Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, AZ – On November 15, UNITY Youth Councils gathered to participate in the 33rd Anniversary of the Orme Dam Victory Days Parade, an annual celebration of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. Representing UNITY were Mesa Strength Youth Council, Mountain View Native American Club, AK Chin Youth Council, San Carlos Apache Youth Council, and Yavapai Apache Youth Council.
The Orm Dam was proposed project in the 1970’s that would have flooded the Fort McDowell Yavapai reservation and forced the community from what remained of its ancestral homeland.
Individuals from the community spearheaded an opposition movement that rallied the support of fellow tribal members. By referendum in 1976, the community members voted 144 to 57 against selling their land to the federal government for the dam site. Then on November 12, 1981, after consulting with the Fort McDowell Tribal Council and the Governor’s Advisory Committee, Interior Secretary James Watt announced that Orme Dam would not be built. Each year a tribal fair, parade, rodeo and other events are held to commemorate the tribe’s victory.
Source: Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Website