme Investment Company took over and it became Sky Harbor Airport (Dimas, 1999). Since then Sky Harbor has really become one of the most well known airports and continues to grow.

- Valeria Espinoza and Evelyn Ruiz


Lukinbeal, Chris. (2003). Mexican urban colonias in the salt river valley of Arizona

Smith, M., Peter. (1995). Proposition 187: Global trend or local narrative? Explaining Anti-
immigrant politics in Arizona. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research,
19, p. 664. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.1995.tb003534x

Trujillo, OV. (1998). The Yaqui of Guadalupe, Arizona: A century of cultural survival through trilingualism. American Indian culture and research journal, 22. p. 67.

Hohokam Freeway (State Route 143)

Agriculture has always been very important to the people of Arizona in order to have life on the lands. The Hohokam Indians settled here around 300 A.D. They settled here and built canals. They didn’t realize that they would be the reason others were able to settle here many years later. Anglos and Mexican-Americans were a big part of south Phoenix before Sky Harbor took many of their homes in the early 1900’s. Minorities have always had a hard time when it comes to settling and being able to keep their lands. Chase building is an iconic building known for having the beloved Arizona Diamondbacks. Many populated areas in Phoenix have been taken over by now greatly recognized buildings and the history behind it has been forgotten.

Arizona State Route 143 was a more significant area before the freeway was conveniently placed there. The Hohokam Indians were very crafty when it came to making life happen in Arizona’s dry heat. They made a living by growing their own crops through the irrigation systems they made themselves. They were big on growing corn and cotton. The Hohokam came from what is now known as Mexico. They lived here for a couple of centuries (15th and 16th). (John, 2006) There is not a set in stone fact as to how the Hohokam people left this area. There are many theories as to where they went. One of the theories is that they migrated back to Mexico due to a drought in Arizona. The next theory is that they actually stayed here and evolved culturally, becoming what is now known Pima people or Papago. There was an excavation at the site before construction began, and that is when archaeologist discovered a great treasure. (Hayden 1970) The Hohokam site was discovered in 1953. The site consisted of around 55 housing for the Hohokam dating as far as 300 AD. There were many valuable artifacts left behind, such as the material they would use to make their houses and their everyday domestication. Estimates were made when looking as to how far back these artifacts really were; holes are 800-year-old fire pits. Dart said, “Ash in the soil and cracked stones nearby reveal that the structures had been destroyed by fire.” The recent excavation entailed work on four Hohokam dwellings, known as “pit houses,” along the south side of Whitehouse Canyon Road. This is the reason the freeway was named after the people that occupied this space. When construction was about to begin there was an archaeologist sent out because it is a procedure. When they found all of these treasures and bodies, they were removed. (Randall, 1987) Many centuries later, freeway 143 (later known as Hohokam freeway) was going to be built exiting the sky harbor airport. An archeologist was brought in to excavate the area and see what grounds were going to be destroyed. It is a rule that any ground believed to have had a buried past must be checked. Archeologist from U of A came along and excavated the area. They found hundreds of bodies of the Hohokam people underground. The findings have been cremated before being buried and also handed over to the Salt River Pima Community for reburial. This is done in order to put the spirits back to rest. This site is now only merely a highway. Serving a different purpose nowadays. (Woodbury, 1961)

- Evelyn Ruiz and Valeria Espinoza


Hayden, D. Julian. (1970), American Antiquity. Vol. 35 No 1

John M. Briggs, Katherine A. Spielmann, Hoski Schaafsma, Keith W. Kintigh, Melissa Kruse, Morehouse, and Karen Schollmeyer. 2006

Randall H. McGuire and Ann Valdo Howar Kiva Vol. 52, No. 2 (Winter, 1987), pp. 113-146
Woodbury, R. B. (1961), A Reappraisal of Hohokam Irrigation. American Anthropologist,
63: 550–560. doi: 10.1525/aa.1961.63.3.02a00070

Woodbury, R. B. (1961), A Reappraisal of Hohokam Irrigation. American Anthropologist,
63: 550–560. doi: 10.1525/aa.1961.63.3.02a00070