YAN election is set for September 21, 2019
by Don Decker, YAN News
Upcoming Nation’s election brings 10 candidates to the forefront. Six candidates will by vying for the 2 council seats while 2 candidates for the Chair position and 2 for the Vice Chair position.
The General Election is slated for September 21, 2019 with polls opening at 7 a.m. at the following locations on the Yavapai-Apache Nation: Middle Verde Social Service Building, Camp Verde at the EPA office, Tunili Community Center and at the Clarkdale Learning Center. The requested abentee ballots are being sent out to voters who reside outside of the Nation’s boundaries.
The polls will close at 6 p.m. that evening on September 21, Saturday. At approximately 7:30 that evening, the votes will be tabulated in public view inside of the Nation’s council chambers.
On September 7th, Saturday, a public forum is scheduled to be held at the Council Chambers beginning at 9 a.m. and ending promptly at 12 noon. The forum is being conducted by the League of Women Voters of Verde Valley.
The following candidates have submitted their platforms to be posted on the website in addition to the upcoming issue of the community newsletter (Gahnavah-Yati News). Candidates were given ample time to submit their platforms by August 23, Friday. The candidates can continue to submit their platforms up until the election date, September 21.
The following candidates appear in alphabetical order to assure fairness. Other platforms of candidates will be posted as they arrive.
Dago te’ / Mah ha ma gah! Gah mew jeh!
Hello my name is Thomas Beauty and I am the son of Earlene Beauty and Ira Datsi, Grandson to Earl and Hazel Beauty and great grandson to Tom and Lillian Smith. I am a lifelong resident of the Middle Verde Community. I am married to Nadie Beauty (Evans) and I have three sons. My youngest son is Jared Beauty, my middle son is Joel Beauty and my oldest son is Marcus James. I am running for the Yavapai Apache Nation’s Tribal Council Position and am seeking your vote in this upcoming election on September 21, 2019.
Why should you vote for me? I have the experience, knowledge, education and integrity to fulfill the duties of a council position. I have served as the Tribal Chairman of the Nation for two previous terms and also as a tribal council member. I have a degree in Business Management and have proven through my previous tenures as a Chairman my ability to be a strong leader by representing the Nation not only at the local level but at a national level. As the former Chairman I served in various capacities such as the Arizona Indian Gaming Association Vice Chairman, the Inter-Tribal Council Association Board President, and the Arizona Tribal Gaming 2 Board Treasurer. The upcoming gaming compact negotiations and our water rights settlement are critical components for the future of the Nation, and if elected I will advocate to our sitting council members that the Nation have a seat at the table amongst all tribes to ensure our voice is heard and strongly represented.
Because of my own personal experiences of growing up on the reservation, I continue to strive for our tribal community by working for a better tomorrow which has led me to my employment at the Yavapai Apache Tribal Court as the Wellness Court Coordinator which provides individualized therapeutic help to those going through the court system that are experiencing problems with substance abuse or mental health issues. I can truly say I am doing my best to help those afflicted with this deadly disease. If I am elected as a Council Member of the Yavapai-Apache Nation I will continue serve you. I am a common sense leader with a qualified voice to represent the Yavapai-Apache Nation in a Council Member capacity and I will continue to deliver real results not empty promises. From the people for the people!
Dagot’ee! My name is Genevieve Malinda Datsi. I am seeking the upcoming term of the Chairperson of the Yavapai-Apache Nation (YAN). My parents are the late Nati and Genevieve Datsi Marquez. My grandparents are the late Robert Datsi and Laura Whitehead, the late Irene Sarah Jackson, and the late Jim Whitehead of San Carlos. My clan is Willows Growing out of Rocks. I have been involved in the community for the past seven years and I am married with six children.
I want to start by thanking my Tribal citizens for allowing me the opportunity to serve on the Council since 2017, when I was elected to Tribal Council. It has been an honor to work with, to learn from, and to represent my citizens. I would like to continue to meet you all in person if reelected, but until then here is my background.
In 1988, after gaining a diverse range of experience in law through my employment with O’Connor, Cavanagh, et al., Quarles & Brady Streich Lang, Jennings Strouss & Salmon, Gust Rosenfeld and The Chaudhuri Law Firm as an Executive Legal Secretary/Paralegal/Office Manager, I was challenged to further my education.
