Youth council members inaugurated in District 2
November 3, 2017
Thomas R. Throssell
Gila River Indian News
The 2017 Akimel O’odham/Pee Posh Youth Council (AOPPYC) Inauguration was held inside District 2’s Service Center’s gymnasium on Oct. 28, where 18 new members were sworn in to their seats, and outgoing members were recognized for fully completing their terms.
The inauguration was attended by several tribal dignitaries, including Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, Lt. Gov. Monica Antone, and District 5 Representative Robert Stone.
Lt. Gov. Antone congratulated both incoming and outgoing members of youth council, saying their leadership is important to the community and that she was happy to be part of their inauguration.
Outgoing youth council member, and former president of the AOPPYC, Autumn Cooper, gave an emotional goodbye to the gathered crowd. She said her time spent on youth council was an amazing experience and she learned a lot working in the organization and from its members.
Youth Coordinator, Michael Preston, honored each of the outgoing youth council, telling a personal anecdote about each member, emphasizing that everyone who participated was able to learn from their experience, but each individual also brought their own knowledge into the group.
Following Preston’s farewell to outgoing members, GRIC Children’s Court Judge, Jay Pedro, swore in each of the incoming AOPPYC members.
Gov. Lewis gave the inaugurations closing remarks, saying each of the members deserve recognition and respect, and it is important the youth council members remember that they are standing on the shoulder of all who came before them.
“This is a sacred duty,” Gov. Lewis said. “What you are doing, every activity, every duty, it is a sacred act on top of all who have gone before you. It has been thirty years from the council’s humble beginnings to where we are at today. Always remember who has laid the foundation and has sacrificed to bring us where we are at today.”
Gov. Lewis closed the inauguration with a quote from George Webb’s “A Pima Remembers.”
“Now another day is coming,
Awake from the slumber,
Look toward the east,
See the rising of the sun,
Which means another day to toil.
Another day to hunt for meat,
To put the seed in the ground
That the yield might be good,
So our people may not go hungry.
The great Father provided us the sun
To give life to our earth so
That it might give us a good yield.
And that we might see
To hunt our game for meat.
So arise and muse of the day
And do not get in the way
Of the women as they go about
Fixing up the camp and the
Needed task of preparing meals for you.
Many moon, many suns have come and gone
Since our forefathers here on this same ground
Toiled and struggled so that we might
Enjoy life today.
So let us not waste this day.
But get your tools, go out to the field, or
Take down your bow and arrows
And go after the game, so that
Your family will not be in need of meat
So now I hope you will strive
To make this day the best in your life.”
Incoming 2017-2018 Youth Council members:
Lehua Lani Dosela – Treasurer
Nathaniel Talamantez – Secretary
Angel Ortiz – Vice President
Randel Curran – President
Anissa Garcia – Miss Gila River 2017-2018
Haili Gonzalez – Jr. Miss Gila River 2017-2018
AOPPYC members recognized for completing their terms:
Advisory Board Member
Duane Jackson Jr.
District 3 Representative
District 6 Representative
Alexis Flores – Treasurer
District 5 Representative
Enrique Holguin – Secretary
District 1 Representative
Precious Vicente – Vice President
District 4 Representative
Autumn Cooper – President