Montezuma, Dr. Carlos

Dr. Carlos Montezuma, 2004 Inductee ( 1866-1923)

Stolen by the Pimas as a young boy, he was sold for 30 silver dollars a few days later to Carlo Gentile, a traveling Italian photographer. Gentile later adopted him and named him Carlos Montezuma. He became the first Yavapai medical doctor and practiced in Chicago. He gained national prominence with his newsletter, “Wassaja.” He waged a continuing struggle for Indian rights and fought for reforms in Indian health care, education and operation of the law. He returned to Fort McDowell in 1922, but he became ill with tuberculosis and died a year later. In the last years of his life, Dr. Montezuma warned his people that the efforts of the surrounding white population taking over Fort McDowell would continue. In 1915, the City of Phoenix built a pipeline across the reservation and diverted water from the Verde River for use in Phoenix. Nobody asked the Yavapai for permission and they did not receive any pay until 1922 when Dr. Montezuma pushed the matter.