In 2002, I earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Tribal Court Advocacy at Phoenix College. I also studied Political Science at ASU, where Native American professors and attorneys instilled in me the importance of acquiring a thorough understanding of Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law, constitutional law, and alternative dispute resolutions.
As a Tribal Court Advocate, I had the opportunity to practice law in the Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Court, Fort McDowell Yavapai Court, San Carlos Apache Tribal Court, and volunteered as a Maricopa County Court Appointed Special Advocate for Indian Child Welfare Act cases.
During my term, YAN citizens have commanded an accountable, transparent, and well-structured government that will continue to uphold the Constitution of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
In 2003-2005, 2013-2016, I was appointed Associate Judge of the Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Court and obtained judicial education through the Arizona Judicial College and the National Judicial College. With these essential skills, I was appointed Chief Judge of the Havasupai Tribal Court in Supai, Arizona.
I will continue to serve all YAN citizens by maintaining a thorough knowledge and adhering to the Constitution of the Yavapai-Apache Nation, while pursuing Resolutions and Ordinances that govern the duties of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and the Tribal Council. With my acquired legal knowledge and skills, I will continue to assist with drafting and editing policies, ordinances, and resolutions so that Council have a better understanding in how decisions are made that can help determine which policies might be best for the YAN.
A few highlights of my advocacy resulted in the passage of the 2019 Budget (resulting in a surplus of $360,000), Budget Policy (no budget policy ever existed prior to 2018), Donation Policy (for YAN citizens only), Eliminate Personal Loans Policy (strict adherence to the Revenue Allocation Plan), Resolution Designating for 2019 the $1,000 Holiday Bonus (Projected Non-Gaming Revenues fund the holiday bonus), passed a Resolution Segregating Quarterly Santa Ysabel Revenue Sharing Trust Fund (RSTF) ($275,000 balance), prior to November 2018 these funds supplemented the General Fund.
Through the years that I have been employed, I have learned the importance of strengthening tribal self-determination for the betterment of the YAN as a whole. I appreciate the value of reciprocity and compromise in politics where you have to keep your values even when the adversary paints you as a difficult and unwilling participant; and sometimes that means in order to do the most good for the people you must partner with other organizations. My belief is that those with the ability to help others must do so for the good of the YAN and not for personal gain.
I want to be your voice to engage, inform, and inspire constructive dialogue but most importantly to listen to the people. I will continue to serve all YAN citizens, and advocate on your behalf with the Council to create positive change for all concerned. My passion for the YAN culture and advocacy for improving self-determination, protection of our Tribal sovereignty, cultural revitalization and self-sufficiency will be strengthened.
I want to be part of the Executive Branch that will work together with the Legislative and Judicial Branch that can find common ground and work together. I want to be part of the leadership that can resolve, not only today’s problems, but also can plan for the future.
If elected as your next Chairperson, I will implement the following during my first year to include:
Culture: Enhance cultural literacy programs by advocating for YAN citizens to become teachers of our language; implement policies that protect our language, ceremonies and customs; enhance funding for cultural activities. Our cultural language defines kinship relationships that are unique and are the sole means by which indigenous peoples can speak to their people. And they express the beliefs on which cultures are anchored. In other words, a native language does not just reflect a culture; in a functional sense it is the culture! That is why preventing the loss of our sacred language(s) is so important. When a language dies a piece of humanity/culture dies with it.
Safety: Enhance policing of our communities to deter criminal activity, prevent violence & illicit drugs; enhance Victim Rights Ordinance to ensure victims have access to services; advocate for funding for the creation of a safe home for victims of domestic violence. YAPD will have to conduct regular wage comparison studies in an effort to remain competitive to recruit/retain more YAPD officers.
Financials: Team up with Social Services and Human Resources to create opportunities for employment, training and education to help our citizens out of poverty; advocate for the creation of a policy to designate a revenue stream to reduce the Nation’s debt; participate in community meetings; deliver Annual Report to YAN citizens because Council should be pleased to share activities, accomplishments, and highlights that occur each fiscal year because we are fortunate to have great partnerships with tribal health stakeholders, Housing Program, Agriculture Program, SEO Business Enterprises, and YAN stakeholders.
