August 2014 GRIN

Traditional Games Practiced in Sacaton

A group of young men practice songiv’ul at the Sacaton Fair Grounds on Aug. 7.

A group of young men practice songiv’ul at the Sacaton Fair Grounds on Aug. 7.

August 15, 2014

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Communications & Public Affairs Office

In the fast paced society we live in today with technology at our fingertips, our entertainment largely comes from gaming consoles, smart phones, tablets, and television. In contrast to these conveniences, there is something equally entertaining with history rooted in the Community. A group of youths in Gila River have taken to the outdoors trying their hand at playing thoka (or sometimes spelled toka) and songiv’ul.  A “high stakes” activity, as one of the teachers has characterized the games, it requires a hands on approach to learning.

On Aug. 7, a warm summer evening at the Sacaton Fairgrounds, the thoka and songiv’ul practices were about to begin. The young men were clearing the parcel of ground they were about to practice on using a sego’i branch, while the women stood in a circle singing an O’odham song, which is customary before each game.

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District 2 Art Student Published in Latest Issue of ‘Drawing’ Magazine

Sara Lucas holds open a copy of the summer issue of Drawing magazine, which published one of her still life drawings. The framed original piece is in the background.

Sara Lucas holds open a copy of the summer issue of Drawing magazine, which published one of her still life drawings. The framed original piece is in the background.

August 15, 2014

By Roberto A. Jackson
Gila River Indian News

Powerful art can be found in everyday objects.  For Arizona State University art student Sara Lucas, District 2, those objects reflect her traditional background as well as her everyday life.

In the 2013 fall semester, for her Drawing 3 class, one of her favorite art professors at ASU, Janice Pittsley, assigned a unique project that would lead Lucas down an exciting path of recognition and gratification.  For the assignment, called “Bits and Pieces,” Lucas collected items from the natural world and also manmade things to be used in a still life drawing.

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Shoni Schimmel visits Phoenix fans, UNITY sponsors Native American Heritage Night

Schimmel drives past the Mercury for a layup.

Schimmel drives past the Mercury for a layup.

August 15, 2014

By Mikhail Sundust
Gila River Indian News

Shoni Schimmel is living her dream.

The former University of Louisville standout guard is now a rising star in the WNBA. The Atlanta Dream rookie from the Umatilla reservation has captured the imaginations of every rez baller who ever hoped to make it to the big time.

Last Tuesday, Schimmel landed in the U.S. Airways Center for the second time in a month after showing people why they call her Shoni “Sho-Time” Schimmel at the WNBA All-Star Game. But this time it felt like she was playing to a home crowd, all thanks to UNITY, Inc.

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Crow Tribe Water Resource Director Impressed by Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project

Members of the Crow Tribe Water Resource Department stand at the Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project office with PMIP director David DeJong (far left) and Rodney Lewis (far right). Crow Senator Eric Birdinground (cowboy hat) and WRD Director Titus Takes Gun (center) said they enjoyed the visit.

Members of the Crow Tribe Water Resource Department stand at the Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project office with PMIP director David DeJong (far left) and Rodney Lewis (far right). Crow Senator Eric Birdinground (cowboy hat) and WRD Director Titus Takes Gun (center) said they enjoyed the visit.

August 15, 2014

By Mikhail Sundust
Gila River Indian News

Titus Takes Gun has always wanted to be an agent of change in his community.

When the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement was ratified in 2010, he thought, “That’s the perfect opportunity for me to go help the tribe.”

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McCain Files Senate Bill in Support of H.R. 1410 after Indian Affairs Committee Hearing

From left, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Diane Enos, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers and Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. share a panel before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs at an oversight hearing July 23. The three officials testified on their unique positions in regard to the proposed Tohono O’odham Glendale casino. Enos and Weiers support an effort to push legislation known as H.R. 1410 - “Keep the Promise Act,” which would effectively block the casino, through Congress. Five days after the hearing, Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona announced that they would introduce a Senate bill to complement this effort.

From left, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Diane Enos, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers and Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. share a panel before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs at an oversight hearing July 23. The three officials testified on their unique positions in regard to the proposed Tohono O’odham Glendale casino. Enos and Weiers support an effort to push legislation known as H.R. 1410 - “Keep the Promise Act,” which would effectively block the casino, through Congress. Five days after the hearing, Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona announced that they would introduce a Senate bill to complement this effort.

