News for Thursday, April 19, 2018 | More News


Released Friday, April 6, 2018 from the CRIT Enrollment Office (928) 669-1240, M-F 8AM-5PM.

Tribal Council Responses to Recall Petition

Chairman Dennis Patch


We, the members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation, in order to make the government established by the original constitution and bylaws approved August 13, 1937, a more responsive legal tribal organization and to secure all privileges and powers offered to us by the Indian Reorganization Act, establish justice, promote the general welfare, safeguard our interests, encourage educational progress, conserve and develop our lands and resources, and to secure the blessings of freedom and liberty for ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution and bylaws for the Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation.

 Tribal council has a responsibility to look to the future by protecting our people; financially, culturally, and spiritually.  We have made great strides the last four years economically by growing our enterprises for our people.  We have taken care of our elders needs as they present them, every year we have provided monies for books, clothing and tuition for our children. We have several celebrations a year that is culturally and spiritually relevant to all our tribal membership.

In our preamble of the C.R.I.T. constitution we have direct responsibility to our posterity (future generations) we have to look at all our resources and how we shall proceed in setting an economy that is long and sustainable be it with our water, agriculture, solar energy, gaming and enterprises we currently have and any new future enterprises. 

In our immediate future there will be drastic cuts in federal financing coming to all tribal nations, therefore, it is crucial that we look at ALL our options to ensure our tribes financial well-being. 

It is time that the tribe and its members take control of their own destiny and with all its resources that are available to us as stated in our constitutional preamble.


Vice-Chairman Keith Moses

When I was elected 3 years ago I knew there would a lot of grave issues I would need to make decisions on none more important than water.  Since day one my education regarding water issues and our role has been ongoing.  The Council as a whole has been proactive in educating all our members along the way.  To assure that ALL questions were addressed and answered.  No surprises.

The political climate today forces us to be at the seat of all water discussions.  History has shown us that everything can be taken from us instantly,  as we've seen from the taking of the  La Paz lands.  One day a national emergency could be declared because of the drought and our water rights taken.  This is why we need to be at the table. 

I can say that I have approached this issue with reverence for our responsibility of taking care of all our resources we were given. Each step we take is mindful of this responsibility.

Thank you.


Treasurer Valerie Welsh-Tahbo

At the Regular Tribal Council meeting on February 10th, I announced to the membership in the audience about how sensitive this issue is to me and all involved and will always be. I spoke about how it was difficult for my own father to speak to while a seated councilman in the 80”s, so this is no new subject matter. Because how do you perceive to maintain a balance with your economics versus culture, such clashes tear at your heart and the ultimate answer is prayer. Prayers for understanding of what’s to come and for yourself. I can’t express enough the commitment the current Tribal Council has to preserve what has been handed down from years past, to the need to prioritize our government’s needs for self-sustainability and there are many, and to do what it can to set a foundation for the future. This could not be achieved had we not had the ability to do one basic thing, the ability to communicate amongst one another with the utmost respect, humility and professionalism. The attempts that this Council has made to not just educate ourselves but the entire membership through the work sessions, through our own paper and individual letters sent from Chairman Patch’s desk.

The lease agreement came with no doubt countless questions, but never-never, with the thought of forsaking our natural resources. It came with the assurances that we established as the mighty Colorado River Indian Tribes will stand strong to voice to all who will hear that WE possess our water, WE govern what it used and WE will no longer allow our life blood to be taken without the highest compensation for all who used for free down river. If, this seated Council is to take the hits for maintaining its posture, then so be it. We entered into a maximum lease of three years for water to sit in Lake Mead for ground CRIT was not currently farming and hadn’t farmed for since about 1988. Funds generated would sit in a line item identified to improve the irrigation system around that idle ground with the goal to one day put back into production by making it marketable or farm it ourselves. As history will tell, fallowing ventures are not new and will always be an option on the table, why, because as long as there’s water, someone is going to want it, it’s what parameters are set to safeguard your valuable resource. In the recent arrangement it was deemed short-lived, with benefits to not only CRIT but to Lake Mead and the users from there.

The studies will continue, the rains and snows will fall, the river will meander and evaporate, our irrigation will seep unnecessarily unless someone DOES something, and WE chose to, to benefit our membership. I see that there is always a positive in a negative and I am pleased that we can educate ourselves and the concern lives. I’d like to thank those who actually took the time to ask me about this matter before they rendered an opinion of any sort and those who still offer their encouraging words of support. #stillsavingwater


Secretary Amelia Flores

 I am not a gambler.  I swore an oath to support, defend and protect the best interests of our Tribes.  I stand vigilant to safeguard our priceless resources.  I do not have the authority to sell CRIT's water, a part of our land.

