Sinema’s Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition law authorizes the reclamation of tribally-owned land important to the Tribe’s economy and culture
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema applauded the Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s acquisition of 25.53 acres of tribally-owned lands in Pima County, made possible by the Senator’s bipartisan Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition law that she led through Congress in 2022.
On December 29, 2023, the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs made a final agency determination to acquire in trust tribally-owned lands for promoting economic opportunities, new housing options for the community, and other purposes under the Sinema-led Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition law.
“Restoring this land to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe is essential to the Tribe’s long-term success and economic resilience – and I couldn’t be prouder to help make it a reality,” said Sinema, lead sponsor of the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition law.
“This acquisition was necessary in order to create additional economic opportunities for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona and its members,” Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio said in a statement.“The Act and the process acknowledged the relationship between the Pascua Yaqui and the City of Tucson, and is reflective of numerous stakeholder meetings and negotiations, and allows the tribe to preserve our traditional homelands while promoting economic opportunities and new housing options for the community. We are thankful for and appreciate the bipartisan support, which was essential for passage. The acquisition is a recognition of the work of our ancestors, an investment for our future generations, and we are blessed it became law,” Chairman Yucupicio continued,“Senators Schatz’s and Sinema’s direct and timely negotiations ensured passage of the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act.”
Sinema’s law strengthens economic opportunities and development by recognizing the Tribe’s need to develop a larger land base and designate an area of land to transfer for the Tribe’s benefit.
In December 2022, Sinema secured the passage of the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act. The legislation was initially excluded from the end of the year government funding package, but Sinema ensured unanimous passage through direct bipartisan negotiations with her Senate colleagues.