Economic Development: Collaborate with successful economically viable Tribal Nations who have offered to share vital economic generating strategies; be proactive and apply for economic development grants to build our economy; support our Tribal citizens businesses (hair salon, nail salon, catering, auto repair shop, landscape service, legal services, janitorial, tire repair shop, professional consultants, musicians, the list is endless!)
Education: Advocate for quality education to include Science, Technology, Engineering & Math; advocate for a funding source for parents and children who desire alternative education; enhance summer youth programs to include financial literacy, workplace skills and entrepreneurship; advocate higher education for all citizens for a sustainable Tribal citizen workforce.
Housing: Advocate additional funding for the homeless; advocate for a fair selection process for YAN citizens who are homeless; advocate for a fair selection process for rehabilitation of homes; advocate for a housing security force to work in conjunction with the YAPD; advocate for the enactment of the Land Use Code to allow Tribal citizens access to land to build their own homes.
Infrastructure: Advocate for the creation of a Capital Improvement Fund and designate a revenue stream for maintenance of water and sewer infrastructure; advocate for the development of the Clarkdale community’s water and wastewater infrastructure by collaborating with Congressional representatives (Why pay for sewer & wastewater service fees for the next 100 years). (Ref, IGA)
Water Rights: Ensure that the Executive Branch adheres to Resolution #100-133, “. . . the Water Rights Negotiation and Oversight Team shall consist of (9) members of the Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Council . . . which Team is tasked with managing, negotiating and reaching a settlement of the Nation’s Water Rights and Claims . . .” Water is Life!
The above are illustrative examples of the Action Plan that will contain an outline of goals, objectives, measurements, action steps and responsibilities for each step during implementation.
We can and will do this together! There is more work to be done that can only be accomplished by working together for the good of the people! To do this, I humbly ask for your support in voting for me as your next Chairperson of the Yavapai-Apache Nation. Thank you. Please follow me on Facebook at Genevieve Datsi for YAN Chair!
My name is Ricardo J. Pacheco. I was born on August 1, 1989 to Jeanette Beauty Rivera. I am the youngest of 6, the grandson to Earl Beauty and Hazel Smith making my extended family quite large. I have two wonderful kids, Kendra, age 9 and Joseph, age 7.
I am currently on the Business Board and Benefits Committee for the Tribe. While also being a manager at La Fonda Mexican Restaurant, I have also worked at the Casino in the past for 5 years which gave me the knowledge of how gaming works.
Now that I have introduced myself let me tell you why I am the best candidate for Tribal Council. Due to my experience in Business, Management and in Gaming, I will come in with fresh eyes and open ears. I’ll be a new face and body willing to do what is right for our Tribe. I am hopeful that there are no problems. However if there is, I will find a way of fixing them with headstrong determination.
The reasons stated above are why I should be elected for Council. I will not make promises because I don’t want to let anyone down including myself, my family but more importantly, you the voters who put me in this position to represent us all.
Ricardo J. Pacheco
I ask for your support and to vote me as your next Councilmember. I have lived in Clarkdale all my life and attended Clarkdale, Mingus Union High schools and attained my GED, and worked for the Nation in the Tribal Gaming Office for several years, and have a good knowledge and experience in Indian Gaming which is our Nation’s livelihood providing employment for our Tribal citizens; therefore, as an Elder, I can represent the Yavapai-Apache Nation in many ways.
I have seen some progress along the way and yet, sometimes, we are just idle and do not advocate much for our citizens of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
As you all know I always have been an advocate for our Nation and its citizens. I always advocate for preference for tribal citizens in employment and housing.
I have witnessed the growth of new housing and lack of progress for all citizens to acquire a home. We need to make informed decisions to prepare for the growth of our Nation where we can provide for our people.
The way we are, what we’re doing now, how we train our children and what is the biggest problem that we have here, all that we don’t look at. It is possible to change them but sometimes we don’t like changes; oftentimes we think change is going to happen.
I have the ability and commitment to serve on the Tribal Council. Some of you attend the Tribal Council and Community meetings and I want to thank you for being involved.
One major concern is the lack of communication from our elected leaders and the lack of community involvement of the Nation’s citizens. We all live here and go through all the issues, the major problems and the minor problems that we have here. I am here to assist you as your next Councilmember.
It would be an honor serving as your elected leader representing our Nation’s people. Thank you for your vote.
Editor’s note: The remainder of the candidate’s platforms will be posted in the same order as the others as they are recieved.
Other candidates vying for the seats being vacated
Hello, my name is Jon Huey. I am a candidate in the 2019 Yavapai-Apache Election for Chairman of the Yavapai-Nation. I am currently working with the Yavapai-Apache Police Department as the Chief of Police. I am married and have 5 awesome children with the oldest in college and the youngest in daycare. I am 40 years old and have resided in Camp Verde primarily my whole life besides a brief stint of college in Scottsdale and my previous job in Dewey Arizona. I graduated from high school in 1997 from Camp Verde. My biological mother was Kiki Kaska from the Rimrock Reservation. I was adopted before I was a year old by my parents Harold and Donna Huey. I have never lived on the YAN Reservation but through my work in law enforcement I have come to know the community very well.
As a candidate for Chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation I would like to bring forth ideas that involve building a safer community in some of the high crime areas. I would like to look into stricter rules and laws within the Nation that may proactively reduce drugs and domestic violence as well as stronger policies for the YAN Tribal Housing Department that will allow them to better serve the communities. I also have ideas on improving the “Exclusion Ordnance” for non-tribal members by working with the tribal council and the attorney general’s office and bring forth the problems that I have experienced through working in law enforcement for our tribe.
There is a current issue of hiring and retention of police officers for the communities. I would like to see the problem addressed more seriously. I am aware of the problems the tribe faces with dealing with this issue specifically but, the problem needs to be addressed and not pushed to the side. Lack of officers in the community and high turnover rates only makes our communities struggle to be safe for our children more and more each year.
Another strong focus point within the Nation is providing a stable and consistent government by meeting with every department of the tribe and supporting them in their goals and objects as much as possible.
Culture within our Nation should be supported by incorporating culture preservation into our day to day jobs. Because we are a sovereign tribe that can regulate or our own rules and policies to a point, we have the right to make our employees learn the Yavapai or Apache Culture including traditions and language. I believe weekly classes should be made available for either Yavapai or Apache languages and all employees should be required to attend. Our culture is slowly being loss every day and our teachers are reducing every year so an aggressive stance should be held to save some of the culture that our tribe ancestrally used to make us who we are today.
These are only some examples that I have provided for goals that I would like to see challenged and improved. There are many facets of issues and concerns that Native Communities have to be involved in such as water rights, tribal gaming, congressional concerns, grants, culture preservation, economic development, higher education, land acquisition and the list goes on and on.
Since I started working with the Yavapai-Apache Police Department in 2002 and also being a tribal council member for two consecutive terms, I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge on how the Yavapai-Apache Nation operates. I have had successes and failures during my service to the Yavapai-Apache Nation which has only strengthened my beliefs, my confidence and my thoughts on how to be an ethical leader.
These are all merely just words and ideas but I challenge each and every one of you eligible voters to give me a chance. Let me know show you what I can do and not just put it in words. I don’t take on challenges to lose, I’m competitive by nature and when I have goals presented, I like to see them through.
I wish you all the best in this big decision on deciding who you would like to see as your Chairman and representative for our people.
I am David Kwail, son of Harvey “Gold Maker” Kwail, a Yavapai who was born in old San Carlos now covered by a lake. At the age of 9, his father, Rim ki nah Kwal (ka-pan-yah), brought him and his 8 siblings back to the Verde Valley in 1900’s.
My mother, Helen Johnson is a Tonto Apache of the “Standing Walnut Clan” who was born at Yager Canyon on the south slope of Mingus Mountain. Her father was working on building the road to Prescott from 1918 to 1919.
I have worked for the Yavapai-Apache Nation as the Community Health Representative Program Director beginning in 1971 through 1995 and again from 2007-2010.
I was employed at the Cliff Castle Casino for a year and served on the Gaming Board as well.
I have been elected 7 times as a Council Member, 2 times as the Vice Chairman, 5 times as Chairman. I also attended Northern Arizona University for 2 years in 1984.
I am running as a Candidate for the position of council member. I have experience and the leadership to serve the Yavapai-Apache Nation people. My leadership consist of abiding by policies and procedures that have been approved and adopted by past Tribal Councils, for the apportion of all our businesses in the courts, police force, education, housing, health services, administration, finance, employment, water projects, sanitation services, social services and recreation activities just to mention a few programs.
