Pascua Yaqui Tribe

Yaqui Times and Santa Kuhs

Yaqui Times Cover September 2013

The Santa Kuhs is celebrated among the Hiaki people on May 3rd. On this day it is considered to mark the end of Waehma or Lent. During the time after Jesus was resurrected, Saint Joseph and Mother Mary went to visit the site where their son was crucified and were shocked to what they found. They found the cross that was once covered with blood, was now covered with flowers and butterflies. It was beautiful. They went to talk to Caiaphas and asked for the cross and it was given to them. This reminds us all of a new life given to us by Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. This story was given to us by one of our cultural Elders. Early in the morning we head out to the huya ania or wilderness world and we ask for permission to enter and talk to the wata, the willow tree. It is very important to ask permission prior to entering, because this world doesn’t belong to us and need to respect it. When talking to the wata, you apologize for cutting it, because you need its strength for protecting your family, house and attain blessings from Itom Achai. Once finished, you give thanks to the wata for helping us and our family. Some Elders would tell us stories of people who don’t follow tradition and end up getting hurt or having nightmares. We respect the Huya Ania because that is where our food source comes from; whether it from a plant, an animal or water. We also respect because the huya ania also provides us with the materials for making our homes for our families. We make fresh new crosses with the wata and decorate them with flowers. Before we hang up the new crosses, you collect all the old crosses; the old Santa Kuhs or palm crosses. We place the new Santa Kuhs in the areas we want to protect; the front and the back of your house. The location can vary from family to family. The Santa Kuhs is made for protecting our house and all who live there from evil elements because at the hour of the Ave Maria, we all receive blessings from Itom Achai. We also decorate our tevat kuhs or patio cross with crepe paper and flowers and we erect them once again in our household yards after Good Friday. On Good Friday the crosses are taken down and covered with avaso or cottonwood branches to represents Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.


Pascua Yaqui Tribe Asserts Authority to Prosecute All Persons, including Non-Indians for Domestic Violence

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is one of the first three tribes in the nation to be authorized to prosecute non-Indian offenders for certain domestic violence and protection order crimes. This jurisdiction goes into effect on February 20, 2014. After that date, a non-Indian who has substantial ties to the Tribe (such as living on the reservation, working for the Tribe or the Tribe’s casino, or having a dating partner or spouse who is Pascua Yaqui or a member of another Indian tribe) can be prosecuted by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in the Tribe’s own criminal justice system.

The Tribe will provide non-Indian defendants with constitutional rights equal to those in the outside states. These rights include the right to an attorney if they cannot afford their own, the right to effective assistance of counsel, the right to a law trained judge, and the right to file a habeas corpus petition in federal court to name a few. The Pascua Yaqui Tribe already provides these rights to Indian defendants in its justice system.

Click here for a PDF with more information.


Tribal Council 2012-2016

Our new Tribal Council was sworn in on June 11, 2012 by the Honorable Chief Judge Cornelia V. Cruz. The ceremony took place at the Sol Casino Convention Center with many tribal members in attendance. The Pascua Yaqui tribe welcomes the new members in council who are Cruzita Armenta, Maryjane Buenamea, Rosa Soto Alvarez and Marcelino Flores. The Executive council are Chairman Peter Yucupicio, Vice Chairwoman Catalina Alvarez, Treasurer Fancisco Munoz and Secretary Robert Valencia.

Council Meeting Agenda for August 27, 2014 at 6pm In Tribal Chambers