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GeoJournal

, Volume 77, Issue 6, pp 777–790 | Cite as

The Salt River Indian Reservation: land use conflicts and aspects of socioeconomic change on the outskirts of Metro-Phoenix, Arizona

  • Klaus FrantzEmail author
Article

Abstract

Several North American metropolitan areas including Albuquerque, El Paso and Seattle in the U.S., and the Canadian urban areas of Montreal and Vancouver, are characterized by Indian reservations situated either within or on the outskirts of these cities. This type of Indian reservation or reserve within metropolitan areas has been the subject of limited geographical research, and is nowhere as manifest as in Metro-Phoenix. Three reservations obstruct the otherwise unlimited growth of Arizona’s capital. This phenomenon is most striking in the eastern regions of Phoenix where, until the end of the 1980s, the almost exclusively rural, agrarian Salt River Indian Reservation formed a physical and cultural barrier to urban development, preventing metropolitan sprawl beyond a clearly marked boundary. Continued urban pressures have led to changing land uses, effectively hollowing out this embankment or barrier, which has caused a profound change in the reservation. Both the Salt River and Gila River Indian reservations maintain large tracts of irrigated agricultural land, but the transformation that converted farms to suburbs off the reservation is now changing the reservation itself. In fact, this change actually began more than a hundred years ago with the Anglo-American colonization of what is today Arizona’s central region.

Keywords

Indian reservations Metropolitan areas Land use conflicts Socioeconomic change 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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