*To abide by the YAN Constitution and to not be misguided or misinterpret its language
* A leader who knows how our government should be operated.
*I will listen to all concerns. There are two sides to all issues and I would like to hear everything before making a decision.
I am requesting your vote in the upcoming Primary Election and the General Election. Thank you in advance for your vote.
I will be your advocate in the Tribal Council while serving as your council member.
Dagoteh! My name is Tanya M. Lewis. I am a candidate for Vice Chairperson. I am the daughter of Lyman Lewis and the late Eathel Lewis of Clarkdale and the proud mother of Lance Lewis-Moore and Taylor Lewis-Moore.
I am seeking the position of Vice Chairperson because I feel our Nation is at a critical time and in need of leadership that is inclusive of our people and our tribal employees for the long-term future for all of our people. These decisions include issues such as land, resources, water, housing and a diversified and sustainable economy to ensure our people and Nation thrive for generations to come.
As a tribal member, it is my perspective our Tribal Government/Council plan and develop a future that addresses the financial, community, cultural and resource needs of our people. I feel we need to work in collaboration toward the same goals in all our decision- making process to ensure our Tribal Government is a government that reflects the vision of our people.
Communication is an important function and source to keep our people informed of the progress being made. Through collaboration and engagement of our people and employees it is beneficial to include thoughts and opinions of those who are affected and execute Tribal Council decisions. Key pillars of priority for me as a candidate regarding communication:
- Executive Office quarterly and annual
- Annual financial
- Gahnahvah/Ya Ti
- Implement working groups as an effort to include the people and employees perspectives on key leadership is an important component of creating a strong tribal government. As a candidate, I believe the Vice Chairperson provide leadership with the Tribal Council and employees. We need to work closely and collaboratively to develop short-term and long-term strategic plans. Additionally, it’s imperative to manage tribal programs and ensure programs are delivering services to the people and have the resources to meet the expected delivery of services. Key pillars of priority for me as a candidate regarding leadership:
- Work with Tribal Council to develop a comprehensive strategic plan with goals, objectives and an action plan to ensure progress.
- Work with Tribal Council to identify priority issues of concern and implement working groups to bring departments and programs together to develop a plan on addressing these It is beneficial for several departments and programs to contribute in achieving a positive outcome.
Economic Development is the Nation’s source for self-sufficiency and financial independence. Since 1995, the Nation has successfully developed a tribal economy that provides for the need of our tribal government and our people. We need to diversify our economy by creating new sources of revenue. I recognize economic development must be sustainable to ensure our Nation receives long-term benefit. Key pillars of priority for me as a candidate regarding Economic Development and Sustainable Development include:
- Work with Tribal Council and the Nation’s Departments to discuss the future financial and service needs of the tribal government. Before any plan can be developed, Tribal Leaders must perform the due diligence needed to thoroughly discuss the current financial situation of the Nation, current tribal economy, future service and financial needs. Tribal Leaders must have these discussions with the tribal communities and people to ensure the future vision and development of the Tribe’s economy reflects the needs and opinions of the people.
- Work with Tribal Council to develop a long-term Economic Development Plan, with goals, objectives, action plan, key deliverables and timelines.
Housing is the cornerstone to the growth and development of our community. As a candidate, I am concerned we do not have enough land to continue developing new housing communities and eventually we will reach capacity on existing lands for housing development. Key pillars of priority for me as a candidate regarding Housing include:
- Work with Tribal Council, Tribal Housing and the people to identify the existing housing need and future housing need of the people including types of homes and housing programs that are developed.
- Work with Tribal Council to identify a plan to grow reservation boundaries and land base to ensure the Nation will have the land resources for development for generations.
- Work with Tribal Council and Tribal Housing on a 5-year Housing Development Plan that accommodates the housing and financial needs of all tribal members.
Education is a key to a successful future for the Nation and our youth are the future of the Nation. We must ensure they have the resources they need to support education and workforce development.
Elders of the Nation are our living treasures. Our tribal elders are our mentors and wisdom keepers. As a candidate, it is my philosophy we need to make sure our elders have access to activity and included in our tribal government. By working with Tribal Council and the Nation’s Elder Program we can identify additional needs and resources needed to make sure tribal elders have access to activities, social engagement, etc.
