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Conversation With the VP - Martin Harvier

You sit on the SRPMIC Investment Committee. What is the role of that committee?

I along with President Ray and Councilmember Scabby sit on the Investment Committee and with the assistance of our financial advisors discuss the community’s long term investments portfolio, the Minors Trust and Retirement portfolio’s. We review and discuss the portfolio investments and consider any recommendations from the advisors regarding any investments that haven’t been performing over a period of time.

We also discuss any new proposed developments that require Community funding to consider if they would be good investments for our Community.

What is the overall health of the economy, and how does it affect Salt River?

Right now the national economy is doing well, so when the national economy does well it has a positive effect on the Community’s growth.

Can you tell us why the Phoenix Area Indian Health Service met on July 19 with the service unit tribes?

The meeting was held in Camp Verde with the area service unit tribes to discuss tribal shares and how moving forward those shares will be divided. Shares represent funding that can be allocated to tribes providing Indian healthcare. Our specific service unit consists of our Community plus the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, Tonto Apache Tribe and the San Lucy Village of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

We talked about shares that come into the Phoenix-area IHS office and how they would be divided when new health facilities come on line.

Years ago it was realized that the Phoenix Indian Medical Center was being overcrowded with patients and not able to serve the needs of patients requesting services at PIMC. The IHS proposed the development of three ambulatory-care units on tribal land to help with the overcrowding at the PIMC. Two care units are to be built on the Gila River Indian Community and the other care unit will be on our Community. Currently our ambulatory-care center is in the design phase and will be located on the proposed site at Country Club and McDowell Road the other two have been built in Gila River.

President Trump is recommending cuts in the federal budget. How will this affect IHS?

Cutting the federal budget is going to create a domino effect all the way to the Indian Health Services, which provides healthcare to our people. It is important to fight for as many federal dollars as we can.

What can you share about the August listening session in New Mexico with Gavin Clarkson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development at the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs?

Dr. Clarkson has scheduled meetings with various tribes throughout the country and our meeting was a broad discussion of the Indian Traders Regulation Act and how tribes felt about revenues generated through sales tax on Indian reservations. Leadership at the meeting in New Mexico felt that the tax dollars should stay within their reservations for the purpose of providing services for that tribe.

There were probably about six representatives from the New Mexico Pueblos, President Russell Begaye of the Navajo Nation and myself.

Right now, we collect our own tribal sales tax, but Arizona state sales taxes are also collected when people purchase items here and that leaves the Community. That funding goes to the state, and the state distributes that funding to cities to support services for example their police and fire departments. Leadership felt that Federal Legislation will be needed in keeping all tax revenues generated in Indian Country in Indian Country

Because of our Community’s location, which is within a large metro area, SRPMIC is able to generate significant sales-tax revenues that we’d like to be able keep and use in our own community.

The Community was asked to submit comments to the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Indian Traders Regulation Act, which staff was able to submit on our behalf on the proposed rule-making efforts.

What are you most proud of as Vice-President?

The Community as a whole and the variety of services our government is able to provide for our people. I think going through this budget season to see that our dollars are being spent on services to our members makes me feel good that we are able to do that. You can travel throughout Indian Country, even here in our state, and see tribes that have a lot of need. We are blessed to have the ability to provide for our Community members.

Open-Door Policy

President Ray and Vice-President Harvier continue to have an open-door policy for Community members to discuss their concerns or share their ideas. Please call Elyse Lewis at (480) 362-7465 to set up an appointment to meet with the president or vice-president to address any issues you may have.

Executive Office Open to Questions

If you have questions that you would like answered in the monthly President/Vice-President Interview in Au-Authm Action News, you may submit them to Dodie Manuel at Au-Authm Action News, 10005 E. Osborn Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85256. Fax (480) 362-5592, e-mail dodie.manuel@srpmic-nsn.gov, or phone (480) 362-7731.