 Current drought conditions allow CRIT a unique opportunity to protect our Senior Water Rights. Council has diligently been studying alternative uses of our water, presented by hired consultants and attorneys.   Without legislative approval, none of the options can move forward.  Council needs to be at the table as a responsible steward of the land and water, and as an accountable party who has to follow mandates, disclosure and confidentiality rules.  To date, forbearance or leasing has not happened.

 Council actively supports and encourages the arts, crafts, culture, traditions, and language with yearly budgets and funding for community events.  These are precious to me. I would never jeopardize the heritage of our people.

 Our past tribal leaders realized monumental accomplishments and I am grateful for the benefits I enjoy from their achievements.  I stand proud in my commitment to serve my people.

 "Without water we do not have land and without land we do not have water!"



Johnson "J.D." Fisher

 The topic of exploring alternative water uses has been discussed by Tribal Council for decades.  Recently, the Tribal Council has held numerous meetings both public and with Water Counsel Margaret Vick to discuss threats to the Tribes' senior water rights.  Unfortunately, our irrigation systems is incomplete and spills back into the river, where it is deemed free water.  Two major companies profit from these events, as so some surrounding states.  CRIT Council has been researching options, such as Wheeling, Fallowing, Leasing and Conservation to address these issues, but always with the mindset that the Tribes maintain ownership of the water.  In the Tribal Constitution, Article VI. Section 1. a. Tribal Councils enumerated powers are to negotiate and/or contract Federal, State and Local governments on behalf of the Tribes…that may affect the Colorado River Indian Tribes.  Tribal Council has made every effort to provide information to Tribal Members regarding water issues by holding public meetings, letters to households as well as in the Manataba Messenger.  My goal as a Tribal Council member continues to be "to preserve and maintain our Tribal land, water and history of the Colorado River Indian Tribes."


Granthum Stevens

I believe that the past, present and future leaders of CRIT have and will continue to have a progressive mindset to help ensure the rights of the Tribes in every facet.  The Constitution has allowed for the leaders to proactively protect the rights of the members, as well as make decisions to help in "conserve(ing) and develop(ing) our lands and resources"[Emphasis Added]. It is within this clause that the CRIT Tribal Council has been able to proactively negotiate conservative measures and to enforce the quantification of consumption to protect the Tribes adjudicated water right.

The Constitution allows for CRIT to venture into economic development.  Farming, Fuel, Riverfront Resorts and Gaming are just examples of enterprises the Tribes currently oversee.  The Constitution does not define what is considered an economic development but encourages alternative ideas for economic development.

 Tribal Council has always been instrumental in preserving and allocating funding to history, culture, arts and crafts through different departments, organizations and events throughout the years.

 I will always strive to remain proactive and progressive in moving the Tribes into a new era with the evolution and updating of laws, accountability and transparency.  A positive future will benefit all CRIT members.


 Herman "T.J." Laffoon

The Council has NEVER considered the selling of our water.  It is important that the Council uphold the Constitution in all matters.  We realize our members cannot be fully aware of all our actions, however, the negative, incorrect and misinformation contained in the recall could crucially effect years of progress and actions of Councils since 1937 and our preceding Chiefs.

 Climate change and drought necessitates the need to aggressively protect our Water Rights.

 There has been NO forbearance, leasing or selling of our water.  It is our lifeblood, and our actions have been to hire professionals, attorneys, consultants and experts to guide this effort.  We have studied and reviewed many alternatives.  None of the alternatives can be addressed until we secure the legislation we are pursuing.  We are at all tables when it is necessary, how can we fight if we don't know the enemy!

 The Council is proud of the rich culture of our people being supportive and encouraging of Tradition.

 CRIT has been through legislation, executive orders, negotiation and litigation.  We are steadfast in continuing activity in these areas and whatever is put in front of us in our attempt to preserve, protect and utilize our Water Rights.



Robert "Bobby" Page

 To not negotiate or understand the benefits from using our most valuable resources would be failing the people that I swore to serve.

Any negotiations I have been involved in have been in the best interest of our people.  I have never talked or entertained any idea of a 100 year lease of our water.  As an elected tribal councilman I swore to uphold our tribal constitution which clearly outlines my duties.