I have worked with the Executive Office for 5 years as the Executive Assistant with the opportunity to work on many important tribal issues from water rights, land-use, Indian gaming, cultural heritage and tribal government policy. Through my work, I developed many external relationships with local city and town dignitaries, other Tribal Leaders, members of the Arizona State Legislature and the Arizona Congressional Delegation. My work has given me experience and knowledge of the current challenges our Nation faces and exposure to the solutions our Tribal Leaders have determined.
As a candidate, I recognize it takes more than one (1) person to make a difference in tribal government. It takes a leader to bring everyone together to initiate these discussions and work together to make a positive impact for our people. I am committed to being the voice of our people and being the leader to initiate the discussions that will progressively work towards building a sustainable future for the Nation and our people.
To begin, I would like to Thank the members of the Yavapai – Apache Nation for voting me into the General Election which will take place September 21, 2019. It would be my honor and privilege to have the opportunity to represent our various communities on and off the reservation, as the Vice Chairperson if elected into office. I understand that there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed within our Nation and I also realize that there has been a lot success’. Everyone keeps asking me; who am I, what am I about, and what are you going to bring different as a tribal leader. For many years, the issues remain the same: culture, economic growth, elders, education, youth, prevention, substance abuse, housing, employment, water rights, medical, blood quantum and constitution. And these issues will continue to arise if we don’t have the mindset of moving forward and empowering our people. I once attended a workshop sponsored by the Nation that addressed our ability to act and move thru society, this workshop was very interesting because it really made me contemplate the role I was playing in the continuance of the survival of my ancestors and asking myself, “as a people, are we really an example of sovereignty”? The Webster Dictionary defines sovereignty as the following:
Definition of sovereignty
1a : supreme power especially over a body politic
b : freedom from external control : autonomy
c : controlling influence
2 : one that is sovereign especially : an autonomous state
3 obsolete : supreme excellence or an example of it
What does this word mean to each and every single member of this tribe? Simply this, we as a people have the power and authority to not only self-govern but to also move forward with the times through economic growth, cultural identity, and sustainability. I advocate for the future generations and am a firm believer in navigating through two worlds with education and culture intact. The future of our existence is dependent on our language and culture and in order to preserve our rich heritage, we need to share our beliefs by supporting groups such as: UNITY, the elder program, culture program, local schools, Montessori and Daycare. We have the ability to incorporate cultural sensitivity classes as part of the hiring process for our future employees, so they have a better understand about the diverse population they will be serving. Many times individuals come to work for the tribe and have no idea who we are, the length of our existence and the strength and perseverance of our people. Historical and generational trauma truly does existence and many times it is masked with the use of addiction. Many tribes across the United States and even overseas have struggled with colonization and the hopes of complete extinction by the government but, like many we preserved and pushed forward. Addiction and substance use isn’t going to completely disappear without the help of everyone. There is an old saying “it takes a village to raise a child”, and it that context, “it is going to take village to heal the trauma”. As a community we can support one another by encouraging our youth to participate in cultural activities, being active in the schools are children are attending (be the voice that is so often not heard) and rally around those who are suffering from addiction with support and compassion. As a leader, employment opportunities should be in place to help support those who are in need of behavioral health, addiction counseling, domestic violence, elder abuse, vulnerable victim abuse, life skills classes and family relationship counseling.
Before our removal, our ancestors occupied hundreds of acres of land up and down the Verde River. Today, we have 1,824.33 acres of trust land separated amongst (5) parcels and 4,626.78 acres of fee land. We as a nation have bought back this land through purchases made possible by the foresight of our past leadership and economic development program. Within the boundaries of the reservation we currently own and operate some of the most successful companies in the Verde Valley, we are the leaders in employment opportunities. The lands are also occupied by tribal members: there are currently homes being built in Clarkdale and Tunlii has expanded by adding a community building and more housing. As our tribe continues to grow in numbers, we as leaders need to work with resources to expand our housing projects, obtain land and update our current housing code that truly reflects the needs of the community as a whole.
