News for Thursday, April 26, 2018 | More News
2018 NOTICE OF SPECIAL ELECTION AND ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUEST FORM
DEADLINE TO RETURN 04/18/2018
Released Friday, April 6, 2018 from the CRIT Enrollment Office (928) 669-1240, M-F 8AM-5PM.
TO CONTACT THE STAFF BY EMAIL PLEASE WRITE THEM AT:
Tribal Council Responses to Recall Petition
to Recall Petition
Chairman Dennis Patch
We, the members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation, in order to make the government established by the original constitution and bylaws approved August 13, 1937, a more responsive legal tribal organization and to secure all privileges and powers offered to us by the Indian Reorganization Act, establish justice, promote the general welfare, safeguard our interests, encourage educational progress, conserve and develop our lands and resources, and to secure the blessings of freedom and liberty for ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution and bylaws for the Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation.
In our preamble of the C.R.I.T. constitution we have direct responsibility to our posterity (future generations) we have to look at all our resources and how we shall proceed in setting an economy that is long and sustainable be it with our water, agriculture, solar energy, gaming and enterprises we currently have and any new future enterprises.
In our immediate future there will be drastic cuts in federal financing coming to all tribal nations, therefore, it is crucial that we look at ALL our options to ensure our tribes financial well-being.
Vice-Chairman Keith Moses
When I was
elected 3 years ago I knew there would a lot of grave issues I would need to
make decisions on none more important than water. Since day one my
education regarding water issues and our role has been ongoing.
climate today forces us to be at the seat of all water discussions.
History has shown us that everything can be taken from us instantly, as
we've seen from the taking of the La Paz lands. One day a national
emergency could be declared because of the drought and our water rights taken.
This is why we need to be at the table.
I can say that I have approached this issue with reverence for our responsibility of taking care of all our resources we were given. Each step we take is mindful of this responsibility.
Treasurer Valerie Welsh-Tahbo
At the Regular Tribal Council meeting on February 10th, I announced to the membership in the audience about how sensitive this issue is to me and all involved and will always be. I spoke about how it was difficult for my own father to speak to while a seated councilman in the 80”s, so this is no new subject matter. Because how do you perceive to maintain a balance with your economics versus culture, such clashes tear at your heart and the ultimate answer is prayer. Prayers for understanding of what’s to come and for yourself. I can’t express enough the commitment the current Tribal Council has to preserve what has been handed down from years past, to the need to prioritize our government’s needs for self-sustainability and there are many, and to do what it can to set a foundation for the future. This could not be achieved had we not had the ability to do one basic thing, the ability to communicate amongst one another with the utmost respect, humility and professionalism. The attempts that this Council has made to not just educate ourselves but the entire membership through the work sessions, through our own paper and individual letters sent from Chairman Patch’s desk.
The lease agreement came with no doubt countless questions, but never-never, with the thought of forsaking our natural resources. It came with the assurances that we established as the mighty Colorado River Indian Tribes will stand strong to voice to all who will hear that WE possess our water, WE govern what it used and WE will no longer allow our life blood to be taken without the highest compensation for all who used for free down river. If, this seated Council is to take the hits for maintaining its posture, then so be it. We entered into a maximum lease of three years for water to sit in Lake Mead for ground CRIT was not currently farming and hadn’t farmed for since about 1988. Funds generated would sit in a line item identified to improve the irrigation system around that idle ground with the goal to one day put back into production by making it marketable or farm it ourselves. As history will tell, fallowing ventures are not new and will always be an option on the table, why, because as long as there’s water, someone is going to want it, it’s what parameters are set to safeguard your valuable resource. In the recent arrangement it was deemed short-lived, with benefits to not only CRIT but to Lake Mead and the users from there.
The studies will continue, the rains and snows will fall, the river will meander and evaporate, our irrigation will seep unnecessarily unless someone DOES something, and WE chose to, to benefit our membership. I see that there is always a positive in a negative and I am pleased that we can educate ourselves and the concern lives. I’d like to thank those who actually took the time to ask me about this matter before they rendered an opinion of any sort and those who still offer their encouraging words of support. #stillsavingwater
Secretary Amelia Flores
Johnson "J.D." Fisher
I believe that the past, present and future leaders of CRIT have and will continue to have a progressive mindset to help ensure the rights of the Tribes in every facet. The Constitution has allowed for the leaders to proactively protect the rights of the members, as well as make decisions to help in "conserve(ing) and develop(ing) our lands and resources"[Emphasis Added]. It is within this clause that the CRIT Tribal Council has been able to proactively negotiate conservative measures and to enforce the quantification of consumption to protect the Tribes adjudicated water right.
The Constitution allows for CRIT to venture into economic development. Farming, Fuel, Riverfront Resorts and Gaming are just examples of enterprises the Tribes currently oversee. The Constitution does not define what is considered an economic development but encourages alternative ideas for economic development.
The Council has NEVER considered the selling of our water. It is important that the Council uphold the Constitution in all matters. We realize our members cannot be fully aware of all our actions, however, the negative, incorrect and misinformation contained in the recall could crucially effect years of progress and actions of Councils since 1937 and our preceding Chiefs.
Climate change and drought necessitates the need to aggressively protect our Water Rights.
Robert "Bobby" Page
Any negotiations I have been involved in have been in the best interest of our people. I have never talked or entertained any idea of a 100 year lease of our water. As an elected tribal councilman I swore to uphold our tribal constitution which clearly outlines my duties.
