Cocopah Tribe

Leadership (updated February 2018) Contact Information
Sherry Cordova, Chairwoman Address: 14515 S. Veterans Drive
J. Deal Begay Jr., Vice Chairman                Somerton, AZ 85350
Rosa J. Long, Council Member Phone:    928-627-2102
Marvin Sharkey Jr., Council Member Website: http://www.cocopah.com
Edmund Domingues, Council Member Director of Tribal Health Maintenance Program: Leo Maxwell <maxwelll@cocopah.com>
Lilia Tafoya, Executive Secretary to the Chairwoman Tribal Education Administrator: Veronica Menta <mentav@cocopah.com>
Tribal Education Coordinator: Wynnie Ortega <cocoed@cocpah.com>
GOVERNANCE: The Cocopah Tribe is led by a five-person Tribal Council. Council seats are held for 2-year terms with elections held in July of even-numbered years. The current Council will be in office 2016-2018.  Council meetings are held the second Friday of each month. The Cocopah Tribe is in Congressional District 3; Legislative District 4. 
CONSTITUTION: To view the Cocopah Tribe full Constitution, adopted 1959, amended 1964, click here.

COMMUNITY PROFILE: "The Cocopah Sovereignty is the foundation that preserves traditional cultural values and educational empowerment for a healthier way of life." - Cocopah Tribe Vision Statement, Adopted May 2012.

The Cocopah Indian Tribe, known as the River People, have lived along the lower Colorado River for centuries. The Cocopah Reservation was established in 1917, and in 1964 the Tribe established a Tribal Council. The Cocopah Indian Tribe is one of seven descendant Tribes from the Yuman language-speaking people that lived along the Colorado River. Although the Cocopah people had no written language, history and traditions have been passed down orally and through the diaries and journals of outside travelers along the Colorado River. According to the 2015 Census, approximately 1,273 individuals live on the Cocopah Tribe Reservation in Arizona. 

The Cocopah Tribe is located in the southwest corner of Arizona near the California and Mexico borders. The land area consists of more than 6,500 acres along the lower Colorado River, with a land base of 9.4 square miles. The Cocopah Tribe is actively involved in habitat restoration efforts along the Colorado River. The reservation is comprised of three non-contiguous regions: the North, East, and West Reservations. The East and West Reservations are located 15 minutes from each other on either side of the town of Somerton. The North Reservation is located in Yuma.  

Approximately 40 percent of the Cocopah Tribe is under the age of 18. The median age for the Tribe is 25.8, compared to a median age of 37.5 for the state of Arizona. Approximately 20 percent of family households are husband-wife families, while 35 percent of families are headed by a single female and 45 percent are headed by a single male. Cocopah Tribe individuals have a significantly high poverty rate (32 percent), with 12 percent of families classified as "severely poor" due to earning less than half of the poverty threshold. The median household income for the Tribe is $28,750. 

The Cocopah Museum and Cultural Center is located on the West Reservation and includes hand-crafted exhibits, meeting space, and a gift shop.  The museum is surrounded by a 1.5-acre park featuring a traditional dwelling replica made from natural elements.  The Cocopah Tribe also operates the Cocopah Casino, Resort, and Conference Center, the Cocopah Speedway Race Track, the Cocopah RV and Golf Resort, and the Cocopah Rio-Colorado Golf Course. 

*All statistics are from the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates.