July 2015 GRIN

Track Team Native Acceleration Developing Champions in Gila River

The Native Acceleration Track and Field team shows off its strength at an evening practice in Sacaton.

The Native Acceleration Track and Field team shows off its strength at an evening practice in Sacaton.

July 17, 2015

By Annie Gutierrez
Community Newsperson

A banner with “Native Acceleration” inscribed on a field of white hangs on the gates of the bleachers on the Sacaton Middle School track. Below, in quotation marks it reads: “Success and honor through hard work, desire to respect the past and ability to stride towards the future.”

The quote is the prime example of what coach Nicholas Lewis strives for and instills in his young athletes.

“What we focus on here is fundamental knowledge about the sport of track and field,” said Coach Lewis. Native Acceleration is a six-week track and field camp focused on preparation for the Piestewa Games track and field competition.
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Young Athletes Represent GRIC at Native American Basketball Invitational

A Gila River boys team player flies into the air for a layup. The team won 54-45 July 2 at Scottsdale Community College but were eliminated on July 3 in a 59-58 loss to New Mexico team One Tribe.

A Gila River boys team player flies into the air for a layup. The team won 54-45 July 2 at Scottsdale Community College but were eliminated on July 3 in a 59-58 loss to New Mexico team One Tribe.

July 17, 2015

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Community Newsperson

The summer heat wasn’t the only thing hot in town last week as Native American basketball teams from all over Indian Country converged on the Valley of the Sun from July 1-4. 

Now in its 13th year, the Native American Basketball Invitational tournament is sponsored by the Ak-Chin Indian Community, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe.

Two boys teams represented the Community in the tournament, Gila River and Gila River Warriors, and one girls team, the Beeliners.
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West End Schools get Facelift from International Group “Hope Worldwide”

Volunteer students from Hope Worldwide paint a door frame at Gila Crossing Community School July 4.

Volunteer students from Hope Worldwide paint a door frame at Gila Crossing Community School July 4.

July 17, 2015

By Annie Gutierrez
Community Newsperson

Volunteers with the international charity organization Hope Worldwide spent their Fourth of July holiday making a difference in the Community. 

Over 900 students attending the International Campus Ministries Conference in Phoenix paid a visit to Gila River during their event to beautify Gila Crossing, Gila River Head Start, and Skyline.
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Health and Wellness Initiative Sparks Recreation Summer Youth Event

Gila River students enjoy water games at the District 1 pool.

Gila River students enjoy water games at the District 1 pool.

July 17, 2015

By Ashley Pasqual
Community Newsperson Intern

The first ever Gila River Indian Youth Summer Recreation Fitness Day was held this year, on July 13 at the Multi Purpose Building in District 1. 

It was an effort made by the Community Services Department, through the Health and Wellness initiative, to promote living healthier lifestyles.
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O’otham Celebrate Traditional New Year with Games and Ceremonies

People dance and sing to welcome the first light of the first day of the O’otham New Year.

People dance and sing to welcome the first light of the first day of the O’otham New Year.

July 2, 2015

By Annie Gutierrez
Community Newsperson

Many guests gathered at the Mul-Chu-Tha Cultural Circle to celebrate the start of the O’otham New Year June 20 – 21.

Historically in O’otham tradition, the New Year began during the summer solstice at the end of June when the hashan baithag (saguaro fruit) is ripening and the summer rains begin to fall. This is the second year the Community gathered to celebrate the event.
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D-Backs Host Native American Recognition Day

The Gila River Bears won the Diamondback’s Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball Tournament and were featured on the diamond of Chase Field at the D-backs game June 19.

The Gila River Bears won the Diamondback’s Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball Tournament and were featured on the diamond of Chase Field at the D-backs game June 19.

July 2, 2015

By Christopher Lomahquahu
Community Newsperson

The Gila River Bears won the Single A Youth Division Championship at the Arizona Diamondbacks Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball and Softball Tournament.

The team is led by coaches Gordon “Shoni” June and Joe Cooper.

The Arizona Diamondbacks host the tournament and Native American Recognition Day event at Chase Field every year in collaboration with the Gila River Casinos to bring awareness to the American Indian heritage of Arizona, while promoting sports.
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GRIC Leadership Attends Tohono O’odham Nation Inauguration

Photo courtesy of the Ak-Chin O'odham Runner Newspaper

Photo courtesy of the Ak-Chin O'odham Runner Newspaper

July 2, 2015

By GRIN staff

Above, from left: GRIC Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward D. Manuel, GRIC Councilwoman Carolyn Williams (D3), GRIC Lt. Gov. Monica Antone, and Vice Chairman Verlon Jose at the Nation’s chairman’s inauguration at Baboquivari High School on June 26.

GRIN Kids Art Contest Winners

Lt. Gov. Monica Antone with art contest winners Amare Pratt, 7, and Caitlyn Benally, 9, displaying their artwork in front of the Governance Center.

Lt. Gov. Monica Antone with art contest winners Amare Pratt, 7, and Caitlyn Benally, 9, displaying their artwork in front of the Governance Center.

July 2, 2015

By Ashley Pasqual
Community Newsperson Intern

The Gila River Indian News held a GRIN Kids Art Contest to honor the Year of Celebrating Gila River Water Rights. 

The rules were to draw a photo of a favorite water activity or body of water, make it colorful, and most of all, be creative!

Fourteen drawings were entered and featured at the Water Resources Research Center Conference on June 10. Two winners were selected by the Community Executive Office.

The winners of the GRIN Kids Art Contest came into the Communications and Public Affairs Office, with a parent/guardian at their side, and told their story of how they use water. Being shy at first, the two also shared what inspired them to draw their colorful piece of artwork.
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Salt River Artist Turns Graffiti into Fine Art – to be featured at Huhugam Heritage Center

Dwayne Manuel, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member, with his graffiti name behind him.

Dwayne Manuel, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member, with his graffiti name behind him.

July 2, 2015

By Mikhail Sundust
Acting Managing Editor

Dwayne Manuel breathes life into a ragged concrete wall with a can of electric green spray paint. He’s in an abandoned building in the middle of nowhere throwing up his graffiti name in bright, erratic letters. 

At six-foot-five with partially dreadlocked hair and a stoic scowl, Dwayne Manuel strikes an intimidating figure. But he’s a nice guy, who smiles easy, jokes a lot and whose laugh fills the room.

Manuel is Onk Akimel O’otham of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. He got his start as an artist growing up and doing graffiti on the reservation, but now, at 30, he is an accomplished artist, a high school art teacher, holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona and is well-known for his recent partnership with Nike in which he designed the sportswear company’s Desert Journey Collection, earlier this year.
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