The word Arizona comes from the Tohono O’odham ali and shonak, which translates as place of the small spring.

As a state agency which works in service to the people of Arizona, the Arts Commission acknowledges present-day Arizona as the traditional and ancestral homelands of Indigenous peoples: the Ancient Puebloans, Huhugam, Mogollon and Salado, their descendants who live currently in Arizona and the Southwest, and future generations to come. Through this acknowledgement we recognize the systemic inequities created by the negative impacts of colonization, past and present, and commit to respecting and reconciling this long history of injustice.

Further, we acknowledge the sovereignty of the 22 contemporary Tribal Nations who continue to steward the lands that make up the state of Arizona, which are:

Banner Image: These panels of petroglyphs are dated from the Cienaga period (800BCE-100CE). The site is found on a cliffside located in the Central San Bernadino Valley of southeastern Arizona along the Arizona/New Mexico border between the Pedragosa Mountains and the Peloncillo Mountains. Photo by Gene Riggs, courtesy of Cochise Community College.