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Young River People’s Council Welcomes New Leadership

Members of the Young River People's Council take their oath. SRPMIC Chief Judge Ryan Andrews administered the oath.

The future is bright for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

On December 6, the Young River People’s Council celebrated its new leadership at an inauguration ceremony at the SRPMIC Council Chambers.

President Sommer Lopez, Vice-President Alyssa Andrews, Clerical Secretary Nalani Lopez, Corresponding Secretary Ky-Mani Harney and Treasurer Elias Fulwilder, along with other members of the youth council, took the oath of office alongside family, friends and supporters. SRPMIC Chief Judge Ryan Andrews administered the oath of office.

In her speech as incoming YRPC president, Lopez paid homage to the youth council members who came before her. “I’m glad that they taught me well and they shaped me into the person I am today.

“As this year’s president, I promise to be a great leader to this council and a role model to the youth of our Community,” Lopez said. “Although this year’s council is quite young, I know that they are people willing to do whatever it takes to bring positivity to this Community, because they have determination and I have a lot of hope in them. Together we will work to make a better Salt River for tomorrow and years to come. I believe that change starts with the youth, and we have the power to do this.”

Sommer Lopez takes her oath of office as president of the Young River People's Council. YRPC Vice-President Alyssa Andrews takes her oath of office.
SRPMIC Council member Thomas Largo gave a blessing, and Council member Michael Dallas was one of two guest speakers. Outgoing YRPC President Dioné Dallas and Vice-President Ramon Lopez each shared brief remarks about their time in office. Former YRPC Vice-President Martha Ludlow-Martinez was the other guest speaker.

“Through this experience,” Ludlow-Martinez said, “you’re going to get those things that you want, those things you need, whether it is to find that confidence in yourself, to have that strength to move forward, to know what’s right and what’s wrong, that inner voice you need to start listening to if you haven’t started listening to yet—this is the place you are going to find that. The experiences you are going to get here you are not going to get anywhere else. Each and every one of you is going to do great things in the Community.”