Colony to Allow Passive Recreation in Hungry Valley

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Tribal Council will allow certain uses by the public of the 13,343 acres the tribe recently reacquired under the Nevada Native Nations Land Act.

With a priority on better land management, the RSIC Tribal Council passed a resolution which allows for nondestructive, peaceful uses of the lands such as hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, day parking of vehicles in designated areas, geocaching, and cross country running, without the need of a permit.

“We want to establish good relationships with the whole community,” said Chairman Arlan D. Melendez. “Though we expected a longer time frame to transition the management of the land with the Bureau of Land Management, our goal is to inform and work closely with our neighbors as we manage our land in Hungry Valley.”

In addition, the RSIC leadership restated unacceptable activity on the land including: dumping, target shooting, random discharge of firearms, hunting, camping without a permit, camp fires and other fires, use of fireworks, disturbance of cultural sites, or use of alcohol.

Furthermore, the Colony will allow all-terrain vehicles (e.g., quads, utility terrain vehicles or motorcycles) only to pass through the land on a designated route to outside use areas, and for the period ending Dec. 31, 2017, will allow these all-terrain vehicles on certain established trails within a designated areas in the Hungry Valley addition adjacent to Spanish Springs.

A map with those designated areas will be posted soon on the RSIC website: www.rsic.org and at the existing kiosks on those lands.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of the general public as we take necessary steps to allow the land to recover and heal due to overuse from multiple activities,” Melendez said. “We have identified a number of priorities and our staff will be working on these so we can better manage our land.”

This management plan includes designating emergency access and evacuations routes,

completing an exterior boundary survey in coordination with BLM, installing information
signage, inventory of environmental and cultural resources, and development of a
transportation plan.All uses will be considered again by the Tribal Council before Dec. 31, 2017.“Our resolution allows us to monitor the land usage, reevaluate and modify or extend this
policy,” Chairman Melendez said.

Nominations to Serve on Secretarial Election Board Needed

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Tribal Council is soliciting nominations of Colony members to fill three positions on the Secretarial Election Board. The Board consists of a Chairman (most likely Robert “RJ” Eben, the BIA Western Nevada Agency Superintendent), two BIA personnel, and three Colony members.

This Election Board is separate from the RSIC Election Board. The Board will only be active if the Tribal Council makes a formal request to the BIA to hold a Secretarial Election.

The Secretarial Election Board’s main functions include deciding appeals on whether someone is eligible to be a registered voter for this election and deciding challenges to the election results, and several pre-election actions such as establishing deadlines and posting election results, and may include assisting the BIA with sending correspondence to members.

Minimum qualifications for these positions are that the individual must be an enrolled Colony member at least 18 years of age.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in serving on this Election Board, please send a written request to Arlan D. Melendez, Chairman of RSIC no later than April 25, 2017. The three individuals to fill these positions will be selected by the Tribal Council.

Public Comment Sought for Proposed Amendments

A year ago, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Tribal Council approved the formation of a Constitution Revision Work Group to consider possible amendments to the RSIC Constitution.

The Work Group has held 10 meetings since that time to solicit input from the membership. While those discussions raised many issues that could be addressed by an amendment, the Work Group process narrowed the list of proposed amendments to a manageable one-half dozen areas.

The RSIC Tribal Council will hold one more community meeting to discuss and seek input on the proposed amendments to the RSIC Constitution.

The remaining meeting, held from 6-8 p.m., will take place on:
April 18 in Hungry Valley

The currently proposed amendments are linked and appear below.

The first column contains the current Constitution provision, if any, and the middle column contains the proposed amendment, and the third column contains an explanation and room for you to note your comments.

Comments at the meetings will be recorded. Each member may take up to 3 minutes to comment on the proposed amendments.

If a member is unable to attend the meetings, he/she may submit written comments to the Chairman’s office and those comments will be read into the record at the next available meeting.  Written comments must be legibly signed by that member.

