Tucson in process of returning land to Tohono O'odham Nation

TUCSON, Ariz. — The city of Tucson plans to return ancestral land tied to the Tohono O'odham Nation.

The Arizona Daily Star reported the Tucson City Council unanimously approved a proposal earlier this month to give more than 10 acres of city land at the base of Sentinel Peak to the tribe.

The peak is known as “the birthplace of Tucson,” where the Hohokam, the ancestors of the Tohono O'odham, grew crops and thrived for more than 4,500 years.

The transfer recognizes “the sovereignty of the Tohono O'odham Nation,” according to the council's motion.

Ned Norris Jr., the tribe's chairman, said there are significant archaeological and historical remnants of ancestors on that land.

Tribal officials said they aren't sure what they'll do with it.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero has approached the idea of putting the land in a trust with Democratic U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva.

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