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Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts successful Self-Governance Professionals Workshop and Strategy Session

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts successful Self-Governance Professionals Workshop and Strategy Session
Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman Robert Miguel and Leona Kakar during the Self-Governance opening reception on September 9. Photo courtesy of the Ak-Chin O'odham Runner Newspaper

The Ak-Chin Indian Community hosted the 2019 Self-Governance Professionals Workshop and Strategy Session September 9-12 at the Events Center at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. This event provides an opportunity for leaders from other Tribes with Self-Governance programs to network and discuss strategies. This year’s event brought a record 100-plus attendees, according to an article in the Ak-Chin O’odham Runner.

A reception kicked everything off with entertainment from local cultural groups. Two well-known Ak-Chin Indian Community artists, Sally Antone and son Dwayne Antone, were also introduced and their art was showcased.

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts successful Self-Governance Professionals Workshop and Strategy Session

Photo courtesy of the Ak-Chin O’odham Runner Newspaper

At the reception, guest speaker and former Ak-Chin Chairman and Farm Board Chairman Leona Kakar provided an oral history of the Ak-Chin Indian Community. She shared how the Ak-Chin Farms started, according to the Ak-Chin O’odham Runner article. She also discussed the Ak-Chin Indian Community’s recent water rights settlement, in which the Ak-Chin Indian Community will continue to receive up to 10,000 acre-feet of additional water from the Colorado River each year there’s a surplus.

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts successful Self-Governance Professionals Workshop and Strategy Session

Photo courtesy of the Ak-Chin O’odham Runner Newspaper

The second day offered a Self-Governance Professionals Workshop. The day started with the Ak-Chin Indian Community Color Guard posting the colors and the Ak-Chin Language Program performing the National Anthem in the O’odham language. Ak-Chin Indian Community Vice Chairman Gabriel Lopez presented a blessing, followed by a welcome from Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman Robert Miguel.

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts successful Self-Governance Professionals Workshop and Strategy Session

The third day, representatives attended Self-Governance Strategy Sessions. Ak-Chin Indian Community Councilmember Delia Carlyle moderated a session on Using Recent Research in Advocacy Efforts. Wednesday ended with a viewing of RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle.

Attendees also visited different projects within the Ak-Chin Indian Community.  These included tours of the Multi-Purpose Justice Complex, the Water Reclamation Facility, Ak-Chin Farms, Central Chiller Plant, and the Him-Dak EcoMuseum, with a focus on Self-Governance in Action.

Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts successful Self-Governance Professionals Workshop and Strategy Session

The 2019 Self-Governance Professionals Workshop and Strategy Session was an excellent opportunity for representatives from other Tribes to network and share ideas. Congratulations to the Ak-Chin Indian Community for hosting a successful event!

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Carolyn Sostrom is a long-time Arizona resident who loves desert sunsets, warm weather and zumba. As a writer, she’s covered technology, medical and travel topics.

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