I would never gamble with the livelihood of our people. These decisions are not made with the hope we "think" this will work. I make decisions based on facts and proven results that will add value to our people and allow our futures to be prosperous. Any table we are sitting at is under our terms not the people we are negotiating with.
I have always made it a priority to go above and beyond to support our culture and traditions.
Our water is not defined in our constitution because it is a valuable resource that comes with our land. 300,000 acre-feet flows down our river and is used by others for their profit. According to the law of the river, any unused water is available to other water entities that have a lesser seniority than us. My goal is to claim that water and receive compensation for what they are already using of ours for free.
Currently BIA is putting very little maintenance into our irrigation system. According to their agreement with CRIT they should be improving our irrigation system like it was set up to be. Our irrigation system does not meet the current standards of the Bureau of Reclamation; it is an overwhelming loss to our tribe, that's why I am committed to protect the rights of our people. Through correct conservation measures of drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation and BIA upholding their responsibility to improve our irrigation system we could generate more acre-feet of reserves.
1. Receiving compensation for water: Water that is currently flowing through our system but is being returned back into the river as excess for others to use for profit.
2. Ability to wheel our water: Some other tribes may be in need of water at some point and we should have the ability to help them.
3. Keep water conserved in our Tribe: Currently any conservation that we create of excess water is given back to the Bureau of Reclamation. I propose that it is returned to us.
4. Ability to store our water: Possibly store our water in Lake Mead for a small fee. This would allow us to store excess allotted water for future uses, instead of it flowing down river.
5. Lease excess water: Currently we have enough water to farm 89,000 acres and still have excess. Short term leasing our water to other farming communities would generate income.
The quickest option would be to continue lobbying in Washington like I have been doing to get Congress to recognize our water as a natural resource that we can market for our benefit. Just like a tribe that has timber, oil, natural gas or any other natural resource that the Creator has given us on our reservations.
One of the most important things to understand is that no matter what we think is best with our excess water, all the stated above options have to go before Congress for approval. This is not a decision that we are able to make without Congressional approval. My purpose is to be proactive, be looking for options for our future, and grow for our people.
We must remain vigilant, strong and united in our efforts
because the entities wishing to take our water are.
Going forward, Robert "Bobby" Page
Johnny Hill Jr.
At first I was against all but as time went by I realize I now see the big picture. I support what the council is doing with our water. People need to understand that we have only so much water. We only use a small portion of it. The rest goes by and that's what the State is looking at.
The State had a meeting with the Yuma community a couple of weeks ago on the water to start talks to try and take it. Yuma farmers and community stood together and said no.
What I'm saying is they're going to take ours too.
My question to the membership is do we lease it or do we give our water away?
We are trying to set things up for the future that we see coming fast.
VOTE NO ON RECALL.
RIVER INDIAN TRIBES---Sunday, January 21, 2018- Recently there has been a
growing amount of
originally sent out in September 2017 to all membership living on and off the
reservation to show all the
Dennis Patch (928) 669-1280
Valerie Welsh-Tahbo (928) 669-1235
Granthum Stevens (928) 669-1229
Johnson "JD" Fisher (928) 669-1287
Watch Beyond All Boundaries: Our Land, Our Water. [CRIT's rights to the Colorado River explored.] 35 minutes documentary film commissioned by the Colorado River Indian Tribes. https://critfilms.org/
CRIT Administrative Calendar for the Month of April 2018
The Colorado River Indian Tribes Gaming Agency hereby notifies the general public of the proposed Tribal Internal Control
Standards (TICS) for Class II gaming at the Blue Water Resort & Casino issued in accordance with the regulations found
at 25 C.F.R. Part 543 promulgated by the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Public Notice of 30 Day Comment Period
Tribal Internal Control Standards
Press Release Re: S.S. v. Colorado River Indian Tribes
To read more of the Miss Indian Arizona Association press release go to: http: www.missindianarizona.com
Notice of Public Hearing
On a Proposed Ordinance to amend the Government Code to add a new Article 3.
Endowment Investment Fund
Proposed Draft Code
Government Code Article 3
Endowment Investment Fund
Updated February 16, 2018.
Notice to Update Addresses to All CRIT Tribal Members
The following CRIT Tribal members need to contact the CRIT Enrollment office to update their mailing addresses
as soon as possible. If you have any questions you may direct them to their staff at (928) 669-1240, 1241 or 1304.
Allen, Shelby Miranda
Notice from the Colorado River Indian Tribes Office of the Attorney General:
At the Special Meeting held on June 8, 2017, Tribal Council enacted amendments to the Domestic Relations Code to include
Article 4: Paternity and Maternity. The Amendments enacted a paternity code and reserved a section for a maternity code should
Tribal Council choose to enact a maternity code at a later date. The paternity code governs paternity actions in the tribal court,
which seek to establish who the legal father of a child is. A finding of paternity can be used for tribal enrollment, child support,
custody, and inheritance rights of the child. Prior to its passage, a public hearing was held on September 21, 2016 where the
Office of the Attorney General accepted written and verbal comments and answered questions on the Code. Comments were
also solicited from the Department of Health and Social Services, Legal Aid, and the Courts. A work session was held with Tribal
Council on February 13, 2017. Prior to this amendment, the Tribal Court applied Arizona paternity law to cases in the court as no
CRIT law existed regarding paternity and maternity cases. If you have any questions regarding these amendments, please contact
LeeAnne Kane at the Office
of the Attorney General at (928) 669-1271. The Paternity and Maternity Code will be in effect thirty (30) days from the date of its passage, on and will be available on the CRIT website.