By Alden Woods | The Republic
The rush of water was louder than he remembered, so Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis stepped away from the canal, toward the group that had agreed to bring back a stretch of the river that gave the community its name.
“This was, of course, a long time coming,” Lewis said, speaking up so they could hear.
He remembered when the river flowed through their land, when fertile soil fed his people. His ancestors centered their culture around the river, but for decades it had been little more than a line on a map, cut off by a series of dams and droughts. Now a sequence of settlements and storage deals had started to restore flow to the river.