After discussion on proposed amendments by the membership, the language of the attached proposed amendments may be revised, or new amendments may be added, or amendments may be dropped, by decision of the Tribal Council. The Tribal Council most likely will finalize the proposed amendments, and adopt a Resolution for the BIA to conduct a Secretarial Election, at its April 26 Economic Development meeting in Hungry Valley or at a special meeting to be called for that purpose.

It is contemplated that the Secretarial Election will be held in late July (within 90 days after the BIA receives the tribe’s request for the election).

Since this is a “Secretarial Election” (a federally administered election conducted according to federal regulations) as required by the RSIC Constitution, Colony members must register to vote with the BIA for this election.

Registration with the BIA for a previous election is not valid for this election. If a member does not register with the BIA for this election, he/she will not receive the voting packet.

The BIA will be responsible for mailing you a registration form and mail ballot, etc., after the Colony requests the Secretarial Election.

The RSIC Constitution, and federal law, require a majority vote by at least 30 percent of its qualified voters to adopt any amendments to the Constitution, so it is important to register.

Voting will be by mail ballots sent to you by the BIA, so it is important to make sure the Enrollment Office has your current address which will be provided to the BIA.

Double click link below for informational PDFs:
Selected Amendments Comparison to 2011 Constitution March 20 (4)
Additional proposals with comparison April 3

Double click on the images below to enlarge:


 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Youth Employment Program Info Night

Parents, guardians, and/or students who are interested in participating in the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony’s Summer Youth Employment Program have two upcoming opportunities to seek information.

On Tuesday, April 18 at 6 p.m., the RSIC Education staff will host an Info Night at the Hungry Valley Education Office.

On Wednesday, April 19 at 6 p.m., the RSIC Education staff will host an Info Night at the Colony Education Office.

In the interim, please contact Sam Rambeau at (775) 329-6114 with questions.

 

New Hungry Valley Borders

In accordance with the Nevada Native Nations Land Act, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Tribal Council, along with Tribal Police and Hungry Valley Fire departments wish to remind all community members that the RSIC now has jurisdiction of the 15,354 acres in the Valley.

If you see or hear illegal activities—shooting, dumping, alcohol use, or off-road vehicle activity outside designated routes and areas, please call the tribal police at 323-2677 or 240-9775.

Map HV expansion
Nevada Native Nations Act – Public Law-114publ232



 

 

April at the RSIC

April means spring and maybe, more showers are on the way.  In Indian Country, the month brings our celebration of Earth Day. The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement.

The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.

Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

For Native Americans Water is Life resonates now more than ever.  Please join the RSIC for its special Earth Day Celebration and check out all the April activities below.

SATURDAY 1
Head Start Enrollment Begins April Fool’s Day

MONDAY 3
Education Advisory Committee meeting, Education Conference Room, Noon
Senior Advisory Committee meeting, Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Free DUI Education Program, RSTHC Behavior Health, 3 p.m.
Enrollment Advisory Committee meeting, Enrollment Office, 5:30 p.m.
Zumba,  Reno Gym, 6 p.m.

TUESDAY 4
Elder Aquacize, 55-years+, Alf Sorensen, 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks, 9 a.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 3:30 p.m.
Free DUI Education Program, RSTHC Behavior Health, 5 p.m.
Yoga, 3NWC, 5:30 p.m. Pow Wow Club, RSTHC, 6 p.m.
Proposed Constitution Amendments Community Meeting, Hungry Valley, 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY 5
Assistance Applying for College Financial Aid, Education Building, 9 a.m.
Adult Boxing, 3NWC, 12:15 p.m.
Elder Fit Class, Senior Center, 12:30 p.m.
Senior Numa (Paiute) Language Class, RSIC Senior Center, 12:30 p.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Line Dancing, 3NWC, 5:30 p.m.
Zumba,  Reno Gym, 6 p.m.
Law & Order Committee Meeting, Tribal Court, 6 p.m.

