O'odham Himdag (Culture)

Hia Ceḍ Oʼodham

Hia Ceḍ traditional lands stretched west to Yuma, Arizona, north to Phoenix and as south as Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

The Hia-Ced O’odham or Sand People – were a hunting and gathering group. They moved from camp to camp in a highly nomadic lifestyle, following a seasonal calendar to gather and live off of their scarce resources.

There are approximately 1,400 Hia Ceḍ Oʼodham living today on both sides of the U.S./Mexican border with most primarily living in Northern Mexico.

The federal government believed there were so few of them that they were considered ”extinct.” The Tohono O’odham did not consider them tribal members, and they were not included in any tribal decision-making or financial dealings. When the Federal government provided Federal Recognition to the then Papago Tribe of Arizona, they neglected to recognize that their still existed a Hia Ceḍ Indigenous population. The government thought they were effetively extinct. Though members of the Hia-Ceḍ O’odham were allowed to live on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, they were not allowed to enroll in the tribe – as Hia-Ceḍ O’odham – until 1984. (Allen, 1996)

The Hia-Ceḍ District was created in October 2012 as the 12th district of the Tohono O’odham Nation by Legislative order. However, this was a short-lived accomplishment for the Hia-ceḍ O’odham as their District was dissolved on April 25, 2015 when Tohono O’odham voters approved a voter initiative called Dissolution of the Hia-Ceḍ District.