April 2014 GRIN

Community Council elections May 6

Community Council elections will take place May 6.

Community Council elections will take place May 6.

April 18, 2018

By GRIN Staff

Candidates and voters are getting ready for the 2014 Community Council election. Districts 1,3, 4, 5 and 6 have a total of 24 names on the ballot for seven available seats on council.

Seats up for election by district: District 1-one seat; District 3-one seat; District 4-two seats; District 5-two seats; District 6-one seat.
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New gaming commissioners sworn in

Left to right: Rhonda Whempner, Serena Joaquin and Denise Allison were sworn into the Gila River Gaming Commission. Joaquin’s was a reappointment. The commission works with GRIC legislatures to ensure all legal aspects of Gila River’s gaming enterprises are carried out with the highest integrity.

Left to right: Rhonda Whempner, Serena Joaquin and Denise Allison were sworn into the Gila River Gaming Commission. Joaquin’s was a reappointment. The commission works with GRIC legislatures to ensure all legal aspects of Gila River’s gaming enterprises are carried out with the highest integrity.

April 18, 2014

By Mikhail Sundust
Gila River Indian News

Two new commissioners and one incumbent were sworn into the Gila River Gaming Commission April 14 at the Wild Horse Pass Corporate Center. Rhonda Whempner and Denise Allison are new to the commission, while GRGC Chair Serena Joaquin was reappointed to a new, three-year term.

Whempner is a Community member from the west end. Her father is the late Byron Sanderson and her mother is Melinda Sanderson. She is a former Miss Gila River (’92-’93) who currently resides in Laveen with her husband Jeff, sons Emmanuel and Aaron and daughter Danielle.

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Arizona gubernatorial candidate visits council, familiar with GRIC issues

Fred Duval, a Democrat running to succeed Jan Brewer as Arizona’s governor, spoke to the Community Council about interests shared by GRIC and the state.

Fred Duval, a Democrat running to succeed Jan Brewer as Arizona’s governor, spoke to the Community Council about interests shared by GRIC and the state.

April 18, 2014

By Joshua Jovanelly
Gila River Indian News

The voters of Arizona in November will a select a new governor to succeed Jan Brewer. No clear favorite has yet emerged, but one of the top candidates on the Democratic side is Fred Duval, who made a stop at the Gila River Indian Community Council April 2.

Duval, who grew up in Tucson, worked in former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt’s office in the late 1970s, where he worked with Lt. Gov. Stephen Lewis’s father Rod Lewis. Duval also held the position of director of intergovernmental affairs in President Bill Clinton’s White House. According to Duval’s campaign website, he brings recent experience in renewable energy and has served as a member of the Arizona Board of Regents.

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Parking lot upgrade at Ira H. Hayes Memorial Library

The front entry to the Ira H. Hayes Memorial Library recently underwent some cosmetic work from the GRIC Department of Transportation. The library received a new pavement parking lot February 19 in addition to some decorative rock landscaping, which further adds to the library’s appeal.

The front entry to the Ira H. Hayes Memorial Library recently underwent some cosmetic work from the GRIC Department of Transportation. The library received a new pavement parking lot February 19 in addition to some decorative rock landscaping, which further adds to the library’s appeal.

April 18, 2014

By Mikhail Sundust
Gila River Indian News

Sacaton bookworms have surely noticed a number of renovations at the Ira H. Hayes Memorial Library in recent years. Most recently, the Community saw fit to refurbish the library’s old dirt parking lot with brand new asphalt pavement.

Ramona Tecumseh, the librarian, and really the heart of the Ira Hayes library for the past eight years that she’s been there, was ecstatic about the parking lot upgrade.

“I am deeply grateful to GRIC DOT,” she wrote in an email. “I received numerous compliments from both Community members and visitors. It does so much to enhance the quality of life for our Community…”

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Gila River names new police chief

Chief Kathleen Kirkham outside the police station in Sacaton.

Chief Kathleen Kirkham outside the police station in Sacaton.

April 4, 2014

Joshua Jovanelly
Gila River Indian News

After more than two years of functioning without an official police chief, the Gila River Police Department has a new top official.

Chief Kathleen Kirkham, who began working in March and will be sworn in April 11, brings 20 years of law enforcement experience to her role atop GRPD. She will fill the shoes of Edward Alameda, who had been serving as acting chief since 2012. Alameda will resume his former position as a commander.

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Hemako art show provides opportunities for talented tribal members

Photographer Amy Davila at the Hemako Gila River Art Fair at the Anthony B. Shelde Building on March 29.

Photographer Amy Davila at the Hemako Gila River Art Fair at the Anthony B. Shelde Building on March 29.

April 4, 2014

Roberto A. Jackson
Gila River Indian News

The work of an artist is never done, and the work of the artist group known as the River People Collective took a big step in promoting homegrown talent at the Hemako art show.   Artists shared a creative platform at the Hemako Gila River Art Fair as they exhibited their work at the Anthony B. Shelde Building at Wild Horse Pass on Saturday March 29.

The open space of the Shelde building, as well as the back patio, was lined with a variety of artisans who displayed their work, made sales and shared the common truth of participating in a show made by GRIC artists for GRIC artists.

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19th Annual Unity Run

Runners gather in District 5 during the approximately 295 mile Unity Run.

Runners gather in District 5 during the approximately 295 mile Unity Run.

April 4, 2014

Annie Gutierrez
Gila River Indian News

From sunset to sunrise, runners from all four sister tribes journeyed together to preserve a long O’odham tradition of running and prayer during the 19th Annual Unity Run.

From March 16 to 22 over 150 runners from Tohono O’odham, Ak-Chin, Akimel O’odham (Gila River) and Onk Akimel (Salt River) ran approximately 295 miles carrying prayers and blessings to their respective communities, districts, villages and nations.“The run unifies and strengthens our O’odham hemajkam (people),” said organizer and runner Renee Jackson, D5. “The spiritual journey also strengthens our connection with our sister tribes and our O’odham jeved (land)…”

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Students see their future in Close Up program

Students in the Close Up program attended a Community Council meeting in Sacaton on April 2. The students introduced themselves at the meeting then shook hands with the council representatives. The program teaches the basics of tribal and state government as well as culture classes.

Students in the Close Up program attended a Community Council meeting in Sacaton on April 2. The students introduced themselves at the meeting then shook hands with the council representatives. The program teaches the basics of tribal and state government as well as culture classes.


April 4, 2014

By Mikhail Sundust
Gila River Indian News

The Gila River Indian Community Close Up program has been teaching inquisitive young Community members about tribal government for 15 years.

Close Up is “a boot camp of politics, so to speak,” said District 7 Councilman Devin Redbird, who, under the direction of Youth Council Coordinator Michael Preston, has been an organizer and facilitator of the camp for the past four years.

GRIC high school students from all seven districts participated in the annual three-day camp. This year, nearly 30 youth – including three members of the Akimel O’odham/Pee Posh Youth Council – joined in.

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