Gallery: UArizona honors O'odham tribes at football home opener
The University of Arizona recognized Arizona's four O'odham tribes during the season opener football game against Northern Arizona University on Saturday.
Delegations from the Ak-Chin Indian Community, the Gila River Indian Community, the Salt River Indian Community and the Tohono O'odham Nation attended the game at Arizona Stadium and took part in short pre-game and mid-game ceremonies with university leadership. The four Native nations represent Arizona's federally recognized O'odham tribes, native to the Sonoran Desert.
The ceremonies were designed to honor the sovereignty of all of Arizona's 22 federally recognized tribes. Before kickoff, attendees watched the a video of university leaders reciting the UArizona land acknowledgement statement, which recognizes the university's location on the homelands of the O'odham and Yaqui. Before the video, flag bearers from the four O'odham tribes walked flags onto the field to display while the video played.
Shania Little Feather Manuel, a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation, sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" alongside the Tohono O'odham Nation color guard.
During a TV timeout in the second quarter, leaders from the four tribes and members of the tribal youth councils joined university President Robert C. Robbins and Levi Esquerra, UArizona senior vice president of Native American advancement and tribal engagement, for recognition on the field.
The tribal leaders in attendance were Chairman Robert Miguel of the Ak-Chin Indian Community, Gov. Stephen Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community, President Martin Harvier of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Chairman Verlon Jose and Vice Chairwoman Carla Johnson of the Tohono O'odham Nation.
At halftime, members of the four tribes' youth councils and the Tucson Native Youth Council gathered on the field to participate in a display featuring singing and traditional gourd rattles.
The Wildcats beat the NAU Lumberjacks 38-3.