THURSDAY 6
Building Confident Readers, RSIC Library, 8:30 a.m.
Elder Aquacize, 55-years+, Alf Sorensen, 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks, 9 a.m.
Yoga, 3NWC, 12:10 p.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 3:30 p.m.
Numa (Paiute) Language Class, RSIC Library, Multipurpose Rm., 6 p.m.
Washoe County School District Town Hall, Wooster High Theatre, 6 p.m.

FRIDAY 7
Native Art Classes, Behavioral Health Division, 9 a.m.
Native Wellness Talking Circle, Tribal Court Building, 1 p.m.

MONDAY 10
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Free DUI Education Program, RSTHC Behavior Health, 3 p.m.
Zumba,  Reno Gym, 6 p.m.
Housing Advisory Board Meeting, Housing Office, 6 p.m.

TUESDAY 11
Elder Aquacize, 55-years+, Alf Sorensen, 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks, 9 a.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 3:30 p.m.
Free DUI Education Program, RSTHC Behavior Health, 5 p.m.
Yoga, 3NWC, 5:30 p.m.
Pow Wow Club, RSTHC, 6 p.m.
Proposed Constitution Amendments Community Meeting, 34 Reservation Road, 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY 12
Elder Fit Class, Senior Center, 12:30 p.m.
Senior Numa (Paiute) Language Class, RSIC Senior Center, 12:30 p.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Line Dancing, 3NWC, 5:30 p.m.
Prevent T2 Diabetes Class, RSTHC, 5:30 p.m.
Zumba,  Reno Gym, 6 p.m.
Tribal Council Meeting, Hungry Valley Rec Center, 6 p.m.

THURSDAY 13  
Elder Aquacize, 55-years+, Alf Sorensen, 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks, 9 a.m.
Yoga, 3NWC, 12:10 p.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 3:30 p.m.
Numa (Paiute) Language Class, RSIC Library, Multipurpose Rm., 6 p.m.

FRIDAY 14
Native Art Classes, Behavioral Health Division, 9 a.m.
Good Friday, RSIC Administration Offices Close, Noon
Hungry Valley Community Prayer Walk, 3 p.m.

SUNDAY 16
Sunrise Communion Service, Hungry Valley Rec Center, 6:30 a.m.
Really Big Easter Egg Hunt, Hungry Valley Rec Center, 9:30 a.m.

MONDAY 17
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Free DUI Education Program, RSTHC Behavior Health, 3 p.m. Zumba,  Reno Gym, 6 p.m.
L&C Traditional Ribbon Skirt Making, Hungry Valley Gym, 6 p.m.

TUESDAY 18

Commodity Distribution, Senior Center, 8 a.m.
Elder Aquacize, 55-years+, Alf Sorensen, 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks, 9 a.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 3:30 p.m.
Free DUI Education Program, RSTHC Behavior Health, 5 p.m.
Yoga, 3NWC, 5:30 p.m.
Proposed Constitution Amendments Community Meeting, Hungry Valley, 6 p.m.
Summer Youth Employment Program Info Night,  Hungry Valley Education Office, 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY 19
Adult Boxing, 3NWC, 12:15 p.m. Elder Fit Class, Senior Center, 12:30 p.m.
Senior Numa (Paiute) Language Class, RSIC Senior Center, 12:30 p.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Line Dancing, 3NWC, 5:30 p.m.
Prevent T2 Diabetes Class, RSTHC, 5:30 p.m.
Zumba,  Reno Gym, 6 p.m.
Summer Youth Employment Program Info Night, Colony EducationOffice, 6 p.m.

THURSDAY 20
Elder Aquacize, 55-years+, Alf Sorensen, 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks, 9 a.m.
Yoga, 3NWC, 12:10 p.m.
Middle & High School After-School Tutoring, Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 2:30 p.m.
Elementary After-School Tutoring, Downtown Colony & Hungry Valley Ed Offices, 3:30 p.m.
Numa (Paiute) Language Class, RSIC Library, 6 p.m.

FRIDAY 21
Native Art Classes, Behavioral Health Division, 9 a.m.

