Blog 5: Tohono O’odham Community College

On may 6th, we stopped by Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC) on our way to Sells. While we were there, we got the opportunity to meet with the president of the college to discuss its objectives and achievements. I was really interested by the sense of comradery that the community college had with the Apache tribe. To elaborate, TOCC adopted a non-accredited Apache college so that their tribe members could get an education from an accredited college. The idea there is that once the Apache college is ready to get accredited, it will branch off and become its own college, but the O’odham are helping their tribe members get degrees in the meantime. I was interested to hear about this, especially considering the Apaches used to raid O’odham villages in centuries past. This really shows a sense of community between modern Native American tribes.

As a side note, we had squash spaghetti served to us for lunch, and I’ve never had anything like that before. I was initially expecting traditional spaghetti served in a squash-based sauce, but instead the actual “spaghetti” was strings of squash, and the whole thing was served inside a hollowed out squash! I was not expecting such a unique dish, but I was pleasantly surprised; it was quite good.

3 Replies to “Blog 5: Tohono O’odham Community College”

  1. I’m amazed and embarrassed to learn just now that the spaghetti we ate was actually squash. I thought it was legitimately spaghetti served just in a squash but I guess that makes much more sense. But yes, I do have to agree that it was surprising to learn just how little animosity existed towards the Apaches on the whole of the reservation. Even when we visited the museums and sites, there seemed to be little mention of ill feeling towards other native tribes. Considering how much of the reading we did before traveling to Arizona included mention of Apache attacks, seeing how little it was talked about was surprising.

  2. I thought the meal at TOCC was great. If I could cook I would have asked for a recipe. Yes, it is very amusing thinking about the level of cooperation that now exists among the T.O. and the Apaches given the pretty ferocious history they once shared.

  3. Yeah, this case of cooperation on community college between TON and and San Carlos Apache is a great story. I don’t tink there are still many grudges helds between those tribes. In fact I don’t know of any inter tribal animosity that can be directly traced to pre-reservation era tribal conflict. (Harvey?) However, yhere are certainly modern conflicts between tribes. Most notably tribes spar over casino territory and there have been several cases of tribes trying to undermine or halt other tribes’ efforts to build a casino that would compete with theirs. Ironically that occured between the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Salt River Pima/Maricopa.

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