Akimel O’odham/Pee Posh Youth Council swears in members
Gila River Indian News
On Sat Oct. 17, the Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council (AOPPYC) gathered with friends and families over Zoom to conduct their 33rd AOPPYC Inauguration. The inauguration acknowledged the previous council’s accomplishments and swore in new members and executive officers.
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis recognized the AOPPYC’s work during the pandemic in his opening remarks.
“I’m so proud of you all for your accomplishments during this time, by continuing to support our youth through interactive activities that are keeping us strong and safe during this time.”
He continued with encouraging words for the entire council as they will be serving during one of the most “critical times” in GRIC’s history.
Judge Jay Pedro presided over the virtual swearing-in ceremony with youth accompanied by family members to witness the oath of office.
Entering its 33rd year, the new Executive Officers are Susanna Osife, President; Junior Pancott, Vice-President; Ariana Blackwater, Secretary; and Jasmine Elizarraraz, Treasurer.
Eliana Antone, District 6 Representative, said, “This was my first swearing-in ceremony, although it was not in-person like I’d hoped it to be, it was still something I was really excited about.”
The 33rd AOPPYC president, Susanna Osife, District 2, looks forward to her role this year and understands the nature of going virtual with AOPPYC activities.
“The change has created a way for us to continue and not stop, it’s given us a way of seeing things differently and learning to take another approach. Many things have changed but didn’t, because our youth past and present will always have the drive to serve our community,” said Osife.
Lt. Gov. Robert Stone shared encouraging words during the closing remarks. “In the future, some of you will be our leaders, and I encourage you all to continue to learn and protect our language, songs, and Himdag because it’s the foundation of our sovereignty,” said Lt. Gov. Stone.
New members are excited and look forward to what the next year will bring, despite serving during a pandemic. Newly sworn-in Javonni Molina, District 3, At-Large Rep, said, “I look forward to successfully advocating for youth. I want to and make new memories with these amazing individuals. We will create some history-making events even though we’re living in a pandemic.”