SATURDAY 22
Earth Day
Nevada Native Nations Land Act Celebration, Hungry Valley Gym, 6 p.m.

MONDAY 24
Free DUI Education Program, RSTHC Behavior Health, 3 p.m.
Executive Health Board meeting, RSTHC, 5:30 p.m.
Zumba,  Reno Gym, 6 p.m.

TUESDAY 25
Elder Aquacize, 55-years+, Alf Sorensen, 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks, 9 a.m.
Free DUI Education Program, RSTHC Behavior Health, 5 p.m.
Yoga, 3NWC, 5:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY 26
Adult Boxing, 3NWC, 12:15 p.m. Elder Fit Class, Senior Center, 12:30 p.m.
Senior Numa (Paiute) Language Class, RSIC Senior Center, 12:30 p.m.
Line Dancing, 3NWC, 5:30 p.m.
Prevent T2 Diabetes Class, RSTHC, 5:30 p.m.
Zumba,  Reno Gym, 6 p.m.
Economic Development Meeting, Hungry Valley Rec Center, 6 p.m.

THURSDAY 27
Elder Aquacize, 55-years+, Alf Sorensen, 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks, 9 a.m.
Yoga, 3NWC, 12:10 p.m.
Numa (Paiute) Language Class, RSIC Library, Multipurpose Rm., 6 p.m.

FRIDAY 28
Native Art Classes, Behavioral Health Division, 9 a.m.

 

Tribal Member Opens Alluring Beauty

For years, Johni Bill has wanted to help people with an issue she encountered as a teen—skin health. Now, as the owner/operator of Alluring Beauty, Bill is not just providing aesthetician services, but she is a role model for other budding entrepreneurs.

“I’m still learning, but I am really excited,” Bill said. “Becoming a business owner is a big step for me.”

Her business, located at 1962 Pyramid Hwy, in a shared space with the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony’s Smoke Shop V, focuses on waxing, tinting and eyelash extensions and Bill plans to offer facials soon.

Since high school when Bill herself dealt with problem skin, she has explored the field of cosmetology and has had an interest in being a hair and makeup artist.

It was this ambition which led her to a Jan. 30 grand opening of her open salon.

“Johni had a vision and has stepped forward to be one of our small business pioneers,” Chairman Arlan D. Melendez told the crowd of about 20 which gathered for the celebration. “When you really think about self-determination, a term that we talk about a lot in Indian Country, Johni is showing us a real example.”

Bill said that she does feel a little pressure, but she is excited to show other people that operating a business is a worthy, attainable goal for anyone at the RSIC willing to work hard.

“There are a lot of laws and rules, and that is a good thing,” Bill said. “Creating a business plan and a safety manual took a lot.”

According to Steve Moran, the director of the RSIC Economic Development and Business Enterprises Department, one of the goals of the RSIC Tribal Council is to offer more help to tribal members who want to go into business for him/herself.

In addition to providing information about local resources which can help an entrepreneur secure funding, write a business plan, file for a business license, and the like, the Colony has partnered with other agencies to hold workshops to assist small business owners.

In the case of Alluring Beauty, the RSIC’s operation of a business incubator—retail space for multiple users-—allows the tribe to offer low start up costs to help Bill get her business started.

Chairman Melendez said that because Bill has the tenacity to be independent and not totally dependent on the tribe, she is fulfilling an important role for the entire community.

“We recognize that we need more small businesses,” Melendez said. “That will take leaders in our community and we congratulate and thank Johni for taking on that responsibility.”

Alluring Beauty is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m., until 7 p.m. Bill can be reached at 775/722-4880.

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Tribal member Johni Bill celebrated the grand opening of her new business located at 1962 Pyramid Hwy, Suite B, next to Smoke Shop V. Specializing in aesthetician services like waxing, tinting and eyelash extensions, call 722-4880 for an appointment.

 

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Gives Nearly $500,000 to Washoe Schools

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony (RSIC) commemorated its first revenue sharing payment to the Washoe County School District with a ceremonial “big check” handover today at the Colony’s health center.

