February 2015 GRIN

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell visits Gila Crossing Community School

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell responds to questions from students in the Gila Crossing Community School gymnasium.

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell responds to questions from students in the Gila Crossing Community School gymnasium.

February 20, 2015

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Community Newsperson

Students and faculty of Gila Crossing Community School hosted the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior Sally Jewell, who toured the GCCS campus Feb. 10. 

Her visit was a part of the Obama administration’s Native Youth Listening Tour, which is part of the Generation Indigenous initiative announced last December during the White House Tribal Nations Conference.
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Miss Gila River Lucia Antone Says Farewell

Miss Gila River Lucia Antone poses with Anissa Garcia, Miss Gila River 2nd Attendant, and Annie Gutierrez, First Attendant, at the Farewell Banquet in District 5, Feb. 14.

Miss Gila River Lucia Antone poses with Anissa Garcia, Miss Gila River 2nd Attendant, and Annie Gutierrez, First Attendant, at the Farewell Banquet in District 5, Feb. 14.

February 20, 2015

By Mikhail Sundust
Acting Managing Editor

The title of Miss Gila River is a tradition that runs deep in the history of the Gila River Indian Community.

Lucia Antone is the current reigning Miss Gila River, but as March approaches, so does the Miss Gila River Pageant and Antone is preparing to leave the crown behind for another young woman to represent the Community.

The Miss Gila River Farewell Banquet, held Valentine’s Day, was a reflection of Miss Antone: humble and elegant. At the District 5 Vah-Ki Multi-Purpose Building Feb. 14, Antone gave away shell necklaces to her family and supporters while the crowd shared a dinner of traditional O’otham foods: squash, tepary beans and chemuth.

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AmeriCorps Grant Funds Veterans Serving Veterans Program

Volunteers with the Veterans Serving Veterans program pose in front of a veteran’s house  in District 5 that they cleaned up for a service project Jan. 23.

Volunteers with the Veterans Serving Veterans program pose in front of a veteran’s house in District 5 that they cleaned up for a service project Jan. 23.

February 20, 2015

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Community Newsperson

There is a new program in the Community whose sole purpose is to serve Community veterans. Veterans Serving Veterans is a program funded by a three-year AmeriCorps Grant and run out of the Employment & Training Department, who received the grant in October 2014 on behalf of the Community.

In 2013, E&T received an AmeriCorps planning grant that allowed the department to research the needs of veterans and their families in the Community. The findings from that research led to the new grant to fund Veterans Serving Veterans.
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Sacaton Elementary Family Night on Mars

Sheri Boonstra, the director of the Mars Education Program at Arizona State University shows images  of Mars to parents and students at Sacaton Elementary School’s Family Night Feb. 12.

Sheri Boonstra, the director of the Mars Education Program at Arizona State University shows images of Mars to parents and students at Sacaton Elementary School’s Family Night Feb. 12.

February 20, 2015

By Annie Gutierrez
Community Newsperson

Sheri Klug Boonstra, director of Arizona State University’s Mars Education Program, presented on the Red Planet at February’s Family Meeting at Sacaton Elementary School Feb. 12. 

Families and faculty learned about the planet and the various research projects that NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has been conducting over the years. They also learned about the Mars Education program at ASU, which has partnered with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Exploration Education and Public Engagement Program for over twenty years.
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Housing Owners Team Cuts Ribbon on New Homes in District 1

Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis and Housing Owners Team members cut the ribbon on Rebecca Chase’s new house – the first house to be built by the HOT – in District 1, Jan. 28.

Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis and Housing Owners Team members cut the ribbon on Rebecca Chase’s new house – the first house to be built by the HOT – in District 1, Jan. 28.

February 6, 2015

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Community Newsperson

Rebecca Chase smiled at the Gila River Indian Community officials who stood on the doorstep of her new home Jan. 28 to cut the ribbon on a project the Housing Owners Team has been working on for almost a year.

Chase thanked the Community for helping her get a new home. “I’d like to thank District 1 for all their support and the District 1 Housing Committee for all their help,” she said.
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Amy Davila Photography at Huhugam Heritage Center

Amy Davila presents her artwork at the Huhugam Heritage Center.

Amy Davila presents her artwork at the Huhugam Heritage Center.

February 6, 2015

By Annie Gutierrez
Community Newsperson

The Huhugam Heritage Center is starting an exhibition series to display the works of Community member artists. The first exhibit features the photography of Amy Davila, District 4.

In one of Davila’s captivating photographs, titled “Parallel,” a barefoot woman in traditional O’odham clothing walks through her desert homeland while in the background the concrete jungle beyond the reservation thrives.

“I kind of created this traditional O’odham spirit from the other dimension into the modern world. This is my exploration of what I am thinking. If we were to practice our culture a hundred percent, would it look like this?” said Davila.
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GRHC to Open Residential Care Program ‘Vista Ké’ in District 6

Members of the Vista Ke Residential Treatment Program present the new house in Dist.6 with a landscaped backyard and grilling area. The house will be staffed 24/7 with trained behavioral health specialists to help patients reintegrate back into the community while keeping up with all their health needs.

Members of the Vista Ke Residential Treatment Program present the new house in Dist.6 with a landscaped backyard and grilling area. The house will be staffed 24/7 with trained behavioral health specialists to help patients reintegrate back into the community while keeping up with all their health needs.

February 6, 2015

By Mikhail Sundust
Acting Managing Editor

A new residential care program for people with mental illness is set to open later this month in District 6. Its mission: to provide resources and support to help people with valid mental health problems reintegrate into society.

The residential care program is a part of Gila River Health Care’s Behavioral Health Services and has been named “Vista Ké” by the BHS staff. It will house up to four residents, all male, is exclusively for Gila River Indian Community members, and will have a 24/7 staff of behavioral health professionals. Several patients have already been identified and some are transferring from similar programs outside of the Community.
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GRIC Courts Open New West End Judicial Center

Chief Judge Anthony J. Hill leads Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, Lt. Gov. Monica Antone and Councilwoman Carolyn Williams on a tour of the new modular courthouse in D6.

Chief Judge Anthony J. Hill leads Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, Lt. Gov. Monica Antone and Councilwoman Carolyn Williams on a tour of the new modular courthouse in D6.

February 6, 2015

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Community Newsperson

In a morning dedication ceremony on Feb. 2, members of the Gila River Indian Community courts cut the ribbon on the new, albeit temporary, West End Judicial Center in District 6. 

Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis welcomed the attendees and emphasized the importance of growth for the tribal judicial system’s infrastructure so that it may better serve the Community.

“I see this as just the beginning. I see this as a path to a permanent facility,” he said.

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