June 2015 GRIN

Conference Looks at Water Use from Indigenous Perspectives

Rod Lewis presents on the history of the Gila River Water Rights legal battle.

Rod Lewis presents on the history of the Gila River Water Rights legal battle.

June 19, 2015

By GRIN staff

The University of Arizona partnered with the Gila River Indian Community to host the Water Resources Research Center annual conference, entitled Indigenous Perspectives on Sustainable Water Practices, at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino June 9 and 10.

GRIC Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis opened the conference by expressing his community’s goal to preserve the water rights it won in 2004. He addressed many of the struggles the Community and tribes across the state have endured for decades through famine and drought.

“We are at the important crossroads of building the future of our Community,” said Lewis. “It is the story of bringing back our cultural resources of healing and self-preservation.”
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Ramona Farms Grows Traditional O’otham Food

Terry and Ramona Button stand in a field of White Sonoran wheat on their farmland. The Buttons operate Ramona Farms and use part of their land to grow crops of traditional, native foods.

Terry and Ramona Button stand in a field of White Sonoran wheat on their farmland. The Buttons operate Ramona Farms and use part of their land to grow crops of traditional, native foods.

June 19, 2015

By GRIN staff

Last week, the Gila River Indian News had the opportunity to go to Ramona Farms and take a closer look at how the company established, manages, and cares for its farmland to produce traditional foods that the ancestors of this land ate long ago. 

Business owners Ramona and Terry Button have been in the farming business since 1974, when they married. Ramona is Tohono O’odham and Akimel O’otham from GRIC, District 3.
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Vechij Himdag Mashchamakud Walks Last Class of Grads

The last graduating class of Vechij Himdag Mashchamakud alternative school received their diplomas June 13.

The last graduating class of Vechij Himdag Mashchamakud alternative school received their diplomas June 13.

June 19, 2015

By Annie Gutierrez
Community Newsperson

The final graduating class of Vechij Himdag Mashchamakud walked across the stage of the D5 Multipurpose Building with heads held high and accomplishments to be proud of. 

Fifteen seniors received their diplomas June 13, all accredited with a requirement of two years of O’odham studies. Several of VHM’s students were recognized for their outstanding achievements throughout the school year. Among them were graduating seniors Siasek Lucero and Mariah Encinas, who received scholarships to attend Central Arizona College.
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GRIC Students Earn Trip to Washington DC through GRICUA

Students Jesus Flores and Anita Jones visited GRICUA, who is sending them to Washington, D.C., before they departed to the U.S. Capitol June 11.

Students Jesus Flores and Anita Jones visited GRICUA, who is sending them to Washington, D.C., before they departed to the U.S. Capitol June 11.

June 19, 2015

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Community Newsperson

Two GRIC students have been given the opportunity to participate in the Gila River Indian Community Utility Authority Washington D.C. youth tour.

A dinner was hosted in their honor to send them off with a traditional blessing provided by Barnaby Lewis and a chance for tribal leadership to provide encouragement before embarking to the nation’s Capitol.
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Eleven Graduate from ASU with Degrees in Early Education

Graduates of GRE2ATE at the ASU American Indian Convocation. Back Row: Dustin Largo (Navajo Nation), Kimberlie Beeson (CRIT), Amanda Beeson (CRIT), Jennifer Parker (TO), Neva Felix (TO), Shalynn Lopez (TO) Front Row:  Reynalda James (GRIC), Melodee Lewis (Navajo Nation), Anna Edwards (GRIC), Pamela Lucero (GRIC) Not pictured:  Kristin Benally (Navajo Nation)

Graduates of GRE2ATE at the ASU American Indian Convocation. Back Row: Dustin Largo (Navajo Nation), Kimberlie Beeson (CRIT), Amanda Beeson (CRIT), Jennifer Parker (TO), Neva Felix (TO), Shalynn Lopez (TO) Front Row: Reynalda James (GRIC), Melodee Lewis (Navajo Nation), Anna Edwards (GRIC), Pamela Lucero (GRIC) Not pictured: Kristin Benally (Navajo Nation)

June 5, 2015

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Community Newsperson

A cohort of eleven Native American students received their Bachelor of Art degrees in Early Education last month at the Arizona State University American Indian Convocation on May 15. 

“You are [our] future,” said Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis at the convocation. “[You] will be the turning stone, and will decide where Indian Country goes in the future.”

The educators attained their degrees through the GRE2ATE (Gila River Early Educators Attaining Teaching Excellence) program.
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George Webb Village Opens; Housing Construction Ramps Up in GRIC

Trina Hart (center) and the Webb family, along with Gov. Stephen Lewis and Lt. Gov. Monica Antone, cut the ribbon on Hart’s new house, the first to open in the George Webb Village housing subdivision.

Trina Hart (center) and the Webb family, along with Gov. Stephen Lewis and Lt. Gov. Monica Antone, cut the ribbon on Hart’s new house, the first to open in the George Webb Village housing subdivision.

June 5, 2015

By Mikhail Sundust
Acting Managing Editor

The George Webb Village has its first resident.

“I am extremely excited,” said Trina Hart, great granddaughter of the neighborhood’s namesake, “but I am very humbled. This is the land that my mom and my family played on, lived on, grew up on.”

Hart has been on the tribal housing waiting list since 2003. She moved into her new house last month after a ribbon cutting ceremony, which took place on her new driveway, to open the new neighborhood. She thanked the Housing Owners Team and everyone involved in making her new home a reality.
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District 7 Fitness Fest: Jude Schimmel, Waylon Pahona and Fun Indoor Workouts

The Schimmel family poses with participants of the Gila River Fitness Fest in District 7, May 30.

The Schimmel family poses with participants of the Gila River Fitness Fest in District 7, May 30.

June 5, 2015

By Mikhail Sundust
Acting Managing Editor

Gila River Community members are making a commitment to living fit.

Over 130 people attended Gila River Fitness Fest at the District 7 Service Center Saturday, May 30.

The event was held indoors and featured air-conditioned workshops on Zumba, yoga, tai chi and circuit training as well as info sessions about healthy eating and how to properly measure one’s health.
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COMPSTAT Changing the Face of Police Work

Photo from ThinkStockPhoto.com

Photo from ThinkStockPhoto.com

June 5, 2015

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Community Newsperson

With the implementation of COMPSTAT, pinpointing where crimes are the most prevalent in the Community is essential to conducting efficient police work. 

Gila River Police Chief Kathleen Elliot and Commander Raymond Soto had a chance to discuss how COMPSTAT is being utilized to put the brakes on criminal activities on the reservation.
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