“We are proud to publicly reinforce our commitment to educating all Washoe County school children,” said Arlan D. Melendez, Chairman of the RSIC. “Our leadership is committed to the academic advancement of not just our Native American students, but to all area youth.”

This nearly half-a-million-dollar contribution is the final step in a 15-year-project between Washoe County, the State of Nevada and the RSIC.

“This collaboration was designed to benefit all parties, most importantly our children,” Chairman Melendez said. “Thanks to the success of our retail operations with our increased tax revenue, the entire region is enjoying new community amenities, increased urban development, private partnerships and of course, revenue sharing for education.”

In accordance with Assembly Bill 299 which unanimously passed the Nevada Legislature in 2005, the RSIC proposed to share sales tax revenue from its retail project near Highway 395 and East Second Street to benefit the Washoe County School District. Using tribal tax revenues and a 1995 tribal municipal bond, the Colony purchased multiple properties and amassed 22-acres just east of its downtown land base. However, because the properties had been the site of several industrial businesses, the RSIC partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nevada Division of Environment Protection, to remove soil contaminated with pesticides, petroleum hydrocarbons, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, and nitrogen.

After the environmental cleanup, the RSIC worked with the Washoe County Flood Control Project, the Washoe County Public Works Department, the Nevada Departments of State Lands, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Wal-Mart to construct a quarter-mile floodwall and levee along the south bank of the Truckee River between 1-580 and the Glendale bridge.

Furthermore, the Colony also worked with the Nevada Division of Public Works to design and construct a state-of-the art facility for the Department of Corrections. Upon completion, the Colony and the State Lands swapped the former Northern Nevada Restitution Center (2595 E. 2nd St.) and the site of the new facility (225 Sunshine Ln.).

This dynamic, multifaceted public-private collaboration sprung from a need to expand health services to the RSIC’s 1,143 tribal members as well as the Northern Nevada Urban Indian population.  Besides diversifying the Colony’s tax base from sole reliance on tobacco sales, the RSIC retail operations accounted for the construction of a $20 million health center.

In fact, last July, the RSIC celebrated its seventh year of operation of the Reno-Sparks Tribal Health Center, a direct result of this multi-agency collaboration. The 65,000 square-foot health center not only provides medical care for the RSIC tribal members, but for an additional 6,000 Northern Nevada Urban Indians.

 

Access to National Crime Database Coming to RSIC

Eleven Native American tribes, including the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, are getting access to national crime information databases already used by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

“The RSIC will benefit enormously from the program,” said Edward Reina, RSIC Tribal Administrator. “Indian Country law enforcement has struggled for decades, to gain access to and have the ability to enter criminal justice information into a national data base, a practice enjoyed by every non-Tribal law enforcement agency in the United States.”

The Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information or TAP, will provided a state- of-the-art biometric/biographic computer workstation to the RSIC that will allow tribal police to process finger and palm prints, take mugshots and submit records to national databases.

Furthermore, the RSIC will also be able to access the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Service systems for criminal and civil purposes.

In addition, TAP will provide specialized training and assistance to RSIC staff.

“Not only is TAPS helpful from law enforcements ability to enter criminally linked information, but also our human services, housing, education, and human resources will be able to make criminal history inquiries,” Reina said.

Throughout Indian Country, criminal background checks for potential employees, volunteers as well as people of interest takes weeks and often months to receive.

With TAP, reports will take minutes or a few hours to retrieve. This will expedite the processing of emergency foster care placements, volunteers that work with children, applicants for housing, and the like.

Each of these capabilities enhances protection of children and families, and adds an important resource for law enforcement.

“Central to this program is our ability to share information between law enforcement agencies throughout Indian Country,” Reina said. “This is particularly critical in this era when information sharing has neglected the importance of Indian Country’s criminal intelligence information.”

TAP is a shortcut as it allows tribes to bypass state and local agencies and go directly into federal databases according to Alfred Urbina, the attorney general for the Pascua Yaqui Nation.
The Pascua Yaqui Nation was one of the first tribes to participate in the program.

