The Yaqui People: From Historical Struggles to Contemporary Resiliency

The Yaqui People Mask

Class Dates

October 29, 2021 to December 10, 2021

Meeting Days

Fridays, 9- 10 AM


Online Course



Course Instructor(s)

Course Description

The Yaqui, Hiaki, or Yoeme people have had a long and complex history in the southwestern region of the United States and the northwest of Mexico. Straddling both sides of the US-Mexico border, their cultural imprint in the Sonoran Desert extends from their ancestral lands in the valley of the Río Yaqui in the Mexican state of Sonora to the federally-recognized sovereign Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Arizona. Over six one-hour sessions, this course will examine the historical and contemporary contexts that shape Yaqui life, identity, and culture. The class will look into a diversity of historical benchmarks, including Yaqui origin narratives, Spanish and Catholic influences, enslavement under Mexican rule, and migration to the United States. Contemporary topics such as water rights in Sonora, Indian gaming, and the importance of maintaining culture and language for the Yaqui people will also be explored. 

Course Format

Registered community members will meet with Professor Gaxiola in six live online sessions on the following Fridays from 9 to 10 AM: October 29, November 5, 12, 19, December 3 and 10. No meeting during Thanksgiving weekend.

Attendance & Participation

This course will be delivered via the University of Arizona Zoom platform. All class sessions will be LIVE ONLINE and will be recorded. The recordings will be shared with registered students after each session to facilitate access for those who cannot make the live sessions. 


Online registration for this course opens on Monday, August 16, 2021, at 10 a.m. After registration, participants will receive instructions about how to access the course online.


Refunds are available and need to be requested before the second class meeting (November 5). To drop a class, please contact us at 520-626-6694 or  A $25 administrative fee for each cancellation will apply.