Arizona v. California (Fort Yuma Indian Reservation Water Rights)

Working with the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the Quechan Indian Tribe, HRA historians researched and prepared a report analyzing the history of land ownership and water use on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation in California from the 1880s to the 1950s. A primary issue in the litigation—which was a sub-proceeding of the landmark Arizona v. California case—centered on whether the Quechan Tribe had ceded lands under an 1893 agreement and a subsequent 1904 law that authorized allotment on the reservation. The attorneys relied, in part, on HRA’s report and research to gain a favorable settlement that included water rights for lands that were not included in the Supreme Court’s original 1963 decree.