“There has always been a gap on information sharing with Indian Country law enforcement and other agencies,” said Edward Reina, who is also a retired police chief. “This (gap) was highlighted in our application to the DOJ as we have the unique geographic location of the RSIC, which is the urban (Reno) and rural (Hungry Valley) settings.”

According to Reina, because the RSIC has two land bases, law enforcement requires a unique approach to sharing information.

Furthermore, Reina said that the RSIC’s application for TAP also emphasized our community’s interaction with the larger metropolitan area because of the Colony’s business enterprises.

“Only eleven agencies were selected to participate in the program,” Reina said, “so we are fortunate to be chosen.” TAP enhances tribal efforts to register sex offenders pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA); to have orders of protection enforced off-reservation; to protect children; to keep firearms away from persons who are disqualified from receiving them; to improve the safety of public housing, and to allow tribes to enter their arrests and convictions into national databases.

TAP supports tribes in analyzing their needs for national crime information and includes appropriate solutions. TAP, which is managed by the DOJ Chief Information Officer, provides specialized training and assistance for participating tribes, including computer-based training and on-site instruction, as well as a 24/7 help desk.

“Since its launch in 2015, this project has not only helped law enforcement locate suspects, rescue victims and extradite captured fugitives, but it’s also made it easier for civil courts to enter and enforce orders of protection for domestic violence victims,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates.  “I’m proud that our Justice Department is continuing to act as a responsible partner with tribal governments in this landmark effort, which strengthens both sovereignty and safety for American Indian people.”

This access is vital as Native American women face the highest rates of violence and sexual assault in the United States, but orders of protection, restraining orders courts can issue to protect victims of domestic abuse or harassment, are unenforceable. “If law enforcement officials on and off the reservation can’t confirm restraining orders exist in other jurisdictions, legally, nothing can be done,” said Alfred Urbina, the attorney general for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona,  one of the first tribes to participate in the program.

In the fall of 2015, the department selected a dozen tribes to participate in the initial user feedback phase of TAP.  This partnership focused on testing the department’s technology solution and training support and it also enabled tribes to identify and share best practices regarding the use of national crime information databases   to strengthen public safety.

Phase two of TAP will grant access to national crime information databases and technical support to the RSIC as well as the following tribes:   Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Island Reserve, Alaska; Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; Pueblo of Laguna of New Mexico; Yurok Tribe of California; the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North & South Dakota; the Tohono O’odham Nation of Arizona; Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota; Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana; the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin; and the Makah Indian Tribe of Washington state.

The Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART), and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) funded the second phase of tap as each provided $1 million in prior fiscal year funding towards the expansion, which will be used for the 11 kiosks. The Department of Justice Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) provided technical assistance.

“TAP enhances protection of our children and families, and adds an important resource for law enforcement,” Reina said. “As the RSIC is one of the first Indian country law enforcement agencies to begin an era of information sharing with our partners outside of Indian Country, this program recognizes that Indian Country law enforcement is integral to the protection of, our community, the State of Nevada and the United States. ”

For more information on TAP, visit www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap

For more information about the DOJ, tribal justice and public safety issues, visit:  www.justice.gov/tribal

For more information about the Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs, visit https://www.indianaffairs.gov/

Editor’s Note: Information for this story was provided by the United States Department of Justice Public Affairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit of Holiday Giving Sweeps Community

If the old adage “It’s better to give than receive,” is correct, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony might be one of the best places to be this holiday season.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community,” said Michelle Leon. “When everyone is so willing to pitch in and make others happy, it’s a win-win for all of us.”

Leon’s summation is not only accurate, but rooted in scientific fact.

According to a recent study by psychologists at the University of British Columbia, human beings are all happier, especially young children—when we give rather than receive.

Author Lara Aknin, a professor of psychology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, has found that the joy of helping others is an inherent part of human nature.

“Positive social behavior, include giving time volunteering, giving money to causes or giving gifts and other resources, all correlate to happiness,” Aknin said.

