The inauguration event included the swearing in of fourteen (14) new officers including Co-Presidents Ivan Walker and Maria Walker, Vice President Rylan Johnson, Secretary/Treasurer Rosella Altaha, Public Relations Chance Hill, District I Reps Keegan Bonito and Edith Gatewood, District II Reps Tamika Palmer and Manuel Dazen, Jr., District III Reps Monica Cosay and Tanisha Cosay and District IV Reps Ignatius Lupe, Jr., Eric Mitchell, and Leona Tate.
The event was emceed by Miss White Mountain Apache Lilian Lupe, opening remarks by Vice Chairman Kasey Velasquez and the keynote address by KeAloha Alo Douma, Tribal Attorney for the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Patrice Siow, Junior Miss White Mountain Apache provided the entertainment for the event.
Harrisen DeClay, WMAT Education Director said, “I would like to welcome the newly elected officers of the White Mountain Apache Youth Council. I am confident that the incoming officers will continue the positive work of the Youth Council and continue creating a positive impact on our Apache community. The White Mountain Apache Youth Council is one of the most active Youth Councils in Arizona, and I am proud of the collective group of youth that continue to set the standards of youth leadership in Indian country.”
The newly elected officers were elected during the White Mountain Apache Youth Conference in July at Theodore Roosevelt School. As officers of the organization, the Team of youth will lead the White Mountain Apache Youth Council in determining the group’s vision and activities for the next year, as well as represent the White Mountain Apache Tribe at various events including National UNITY affiliated events.
“Our young people are the future for our Apache people. It takes a strong young person to rise above the challenges on the reservation and take it upon themselves to make a difference in our community. I am very proud of the White Mountain Apache Youth Council. I have had the opportunity to work with these youth, and their work gives me great hope for our future. I wish them the best of luck over the course of the next year with their projects, goals and travels,” stated Chairman Ronnie Lupe.
The White Mountain Apache Youth Council is comprised of Native American youth and is a member of the National UNITY organization. The Youth Council focuses on the development of leadership and personal character while the organization does substantial volunteer and fundraising work throughout the reservation.
Youth Council meetings are held at the Tribal Education building. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information contact the White Mountain Apache Education Department JOM Program at (928) 338-6080.