The first important contact of the Quechan with Europeans was with the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and his party in the winter of 1774. Relations were friendly and on Anza's return from his second trip to Alta California in 1776 the chief of the tribe and three others journeyed to Mexico City to petition the Viceroy of New Spain for the establishment of a mission. The chief, Palma and his 3 companions were baptized there on February 13, 1777. Palma was given the name Salvador Carlos Antonio.
Spanish settlement among the Quechan did not go as well as hoped and the tribe rebelled on July 17, 1781 and killed 4 priests and 30 soldiers. The tribe was punished militarily the following year.
There is a museum. On the last Saturday in February Yuma Crossing Day is held at the museum. On the first weekend in March the Native American Organization Pow Wow is held at San Pasqual High School in Winterhaven, California. There is a 4th of July Celebration and Indian Day dances in September. There are Bingo and RV facilities.