The day was the 5th of November 2009 and begin for myself at about 0600, at which time I made my way over to the Department of the Interior for the historic White House Tribal Nations Conference.
While in transit I passed by both the Washington monument and the White House. When I arrived there were already Tribal Leaders from across the nation waiting for the doors to open. Once the doors opened, we proceeded through security and made our way to the Sydney R. Yates Auditorium.
Opening remakes were given by the Secretary of the Department of Interior, Ken Salazar. Immediately following the opening remarks the President of the United State Barack Obama was welcomed with a standing ovation. The President again voiced his position and the position of his Administration, which were very pro First American. One of his major agenda items were the Government-to-Government relations between the U.S government and the Tribes.
President Obama touched on some of the treaties and promises that have been ignored in the past, and vowed to treat the First Americans with the dignity and respect that they deserved. The atmosphere in the auditorium was one of excitement and of Tribal Leaders wanting to be made into believers.
The President then handed the conference over to the Secretary Ken Salazar, to continue the dialogue of the U.S. Government and its Tribal Leaders.
Among the Presidents Representatives were the most senior members of the Dep. Of Agriculture, Dep. Of Commerce, Dep. Of Energy, EPA, Deputy Attorney General, HUD, Dep. Of Homeland Security, Associate Attorney General, Dep. Of Labor, Dep. Of Health and Human Services, Dep. Of Education, I.H.S., U.S. Representative Tom Cole (Congressional Native American Caucus), U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth (Congressional Native American Caucus),U.S. Representative Dale Kildee (Congressional Native American Caucus), also White House domestic Policy Council Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs Kimberly Teehee, and White House Intergovernmental Affairs Deputy Associate Director Jodi Gillette.
After our discussion with the President’s representatives, President Barack Obama made a second appearance for some closing remarks, which was shortened due to the unfortunate situation that took place at Fort Hood, Texas.
The President looks forward to many more meetings with the First American Leadership and to continue the Dialogue that was started today, the 5th of November 2009.
I truly believe that the President is sincere in his intentions, and I hope for the sake of Native Americans across the country that he can make good on at least some of the items discussed in our conference.
Tule River Yokuts National Champions
On July 16th 2009 the Tule River Yokuts Little League All-Stars, with the support of their tribal leaders and with their tribe behind them traveled to Arizona to participate in the Lori Piestewa National Native American Games. The baseball category of the games was hosted by Salt River Pima Maricopa tribe. Tribes from across the country were on hand to participate in these very prestigious games. Upon arrival to the Ft. McDowell Radisson Hotel, (13 miles from the playing field) the team and their parents were greeted by The Late Lori Piestewa (metz), parents and her son. We were truly honored to meet them; it was a humbling experience for us all.
We played the next evening losing our first game 11-7 in the 115 degree plus heat. This was extreme for our ballplayers. Although, we adapted to the heat, stayed positive and started to blister the ball in every direction as we turned into a hitting powerhouse in the desert on loan from California. We won our second game of the doubleheader, a night game. Our winning pitchers were, Sophia Carrillo, Aaron Franco and Buffalo “Buffalo Soldier” Peyron. In the Championship game, we again were to battle the host team, who beat us earlier. It was now 115 degrees, the team was pumped, and so were the parents who were yelling at the top of their lungs, even before the game started.
The team play inspired, the coaches worked hard to keep the kids hydrated with fluids and focus and the parents kept the coaches focused. In the end it was Tule River Yokuts First National Championship.
This was for you Tule River Yokuts!
The Head Coach was Aaron “Big Air” Franco, Assistants were, Willie Joe Carrillo Sr. and Mike “Big Diesel” Valdez”,
Players were Aaron Franco Jr., Sophia Carrillo, Buffalo”Buffalo Soldier”Peyron, Wyatt McDarment, Falcon Atwell, Evan “Easy E” Williams, Willie Garfield Jr., Ooh-Shuk McDarment, Rick”Pretty Ricky”Mejia, Earlene McDarment, Kidd Valdez, River Brown, Paul Manuel, “Big” Wes Franco, Jayden “Big Fight” Behill.
Special Thanks to all of the Parents who pulled it together, the Tule River Yokuts Little League Board, The Tule River Tribal Council, Tule River Indian Health Center, Tule River Veteran Warriors, Tule River Elders, DPS, Recreations, Future Generations, Education Center and to the community. Thank you!
Tule River is a great neighbor
Tule River Tribal Council Chairman, Ryan Garfield presented Denise Young of South Citrus Tule School a check for the purchase of a new bus in July. The school was awarded an educational grant for the new bus, but is just wasn’t quite enough. The Tule River Tribal Council stepped up to the plate with a donation of $38,000 to cover the remaining cost of the bus so that the bus could be purchased for the 2009-2010 school year. Now your kids will be transported to school in style. This generous donation goes to show you that the Tule River is a great neighbor.