Cover Story

Chief Judge Delbert Ray, Sr. swears in new Young River People’s Council President Devanie Duwyenie as her great-grandmother Selma Andrews serves as her witness.
Photo by Mary Andrews

Newly Elected Members of YRPC Sworn In

By Tasha Silverhorn
Au-Authm Action News

On Friday, May 14, the Young River People’s Council (YRPC) held their 2010 Inauguration Ceremonies at the Salt River Council Chambers.

The program included a prayer by Ms. Sharon Selestewa, parade of colors from the Salt River High School JROTC group, a special message by Community Vice President Martin Harvier and a message from former youth council member Brandon Paukgana.

Chief Judge Delbert Ray, Sr., swore in new YRPC President Devanie Duwyenie, Vice President Jose Martinez, Secretary Elisa Briones and Promotional Representatives Michael Antone, Antonio Briones, Elaina Gutierrez, Mavi Leonard, Marcillina Martinez, Jessica Ruiz, and Kaily Toney.

Newly elected YRPC President Devanie Duwyenie is 16-years-old and is a sophomore at Mountain View High School. She has been a part of the YRPC for the past three years and has held a promotional representative position prior to becoming president.

“I learned how to talk better in front of people and I got over stage fright,” said Duwyenie as she explained what they YRPC has taught her. “Also, I learned more about tribal government and how to network.”

The best part of being a part of the youth council is going to the functions that take place in the Community, doing Community service, going to the Four Tribes meetings, attending conferences and meeting new people, explained Duwyenie.
“I encourage the youth of Salt River to come see what youth council is about and see if it is something you would enjoy,” said Duwyenie.

Newly elected YRPC Secretary Elisa Briones is a senior at Westwood High. She is 18-years-old and has been a youth council member since 2008 and held the Vice President position in 2009.

Her advice to youth in the Community is to be active in the Community. Salt River has given so much to us and this is just another way to give back to the Community.

“We’re active in Community events and assist in anyone who needs assistance, we help serve and give a hand wherever we’re needed.” said Briones. She said they represent the youth of Salt River and promote the youth and Community when they attend conferences.

I enjoy meeting new people, we travel all over, last July we went to UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth) which is a national conference for Native American youth, we are connected to our sister tribes for the four tribes meetings (Gila River, Ak-Chin and Tohono O’odham), we get to go to all kinds of things and bond with new people, explained Briones.

“I would like to thank our advisor Youth Development Specialist Anita Rivers, she helps us with everything, she gives us rides, advice and keeps us happy when were all cranky, as well as Special Projects Manager Ruben Guerrero, Jr.,” said Briones.

The YRPC mission statement: To develop leadership, promote self-governance and instill the cultural pride among the youth of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community – In the spirit of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Youth.

Young River People’s Council Meetings
The Young River People’s Council meets every Wednesday, teens and pre-teens alternate Wednesdays at Two Waters Building B 3rd. Floor, Wi:hom Conference Room (north end of the building)

Pick up: 5 p.m./6 p.m.
Meeting: 6 p.m./7:30 p.m.
Drop off: 7:30 p.m./8:30 p.m.

Pick up: 3 p.m./4 p.m.
Meeting: 4 p.m./5 p.m.
Drop off: 5 p.m./6 p.m.

For more information contact Anita Rivers at (480) 362-7527.

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