2023 Cohort: Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe

2023 Entrepreneurs

Fort Yuma Quechan fields and mountainous landscape



 Previously known as the Yuma Indians, the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Reservation have always lived in the Colorado River Valley. Their land borders California and Mexico, and the Reservation was established in 1884. Quechan (pronounced "kwuh-tsan") means "those who descended." Their distinct language, the native tongue of southeastern California and southwestern Arizona, is believed to be spoken by just a few hundred people.

Their location along the Colorado River has meant a long history of trading and exchange networks with other tribes, as well as battles over land.  According to the 2017-2021 Census, 1,372 Quechan live on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation.

The Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe operates the Paradise Casino in Yuma, Arizona.  The Tribe also operates a sand and gravel enterprise, five trailer and RV parks, a grocery store, and a museum.  The Tribe's 700-acre farm is leased to non-tribal members. Information provided via Web Portal Developed by the Offices of  NAATE, NAI & NPTAO.

Find more information here.

James Emerson

Luca Jean Moving Services

Luca Jean Moving Services' primary business objective is to foster equal opportunity employment within the community while providing a professional moving service that remains affordable for individuals of all incomes. In addition, Luca Jean Moving Services aims to implement a scalable business model that ensures sustained development throughout the company's lifespan.

Gregg Gilbert

Constructive Building Solutions, Inc.

Constructive Building Solutions, Inc. (CBS) is a small native-owned construction company. Founded in 2010, located in Yuma, AZ. CBS provides professional contracting services to Yuma, AZ., Winterhaven, CA. and surrounding areas. We are a full-service firm specializing in commercial, military, government, residential structures, and remodel construction services.

Tudor Montague

Spirit Mountain Roasting Co

Spirit Mountain Roasting Company, founded in 2015, is a community-oriented, small batch, specialty coffee roaster located on the Fort Yuma Quechan nation. The community includes not only the pipa, people of the Quechan nation, it includes the entire coffee supply chain from seed to cup. Spirit Mountain Roasting Co engages in direct and fair trade with indigenous & women coffee farmers whenever possible. In June of 2023, Spirit Mountain Roasting Co opened The Coffee Shop, a small café on the Quechan nation that currently employs six community members.

Socials: Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Jon Koteen

Koteens Barbershop

Koteen's Barbershop specializes in men’s grooming and grooming products.

Socials: WebsiteInstagram


To contribute to the program, please contact Aleshia Howell at aleshia@arizona.edu