I would never gamble with the livelihood of our people.  These decisions are not made with the hope we "think" this will work.  I make decisions based on facts and proven results that will add value to our people and allow our futures to be prosperous.  Any table we are sitting at is under our terms not the people we are negotiating with.

I have always made it a priority to go above and beyond to support our culture and traditions. 

Our water is not defined in our constitution because it is a valuable resource that comes with our land.  300,000 acre-feet flows down our river and is used by others for their profit. According to the law of the river, any unused water is available to other water entities that have a lesser seniority than us.  My goal is to claim that water and receive compensation for what they are already using of ours for free.

Currently BIA is putting very little maintenance into our irrigation system. According to their agreement with CRIT they should be improving our irrigation system like it was set up to be.  Our irrigation system does not meet the current standards of the Bureau of Reclamation; it is an overwhelming loss to our tribe, that's why I am committed to protect the rights of our people.  Through correct conservation measures of drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation and BIA upholding their responsibility to improve our irrigation system we could generate more acre-feet of reserves.

 Some options I see that would be beneficial:

1. Receiving compensation for water: Water that is currently flowing through our system but is being returned back into the river as excess for others to use for profit.

2. Ability to wheel our water: Some other tribes may be in need of water at some point and we should have the ability to help them.

3. Keep water conserved in our Tribe: Currently any conservation that we create of excess water is given back to the Bureau of Reclamation. I propose that it is returned to us.

4. Ability to store our water: Possibly store our water in Lake Mead for a small fee.  This would allow us to store excess allotted water for future uses, instead of it flowing down river.

5. Lease excess water: Currently we have enough water to farm 89,000 acres and still have excess.  Short term leasing our water to other farming communities would generate income.

 At the current time, there are only a few tribes that lease water outright, but cannot lease out of state.  This is allowing them to be closer to being self-sufficient and not only relying on government grants that are not a guarantee.  This would also allow us to peruse other enterprises, developments and jobs for our reservation.

The quickest option would be to continue lobbying in Washington like I have been doing to get Congress to recognize our water as a natural resource that we can market for our benefit.  Just like a tribe that has timber, oil, natural gas or any other natural resource that the Creator has given us on our reservations.

One of the most important things to understand is that no matter what we think is best with our excess water, all the stated above options have to go before Congress for approval.  This is not a decision that we are able to make without Congressional approval.  My purpose is to be proactive, be looking for options for our future, and grow for our people.

We must remain vigilant, strong and united in our efforts because the entities wishing to take our water are. Please contact me with any and all questions at (480) 710-9771.

Going forward, Robert "Bobby" Page


Johnny Hill Jr.

At first I was against all but as time went by I realize I now see the big picture. I support what the council is doing with our water. People need to understand that we have only so much water.  We only use a small portion of it. The rest goes by and that's what the State is looking at.

The State had a meeting with the Yuma community a couple of weeks ago on the water to start talks to try and take it. Yuma farmers and community stood together and said no.

What I'm saying is they're going to take ours too.

My question to the membership is do we lease it or do we give our water away?

We are trying to set things up for the future that we see coming fast.




COLORADO RIVER INDIAN TRIBES---Sunday, January 21, 2018- Recently there has been a growing amount of
misinformation spread about the Tribes, in general and in particular regarding the subject of water. In the interests
of the tribal members who we proudly employ and the many thousands more who benefit from our services, we are
restating the following information.

This was originally sent out in September 2017 to all membership living on and off the reservation to show all the
effort and work we as a Council have done in securing our economic future. Please read in its entirety and if you
have any questions please contact your leadership.

Chairman Dennis Patch (928) 669-1280     Vice Chairman Keith Moses (928) 669-1222

Treasurer Valerie Welsh-Tahbo (928) 669-1235     Secretary Amelia Flores (928) 669-1221

Councilman Granthum Stevens (928) 669-1229     Councilman Robert "Bobby" Page (928) 669-1861

Councilman Johnson "JD" Fisher (928) 669-1287     Councilman Johnny Hill Jr. (928) 669-1242

Watch Beyond All Boundaries: Our Land, Our Water. [CRIT's rights to the Colorado River explored.] 35 minutes documentary film commissioned by the Colorado River Indian Tribes.

