The Hualapai

Published on December 27, 2012 by Amy

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The Hualapai
The Hualapai

The Hualapai or Walapai (Hualapai: Hwalbáy) are a tribe of Native Americans who live in the mountains of northwestern Arizona, United States. Today they are enrolled in the Hualapai Indian Tribe of the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

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The name is derived from “hwa:l,” the Hualapai word for ponderosa pine, “Hualapai” meaning “people of the ponderosa pine”. Their traditional territory is a 108 miles (174 km) stretch along the pine-clad southern side of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River with the tribal capital located at Peach Springs.


The community is governed by the Hualapai Tribal Council which includes a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and seven other council members. Law enforcement is provided by the Hualapai Nation Tribal Police Department which came into existence in 2002. The department consists of a Chief Of Police, Deputy Chief, Criminal Investigator and 11 sworn, Arizona state certified Patrol Officers. Fire protection is provided by the BIA and the local volunteer fire department. Alcoholism and obesity are major problems among many Native American people, so there are community-wide anti-drug and anti-alcohol efforts.


The Hualapai language is a Pai branch of the Yuman–Cochimí languages, also spoken by the closely related Havasupai, and more distantly to Yavapai people. It is still spoken by most people over 30 on the Reservation as well as many young people. The Peach Springs School District runs a successful bilingual program for all local students, both Hualapai and non-Hualapai, in addition to immersion camps.


The Hualapai Indian Reservation, covering 1,142 square miles, was created by the Presidential Executive order of Chester A. Arthur on January 4, 1883.

Source: wikipedia Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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