As the late Mary Sine stated “as long as the river flows, life will be good.” This quote is so profound, water is the life line of who we are and it is moves upon the earth like the veins in our body. For centuries we have utilized the river like our everyday grocery store. Everything along the river was used and had purpose. There is medicinal medicine, trees used to construct housing, plants used for utilitarian purposes: baskets, shoes, cradle boards, rope, water proofing baskets, just to name a few and above all food. Many tribes visit our community and often say that we are blessed to be living along the Verde River and still have the natural resources of our ancestors. Our water rights have been in negation for over 40 years, as leaders we sit at the table and talk about the future of our people and realize that water is life. It encompasses and effects everyone especially in Arizona. On August 26, 2019 our tribal leaders along with 21 other tribes sat with State officials to discuss the water conservation policy. I am not privy to those discussions but I am committed to communicate with the community in the future of our water rights and conservation and will work in accordance with our water negotiation team to ensure that our voice is being heard and our nations needs are being met.
According to the Yavapai – Apache Nation enrollment department we have 2,612 enrolled tribal members. The constitution outlines the foundation for our enrollment code and in the code membership criteria is the following:
- All persons of Indian Blood whose names appear on the official census roll as of April 1, 1934, with the supplement thereto of January 1, 1986.
- All children born to any Member who are one-fourth (1/4) degree Indian Blood. This means the child is not eligible for Membership if:
- The child has less than one-fourth (1/4) degree Indian blood; or
- Any of the following circumstances apply to the child:
- The child was born before the parent became enrolled in the Nation;
- Unless at the time of the child’s birth, the parent was not enrolled in the Yavapai- Apache nation due to circumstances beyond the parent’s control and the parent has never been enrolled in another.
- The child’s parent was removed from the Nation’s Membership either voluntarily or involuntarily ( per sections 902-908 of the Code) before the time of the child’s birth; or
- The child’s parent’s Membership rights were suspended for dual enrollment at the time of the child’s birth;
- Unless the parent has taken action pursuant to Chapter X of the Code to eliminate the dual enrollment issue and the parent has remained enrolled with the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
- All persons who are one-fourth (1/4) or more Yavapai-Apache Indian Blood.
- All persons who qualified for and were accepted into membership under the Membership requirements contained in the Constitution and By-Laws of the Yavapai-Apache Indian Community, Arizona, adopted October 24, 1936 and approved by the Secretary of the Interior on February 12, 1937, as amended on June 21, 1947, and approved August 5, 1947.
- The child was born before the parent became enrolled in the Nation;
Our tribe currently has a constitution committee in place and their task is to make changes to the existing constitution that better reflect who we are as members of this tribe and they are also tasked with working with the community members by corresponding through meetings, surveys, mailers and conferences that discuss the importance of the constitution. The blood quantum issue is big and hot in Indian Country and not only an issue that we as members of the Yavapai – Apache Nation have to think about. As tribal leaders it is our responsibility to advocate and listen to our people and voice the concerns that come forth, the changes to blood quantum don’t begin with the leadership. The changes will happen with the empowerment of the people voicing their opinions and being at the voting sites when a constitution referendum takes place.
As leaders of the Yavapai – Apache Nation, we have an inherent responsibility to uphold the constitution and that document clearly defines our roles. The Preamble states:
We the people of the Yavapai-Apache Nation, also called the Yavapai-Apache Tribe, of the Verde Valley, Arizona, do hereby adopt this constitution in order to:
– promote the common welfare of our Tribe,
– protect our people, land and natural resources now and in the future,
– acquire additional lands for the benefit of the Tribe,
– protect our Indian heritage including our religion, customs, and language,
– preserve, secure and exercise all the inherent sovereign rights and powers of an Indian tribe.
This constitution shall supersede the Constitution and By-laws of the Yavapai-Apache Indian Community, Arizona, adopted October 24,1936, and approved by the Secretary of the Interior on February 12,1937, as amended June 21, 1947 and approved August 15, 1947, and shall govern the Yavapai – Apache Tribe from its effective date.
Again, I am humbled and honored to have an opportunity to be considered a candidate for the Vice Chairperson of the Yavapai – Apache Nation. I come with the willingness to help move this nation forward and continue to be an advocate and voice for all my relations, on and off the reservation. WE come from humble roots and our ancestors and past leadership saw a brighter future for their people and if given the opportunity I would continue moving us forward always respecting who I am and where I come from.