CRIT Administrative Calendar for the Month of April 2018

The Colorado River Indian Tribes Gaming Agency hereby notifies the general public of the proposed Tribal Internal Control
Standards (TICS) for Class II gaming at the Blue Water Resort & Casino issued in accordance with the regulations found
at 25 C.F.R. Part 543 promulgated by the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Public Notice of 30 Day Comment Period
Tribal Internal Control Standards

Press Release Re: S.S. v. Colorado River Indian Tribes

Congratulations to our very own Mariah Jordan Sharpe the newly crowned 56th Miss Indian Arizona!
To read more of the Miss Indian Arizona Association press release go to:

Notice of Public Hearing
On a Proposed Ordinance to amend the Government Code to add a new Article 3.
Endowment Investment Fund

Proposed Draft Code
Government Code Article 3
Endowment Investment Fund

Updated February 16, 2018.
Notice to Update Addresses to All CRIT Tribal Members

The following CRIT Tribal members need to contact the CRIT Enrollment office to update their mailing addresses
as soon as possible. If you have any questions you may direct them to their staff at (928) 669-1240, 1241 or 1304. 
Thank you.

Allen, Shelby Miranda
Alvarez, Monica Renee
Ameelyenah, Helen Grace
Ameelyenah, Tamilyn Marge
Anderson, Mickey Roy
Anderson, Raul Darrin
Anderson, Tamara Lynn
Andrade, Angel Raymond
Aspa, Andrew Oscar
Baker, Derek Lane
Bautista, Lawrence Fausto
Bedell, Leroy
Begay, Thelma Jean
Bloxham, Jacquelyn Marie
Booth, Flora Mae
Bow, Sharon Faye
Bruno, Crystal Rae
Bryan, Gloria Jean
Burns, Louis Allen
Byestewa, Cam Clemente
Chee Sr., Frazell Fernando
Cleveland Sr., Ivan
Cox, Janice
Davidson, Ricky
Degner, Clarence Michael
Degner, Joseph Daniel
Delgado, Rosanne
Deysie, Dwight Sidney
Dickinson, Sara Autumn
Drennan, Aaron Keith
Drennan, Brandy Kay
Drennan, Echeo Ashley
Drennan, Javen Ann
Drennan, Nathan Allen
Drennan, Rene Alexis
Drennan, Toni Lynn
Edmonds, Rebecca Ann
Ellsbury, Tyler McCabe
Enas, Bryan Eldred
Esquerra, Jordan Kane
Esquerra, Prentiss Gene
Esquerra, Timothy William
Eswonia, Blanchard Blair
Evanston, Bow
Evanston, Christal Ladawn
Fernandez, Quentin
Fisher, Andren Joseph
Fisher, Andrew Alan
Fisher, Pauline Mildred
Fisher, Pholana Rae
Fisher, Randy
Fisher, Ryan Mathew
Fisher, Sonny
Flood, Hazel Kathleen
Flores, Diana Lynn
Goligoski, Sean David
Gomez, Luis Raul
Gonzales, Trinidad Frank
Goodman, Andrea Daisy
Gorman, Gloria Jean
Gorman, Royce James
Graves, Allegra Mae
Graves, Anna Leigh
Harper, Alexandra Shaw-Deeann
Harper, Ashley Ann
Harper, Kendal Regan
Herrin, Douglas Daniel
Hill, Bridget Gail
Hill, Erica Jean
Hock, Donald Patrick
Hogan, Darryl Dwayne
Hogan, Moreina Faelynne
Holmes, Diane Rachel
Holmes, Dorita
Howard, Marshal Kane
Hull, Kenneth Black Elk
Hunter, Eric Todd
Hunter, Becky Lee
Ingole Jr., Michael Anthony
Ingole, Rose Marie
James, Lila Breann
Jefferies Jr., Cody Joseph
Joe, Gregory Elton
John, Darlene Mae
Johnson, Malia Marie
Johnson, Mickey Sue
Jones, Jacob Orlando
Kabatoney, Larain Kay
Kahn, Jamake Walker
Lacy, Lonnie Charles
Laffoon IV, Harry
Laffoon, Valvaryne Dawn
Lee, Kristopher Chuck
Leivas, Devin Cruz
Leivas, Myrtle
Ludington, William Patrick
Macias, Dava Joy
Macias, Esperancita
Mark, Nichol Lizette
Martin, Jonell Leeann
Martinez, III, Carlos Jacob
Martinez, Marissa Valentina
Martinez, Nicholas Treat
McCabe, Marvin Tommy
McCarthy, Michael Joseph
McDonald, Clara Geraldine
Mike, Jr., Gerald
Mike, William Paul
Milazzo, Michael James
Miller, Ranelle Ann
Moreno, Mollie Julianne
Morris, Michael Wilson Mckinley
Moses, Tenelle Inez
Motter, Megan Jeanine
Nachie, Stephen James
Nash, Nathaniel
Nelson, Bailee Jayne
Nelson, Tristan Joshua
Nez, Kevin Tahnezzanii
Nopah Sr., Keith Rhys
Norton, Carlo Raul
Olivares Jr., Juan
Pablo, Fawna Ashwa
Pablo-Trevino, Christina Marie
Patch, Cornell Armand
Patch, Myles Allen
Pintor, Mischelle Renae
Polacca, Skeet Charles
Rasho, Ivan Lee
Redhouse, Gordon Katrell
Riggs, Charlene
Rios, Rebecca
Rivera, Richard
Robertson, Nicholas Ivan
Romo Jr., Manuel Mc Clish
Romo, Isaac Marc
Russell, Lawrence Phillip
Russell, Ouray
Salgado Jr., Raymond Isaac Fisher
Sand-Logan, Anna Marie
Schable, Gerhardt
Scott, Chelsee Rae
Scott, Dennis Randolph
Scott, Kyle Willard
Sekaquaptewa, Phillip
Seviera, Talishsa Elaine
Sharp, Bradley Lynn
Sharp, Cheray Jonell
Sharp, Jessica Marie
Sharp, Leon Michael
Sharp, Lynette Rose
Sharp, Shawnah Marie
Sharpe, Mariah Jordan
Shirley, Stanley
Silva, Dyan Michelle
Silva, Phillip Daniel
Simms, Michael
Simms, Rebecca Evaline
Smith, Ryan Huna
Smith, Socorro Iliana Hyacinthe
Sorrells, Rhonda Lee
Spencer, Paulette Marie
Stanley, Mary Adelle
Stanley, Roger Thomas
Stanley, Thane Chance
Stillman, Lisa Marie
Stone, Joseph Ray
Stone, Teddy Jay
Stone, Winter Fawn
Strange, Christian Ray
Sutch, Tarren Jared
Swick, De Alva
Tahbo, Christopher Lawrence
Tahbo, Fawn Honmana
Tahbo, Melissa Lauren
Tahbo, Sr., Loren Kaysang
Tarin, Edna Alma
Torres, Michael Johnson
Trevino, Maria Pablo
Turner, Paige Taylor
Uribe, Gabriel Joseph
Valencia, Manuel Mervin
Valenzuela, Eileen Joanne
Valenzuela, Sabrina Lynn
Vasquez, Justin Adam
Walker, Dottie
Webb- Seviera, Raymond Deshawn
Welsh * N C M, Alvina
Welsh, Wilhelmina
Wesson, Adam Sumaghmakom O
Whitney, Anastasia Larese
Williams, Hugh Ronald
Williams, Shade Martin
Williams, Sonnett Alexander
Wilson, Janine Delores
Yazzie, Sr., Quenton