Leon, a certified health educator at the Reno-Sparks Tribal Health Center, is the co-organizer of the RSIC’s gift giving program, Angels for Elders.

Leon and her health center co-worker, Lynn Rodriquez, a patient transporter, came up with the idea to brighten the holidays for elders with Christmas gifts.

“Because of my job, I get to know some of our elders pretty well, and sometimes they confide in me that they might struggle sometimes,” Rodriquez said. “A lot of our elders live on fixed incomes and many don’t have family, so I thought we should do something about that.”

Leon and Rodriquez quickly identified 48 elders who wanted to be part of Angels for Elders.

Those participants provided a wish list of three gift ideas he or she wanted, and even quicker, the RSIC community responded positively.

“Immediately, we had a lot   of staff members at the health center that wanted to give presents to our elders,” Leon said. “When word got out to employees outside the health center, we were easily able to match elders and gift givers.”

However, the actual act of giving out the gifts will be doubly rewarding for Leon and Rodriquez who will personally deliver the presents before Christmas.

“That will definitely be one of the highlights,” Leon said. “We are really looking forward to fulfilling the wishes of our elders.”

Michael Ondelacy, the assistant director of business enterprises and economic development, said he had already caught the Christmas spirit, but when he heard about the opportunity to make the holidays better for RSIC elders, he jumped at the opportunity.

“This was really fun,” Ondelacy said. “It feels good to help, especially since my elder asked for such practical gifts—a sweater, gloves, and the like.”

Leon and Rodriquez confirmed that none of the gift requests from the elders were extravagant.

“Everyone wants usable, everyday-type items,”

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Broad smiles, squeals of glee, and the look of wonderment are common during the holidays and the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Human Services Department is out to ensure that every child has a Merry Christmas.

To that end, Adriana Botello and her staff once again teamed up with the Marines Toys For Tots Foundation to distribute brand new toys to children throughout the Colony and in Hungry Valley.

“We want to make sure every child receives a toy for Christmas,” Botello said. “Partnering with Toys for Tots coordinator Ken Santore and his volunteers is one of our highlights of our year.”

According to Santore, since 1947 Marines have been making Christmas wishes come true for children. Last year, Reno Toys For Tots raised and locally distributed over 86,600 toys for children.

Santore emphasized that all the toys collected by Reno Toys for Tots stay within Washoe County.

He said that his local team works very hard to make Toys for Tots a success, but without the help of concerned citizens and business leaders, the program wouldn’t be successful.

One of those businesses is Toys”R”Us.

Toys”R”Us is proud to work with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, a premier community action program, to bring joy to less fortunate children across the country every holiday season. As the largest retail partner in the history of Toys for Tots, Toys”R”Us, has raised nearly $48 million and collected 4 million toys since 2004 thanks to its generous customers.

“Certainly, we need the resources of Toys “R” Us, without the toys, we wouldn’t have this opportunity, plus, we also want to thank our RSIC Tribal Police Department for assisting in the home delivery of toys,” Botello said.  “We are appreciative to Chief Daryl Bill and his officers for making a difference in our community.”

Botello was also quick to acknowledge to the RSIC Tribal Court and the Reno-Sparks Tribal Health Center for their involvement.

“Our point of contact at the health center was Lawana Martinez who organized a food drive and collected toys, too,” Botello said.

She added that because of these RSIC departments efforts, in addition to providing gifts for the children, many of these needy households received food donations. Botello said that the tribal courts made goody bags for the children as well.

Furthermore, in addition to the human services and the police department, other staff members from tribal court, the Chairman’s office and the tribal administrator’s office, joined in the giving by wrapping over 150 gifts generously donated by Toys”R”Us.

“Certainly, our goal was on giving our needy children a brighter Christmas, but giving to others feels so good and helping children allows you to have that great feeling of putting others first.

Botello said it was an honor that the children allowed adults to enjoy their happiness.

“There is no greater reward and it is such humbling work,” Botello said. “It is an absolute privilege to be part of such a great community.”