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DEMA Brings Kazakhstani Delegation to Salt River

Huhugam Ki Museum Assistant Thomas Jackson gives a short tour to the Kazakhstan Department of Territorial Defense (KDTD).

Ten members of the Kazakhstan Department of Territorial Defense (KDTD) visited the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on March 31 to learn more about Native American culture and government interactions related to emergency management.

The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) National Guard State Partnership Program selects a community within Arizona and connects it with a foreign country to share ideas and build relationships. This year, DEMA chose the SRPMIC to connect with members of the KDTD.

All parties, including SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier; SRPMIC Emergency Manager Cliff Puckett; DEMA Tribal Liaison Joseph Urrea; Col. Baurzhan Sakobov, Chief, Department of Territorial Defense; Col. Nurlan Zhumiyev, Section Chief, Department of Territorial Defense; LTC Azamat Dusimov, Chief of Directorate, Department of Mobilization; CPT Amir Zhumagul, Senior officer, Department of Mobilization; and U.S. Embassy (Astana) Official Escort Nafertiti Williams, shared ideas about emergency management through a presentation and tour of the Community.

An individual of the KDTD asks SRPMIC Emergency Manager Cliff Puckett a question.
Along with KDTD were two translators who played a crucial role in communication.

“I want to welcome you here to our Community and thank you for choosing our tribe to learn more about,” said Harvier as he welcomed everyone and provided a Community overview. “The term ‘partnership’ is very important to us as a tribe because of where we’re located in the Valley. Partnership is necessary and essential in working together. I believe that we’re all working together to make the world a better and safer place to live in.”

The State of Arizona sees this visit as an excellent opportunity to showcase the partnership between DEMA and the SRPMIC, as well as to model DEMA’s interaction with federal, state, local and tribal governments.

The SRPMIC Emergency Management Department submitted their presentation to the National Guard who translated it to accomodate KDTD.
“We have a lot of support for our emergency management programs, which is very important [in order] to have a successful program,” said Puckett during his presentation. “A lot of resources are available to us [if] we have an emergency, but [with that] also comes a lot of challenges. As a small community, we compete against the bigger cities, which doesn’t always allow for the resources to be granted to us. So, as a sovereign nation we like to create our own resources here internally.”

After Puckett gave his presentation, Urrea also gave a presentation about the various tribes in Arizona. This was followed by a Q&A session. The group also toured the Huhugam Ki Museum and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.