August 1, 2014

Mikhail Sundust
Gila River Indian News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to a surge of support for H.R. 1410, U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona on Monday announced a Senate companion bill that would block any new Indian casinos in the Phoenix-metropolitan area.

In the statement, the senators said, “We share the objections of many fellow Arizonans when we see attempts to bring Indian gaming to metropolitan areas that are on lands not connected to an extant reservation.”

Five days earlier, on July 23, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing titled “Tribal Gaming: The Next 25 Years,” an allusion to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, which established federal regulations on tribal gaming.

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Residential Programs for Youth Unveils Impressive New Facility

The new Residential Programs for Youth campus features wide open pathways, a garden area, a fitness room, a meditation room, a “river” lawn and five “cottages” with room for approximately 80 youth.

The new Residential Programs for Youth campus features wide open pathways, a garden area, a fitness room, a meditation room, a “river” lawn and five “cottages” with room for approximately 80 youth.

August 1, 2014

Christopher Lomahquahu
Communication & Public Affairs Office

In the Community, preparations are being made for the youth in the care of the Residential Programs for Youth. The new RPY facility is on the cusp of opening its doors, to serve as a new place of residence for children in the present youth home. Recently, Governor Mendoza and other GRIC dignitaries toured the 47,000-plus square foot facility, near sprawling farmland in Sacaton.

The new facility offers so much more in the way of comforts than its predecessor. Mendoza was impressed at what he has seen thus far. Kimberly Herman, the Director of RPY, recalls when Governor asked her the question, “Have you ever seen anything like this?” Her answer was, “No, I’ve never seen anything like this in Indian Country, Arizona, or elsewhere. The new facility is on the forefront of technology.”

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New Lone Butte Chevron Store Opens for Business

Vehicles stream in and out of the brand new Lone Butte Chevron Store at its grand opening July 18. The new store is on Kyrene Road, just south of the Loop 202 highway, cater-corner from the Lone Butte Casino. The tribal member-owned store boasts a walk-in beer cave, a drive-through window, a tobacco room and design inspired by traditional O’otham roundhouses.

Vehicles stream in and out of the brand new Lone Butte Chevron Store at its grand opening July 18. The new store is on Kyrene Road, just south of the Loop 202 highway, cater-corner from the Lone Butte Casino. The tribal member-owned store boasts a walk-in beer cave, a drive-through window, a tobacco room and design inspired by traditional O’otham roundhouses.

August 1, 2014

Mikhail Sundust
Gila River Indian News

The new Lone Butte Chevron Store opened its doors last month with an outpouring of support from local patrons.

At the grand opening July 18, a stream of customers flowed through the new marketplace, which sits cater-corner from the Lone Butte Casino on Kyrene Road just south of the Loop 202. They enjoyed free food, entertainment and ticket giveaways to Diamondbacks games and met local radio hosts from KNIX and Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

The new convenience store “offers patrons a large walk-in beer cave, a convenient drive-thru window for quick service, Chevron gas, and a dedicated tobacco room, offering the lowest priced and largest selection of tobacco,” said the store owners in a written announcement.
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Hometown Hero Talks About Award and Desire to Help Others

Gila River EMT Chris Holsinger with his wife Joy.

Gila River EMT Chris Holsinger with his wife Joy.

August 1, 2014

Christopher Lomahquahu
Communication & Public Affairs Office

In the previous issue of the GRIN, Gila River EMT Chris Holsinger was featured for winning the Fulton Homes and KMLE-FM (107.9) “Hometown Heroes” award.

The “Hometown Heroes” award recognizes members of the armed forces, law enforcement, and public safety. Additional requirements include being a positive role model and demonstrating leadership qualities in their community.

It was a happy occasion for Holsinger as he and his wife Joy talked about the prestigious award. Holsinger was humble and acknowledged that it is not an award he carries alone. Joy submitted a letter to KMLE “Hometown Hero” program and nominated her husband who was picked out of five finalists of the 2,000 nominations.

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