Notice from the Colorado River Indian Tribes Office of the Attorney General:
At the Special Meeting held on June 8, 2017, Tribal Council enacted amendments to the Domestic Relations Code to include
Article 4: Paternity and Maternity.  The Amendments enacted a paternity code and reserved a section for a maternity code should
Tribal Council choose to enact a maternity code at a later date.  The paternity code governs paternity actions in the tribal court,
which seek to establish who the legal father of a child is.  A finding of paternity can be used for tribal enrollment, child support,
custody, and inheritance rights of the child. Prior to its passage, a public hearing was held on September 21, 2016 where the
Office of the Attorney General accepted written and verbal comments and answered questions on the Code.  Comments were
also solicited from the Department of Health and Social Services, Legal Aid, and the Courts.  A work session was held with Tribal
Council on February 13, 2017.  Prior to this amendment, the Tribal Court applied Arizona paternity law to cases in the court as no
CRIT law existed regarding paternity and maternity cases.  If you have any questions regarding these amendments, please contact
LeeAnne Kane at the Office
of the Attorney General at 
(928) 669-1271.  The Paternity and Maternity Code will be in effect thirty (30) days from the date of its passage, on July 8, 2017 and will be available on the CRIT website.

Colorado River Indian Tribes Chairman Dennis Patch responds to Desert Sun article.

Valley Voice: Desert projects must respect rights of ancestral peoples

Original article:


Colorado River Indian Tribes Councilwoman Amelia Flores promotes Tribes' Water Fallowing program in Tucson.
To save water, some Arizona farms temporarily cut production





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