Letter to the Editor: GRIC Urban Members Association Opposes May Election

GRIC Urban Members Association (UMA) opposes the May election regarding the GRIC Constitutional Amendments. It is our opinion that it is in the best interest of the people that the proposed amendments should be voted on by the people in a separate Special Election and not attached to a general election, as alluded to in the Constitution. The Special Election should be held at a later date allowing for proper outreach regarding the amendments.


It is also our opinion that the GRIC Constitution is being RE-WRITTEN and not amended. Currently GRIC has a 1936 and a 1960 Constitution. If the current amendment process continues in this direction there will also soon be 2016 and 2017 Constitutions as well. The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times since 1789 and those amendments are attached to the original document. In order to avoid confusion in referencing multiple constitutions, GRIC should follow the same process.


Finally, why are we voting on amendments that pertain to matters of council first? The purpose of the Constitution is to limit the powers of government and to protect the rights of the people. It is also the foundation of our tribal sovereignty so it is extremely important that the people be thoroughly and properly informed before they cast their votes. Council members took an oath to “promote, and protect the best interest of the Gila River Indian Community…” and by extension it’s people. We believe that continuing with the current process would be a violation of that oath.


Go to our website (gilariveruma.org) and/or Facebook (GRICUMA) for more information.


Anthony Newkirk, MBA

President, GRIC-UMA