• What is the first thing you notice when you see this drawing?
  • Who might live here?
  • What kind of community could this be?

The Gila River War Relocation Center was one of the two Japanese American incarceration sites located on Native American reservations in the Sonora Desert in Arizona. The Bureau of Indian Affairs had jurisdiction over the Gila River and its 13,348 inmates. The land was leased by the Bureau of Indian Affairs from the Akimel O’otham (Pima) and Pee-Posh (Maricopa) Indians of the Gila River Indian Community. The summer temperatures were over 100 degrees and the barracks were poorly insulated; many inmates made swamp coolers to find relief from the heat.