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Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) Museum

  • Colorado River Indian Tribes artwork
  • Native American art of the Colorado River Indian Tribes
  • Seal of the Colorado River Indian Tribes


Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) Museum


Title: Colorado River Indian Tribes Museum - Parker
Date: OPEN MONDAY - FRIDAY 8AM - 5PM Closed weekends & holidays.
Price: Free - Donations encourged
Address: 133 Riverside Dr.
Parker, AZ 85344
Phone number: 928-669-8970
Highlights: Located at the Tribal Government complex in the same building as the CRIT Library,
the CRIT Museum provides a comprehensive history of the Colorado River Indian Tribes and their
heritages and traditions. The museum houses cultural artifacts and exhibits, photos showing
Tribal history, and provides an overview of CRIT and its people. Its exhibits and information date
back to before the CRIT Reservation was established in 1865 and run through present day.
Description: The Colorado River Indian Tribes include four distinct Tribes - the Mohave,
Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo. There are currently about 4,070 active Tribal members.
The CRIT Reservation was created in 1865 by the Federal Government for “Indians of the
Colorado River and its tributaries,” originally for the Mohave and Chemehuevi, who had
inhabited the area for centuries. People of the Hopi and Navajo Tribes were relocated to the
reservation in later years.
The reservation stretches along the Colorado River on both the Arizona and California side. It
includes almost 300,000 acres of land, with the river serving as the focal point and lifeblood of
the area.
The primary community in the CRIT Reservation is Parker, Arizona, which is located on a
combination of Tribal land, leased land that is owned by CRIT and land owned by non-Native
Americans. There are other, smaller communities on the reservation, including Poston, located
10 miles south of Parker.
Poston was the site in World War II of one of the United States' largest Japanese internment
camps, where thousands of Japanese-Americans were held over a three-year period. The camp
sites are now home to a monument dedicated to those who died and suffered while in internment,
and CRIT is currently in the process of creating a museum to commemorate the era.
The primary economic activity on the CRIT Reservation has always been agriculture, going back
to the days when mesquite trees were plentiful along the banks of the river and were relied upon
for everything from food to cooking to Tribal traditions and ceremonies. CRIT continues to have a
strong farming and agricultural industry, including growing cotton, alfalfa and sorghum.
However, in recent years the Tribal economy has diversified greatly, and now includes forays and
businesses in several different fields. Sand and gravel, real estate development and retail stores
have all been part of the Tribes' economic development efforts. And over the past decade, a
heavy emphasis has turned toward tourism, as CRIT opened the BlueWater Resort and Casino in
Parker and has endeavored to attract both cultural and recreational tourists to the area.
The museum explains about the different tribes, and how the came to band together. There are
numerous displays of their handy work including exquisitely designed native wares and necessary
tools. There is an extensive collection of Chemehuevi baskets which is among the highlights.
There is no fee to enter but contributions are greatly appreciated. There is a gift shop as you
enter which is worth going through. There are no photos allowed in the museum so pictures of
the wares displayed in the gift shop are worth some time.

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Call 928-669-8970
Come visit us! 133 Riverside Dr., Parker, AZ - 85344,US

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