Wasiva m’hahnik m’vohjih
Brian Hood Marquez
Dah go te’ (hello) to the Yavapai-Apache Tribal Members of the Yavapai-Apache Nation. My name is Roberta L. Pavatea. I currently live on the Camp Verde Reservation. I’m the mother of two sons- Adrian and Donald FallsDown (who recently passed away). I have two grand-daughters Alysia and Malayshia FallsDown. My mother was the late Rebekah Smith, daughter of Tom and Lily Smith all tribal members of our Nation. As a grass roots woman, I’m your sister, auntie, grandmother and to some, a second mom. I’ve been there for you spiritually, financially, on legal issues, or as an advisor, a shoulder to cry on, or sharing a good laugh. I, as an elder. am proud to say I have a strong bond with the People of our Nation, young and old, on and off the reservation.
I believe change has to happen. It begins with putting in a person with strong moral values, ethics, integrity, loyalty, a critical thinker, professionalism, a heart for the people, is compassionate, is sensitive to tribal issues, displays perseverance, has confidence, respect, not afraid to speak up, is humble and not boastful, a good listener, and all other qualities a strong leader must possess.
If elected for council I would recommend a true transparency policy, the books would be opened, the financial status of the Nation will be shared and made known to tribal members, the meetings will be opened, tribal members input on all agendas, executive meeting on a specific day, friction and hostility during council meetings will cease, lift up public-community-employee morale, more in-house training for tribal member, clean up employee handbook with input, advocate for elder’s council, review salaries and job descriptions, re-evaluate boards-committees-commissions, hold GM accountable to his contract-review, schedule set meetings for the year, less travel for Chair and Vice Chair according to budget, Chair’s salary set by the vote of the people at a public meeting, more communication between the people and the Administration, review housing occupancy policy by applying the Nation’s Sovereignty, hold the legislative body to their responsibilities as policy makers and law makers, tribal council members held accountable for interference with departments-programs (micro-managing), cut the strings from administrators scrutinizing the newspaper. These are just a few things that need to be cleaned up and taken care of by the council member. Remember you heard it first from my platform. This information is known by tribal members who live on the reservation; those who live off don’t see things as a problem. The council member needs to take care of home first. Clean up the little things will allow time for the most critical issues. There will be a real true separation of powers as the Constitution states. By putting all these words into action expect CHANGE. I have the skills, knowledge, experience and education to make progress work for us, not against us.
I thank those individuals who believed in me and supported me running in the past and present elections. I’ve demonstrated to you my leadership skills while in council and at council meetings for 34 years. Make the right choice again and vote Roberta Pavatea for council member of the Yavapai-Apache Nation @ the General Election on September 21, 2019. God Bless You All……..this election is in remembrance to my son Donald, his last words were (“Don’t give up on our people, mom).
Greetings! I would first like to extend my gratitude and appreciation for your support and vote for my candidacy in the Primary Election. Although I did not make it into the General Election as a Vice Chairperson candidate, I am still a candidate for the position of Tribal Council Member.
My platform remains focused on the future of our Nation, which includes continuing the protection of our sovereignty, language, culture and land, strategizing for economic growth and securing our financial future through our fiscal responsibility.
We must lead by example and ensuring that we are paving the way for our youth so that they can one day step into our shoes and create a greater future. We must keep our Tribal Council accountable that they are working for the betterment of the people of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
I am asking for your support and for your vote. While I cannot promise immediate change or to make a difference overnight, I can promise that I will work to the best of my ability for the people of the Yavapai-Apache Nation. Let’s work together to find solutions to what we are facing today so that we can create a better future for generations to come.
I am the daughter of Tony Shirley and the late Brenda Shirley. My maternal grandmother is the late Annabelle Lowry and my paternal grandparents are the late Ben and Alberta Shirley. I am from the Standing Walnut Clan on my mother’s side and the Salt Clan on my father’s side.
I received my Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Letters and Sciences with concentrations in Anthropology and Business at Arizona State University (ASU).
After graduating from ASU, I have worked in different capacities with the Yavapai-Apache Nation from Public Relations to the Tribal Courts and Community Services. I currently serve as the Chairperson for the Constitution Reform Committee with the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
In recent years, I have dedicated time to encourage and support our youth such as serving as an advisor and supporter for the Yavapai-Apache Nation UNITY Youth Council and helping to create a running group for a small group of our Tribal youth. For the last 4 years, I became a Sunday School Teacher in the Children’s Church at the Middle Verde Rock Church.