From first contact with the Spanish in 1533 to the present day, the Yaqui of Sonora have struggled successfully to maintain themselves as a distinct people in their homeland along the Rio Yaqui. This long process of opposition to assimilation in Mexico has been the subject of considerable anthropological and historical attention (Hatfield 1998; Hu-DeHart 1981, 1984; Lutes 1987; McGuire 1986; Radding 1989; Sheridan 1988, 1996; Spicer 1954, 1961, 1962, 1969a, 1970a, 1974, 1980). In the long years of their often violent struggle with the Spanish and the Mexicans, the Yaqui underwent a diaspora in the course of which some came to Arizona. John Provinse, of the University of Arizona, was the first anthropologist to interest himself in these refugee communities and introduced Bronis law Malinowski to them during the latter's stay in Tucson in 1939 (Spicer 1986: xi; Troy 1998). These Southwestern U.S. outliers of the Yaqui have since attracted a variety of further study (Glaser 1996; Kelley 1978; Moises, Kelley, and Holden 1971; Schutler 1977; Trujillo 1998; Wilder 1963). Provinse also introduced a student, Edward H. Spicer, to the Yaqui, and it is he who became the principal chronicler of the Yaqui of the American Southwest (E. Spicer 1940, 1970b, 1980, 1983, 1988; R. Spicer 1988: xxv). Years of studying the Yaqui also led Spicer to develop his theoretical ideas about ethnicity and to use the Yaqui as a model of what he called persistent or enduring peoples (Castile 1981; Spicer 1971, 1980: ch. 7). He was involved as a student and friend of the Tucson Yaqui from 1936 until his death in 1983, and his papers at the Arizona State Museum are an important resource for Yaqui history (Gallaher 1984; Sands 1988; R. Spicer 1988). This paper seeks to address only a small part of the Yaqui's complex history, specifically the transformation of the Tucson Yaqui, in the eyes of federal policymakers, from Mexican migrants to Native Americans and of their squatters' community into a reservation, complete with casino (Miller 1994).