“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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July 2, 2020

Message from SRPMIC President Martin Harvier – June 19


During a recent meeting, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community health officials relayed that the majority of COVID-19 tests being done in our Community are women. It was emphasized to us as leadership that we should encourage more men to get tested. I want to encourage the male population of our Community to make an appointment to get tested for COVID-19. 

It’s not only for your health, but the health of your family and the overall health of the Community. Also, effective June 19 at 5 p.m., all Community members, employees and visitors over the age of 7 now must wear face coverings when outside and out in public. It’s for your safety, your family’s safety and the overall safety of our Community members. (You can read the Second Directive to the Local Emergency Declaration on page 13.)

To help Community members who may be experiencing financial stress due to COVID-19, water bills have been suspended for further review. In addition, Saddleback Communications is offering a 50% discount on phone service through July 31. It’s some relief that Community members can get during these hard times. I appreciate the water department and Saddleback for offering that to Community members.

We have been trying to encourage our members to complete the 202a0 U.S. Census. As of June 17, we had only a 41% completion rate, which means a lot of individuals here in our Community have not completed their census. There will be upcoming opportunities throughout the Community for people to fill out the Census; notices will be sent out through the Community communication tools to provide further details. Remember: “10 minutes of time for 10 years of possible funding for the Community.” For more information, go to www.census2020.gov.

Sunday, June 21, was a special day, a day when we recognize our fathers. If you are blessed enough to still have your father with you, it’s a wonderful opportunity for you to share with your father how much you appreciate and love him for the things he has provided for you individually and for your family. It can be a difficult time for those who do not have their fathers with them, but it’s a time we can remember our fathers for what they have done for us and how they molded who we are. 

In 1979, I lost my father. My aunt came and shared something with me. I think this is important. She showed me a plaque, and on the plaque was his last name, with the following poem underneath:

“You got it from your father, it was all he had to give, 

It was yours to use and cherish for as long as you may live.

If you lose the watch, he gave you, it can always be replaced, 

But a black mark on your name, son, can never be erased. 

It was clean the day you took it, it was a worthy name to bear, 

When he got it from his father there was no dishonor there. 

So, make sure you guard it wisely, after all is said and done, 

You’ll be glad the name is spotless when you give it to your son.” 

With everything that is going on, as O’odham and Piipaash people, we know the name that you carry is a worthy name and someone in your lineage fought for that name and to keep it spotless. I wanted to share that with you around Father’s Day and encourage you to share with your father how you feel and to think about your father if he is no longer with us.

With everything we are going through and the number of Arizona COVID-19 cases rising, remember, let’s “shield up.” www.srpmic-nsn.gov/covid-19.