ABOVE Four Peaks Sunset © Elias Butler Photography
Carolina Castillo Butler took an activist’s path.
While giving her time to house, husband, and raising their four children, Carolina was a leader in a 10+ year battle helping the Yavapai tribe at Fort McDowell Reservation save their land. The government wanted to relocate the tribe for the proposed $1 billion Orme Dam, as part of the Central Arizona Project. The dam went down in defeat in 1981.
Carolina was a leader in two Maricopa County-wide elections. First, working for a “yes” vote in 1980 for the construction of several useful bridges over the Salt and Agua Fria Rivers. Secondly, working for the defeat in 1987 of a $3 billion Rio Salado Project (used as a reason for the Orme Dam) and defeat of a new property tax to pay for this boondoggle.
Carolina was a water activist, testifying numerous times to reform water policy. Her activities have been included by various authors in their books, such as:
The Yavapai of Fort McDowell, Sigrid Khera, January 1978
Empires in the Sun: The Rise of the New American West, Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley, 1982
How to Create a Water Crisis, Frank Welsh, 1985
A Life of its Own: The Politics and Power of Water, Robert Gottlieb, 1988
Verde Valley Lore, Robert Mason, 1997
Indians and Eagles: The Struggle Over Orme Dam, Rob K. Schilling, Journal of Arizona History, Spring 2000
Carolina is Mexican-American, born in Arizona. Her ancestors came to Arizona from Mexico in 1864.
Carolina and Walker, her husband of 50 years, live in Scottsdale, AZ, thirty minutes from the Fort McDowell Reservation.
Carolina is acknowledged in these additional publications:
Carlos Montezuma and the Changing World of American Indians, Peter Iverson, 1982
Handbook of North American Indians, Vol 10, Southwest, Alfonso Ortiz, Volume Editor, Smithsonian Institution, 1983
The Papers of Carlos Montezuma, MD, John W. Larner, Jr., 1984
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Marc Reisner, 1986
Carlos Montezuma, MD: A Yavapai American Hero, Leon Speroff, 2004
Maricopa Audubon Society: 1968-2006, Bob Witzeman, 2006
Phoenix’s Ahwatukee-Foothills, Martin W. Gibson, 2006
Tucson was a Railroad Town, William D. Kalt II, 2007