2017 Ak-Chin Tribal Council (from left) Councilmembers Delia Carlyle, Ann Antone, Chairman Robert Miguel, Vice Chairman Gabriel Lopez and Councilmember Alvin Antone. Submitted photo

The Ak-Chin Indian Community’s new tribal council was sworn in Tuesday.

Robert Miguel took the oath as chairman, and Gabriel Lopez was sworn in as vice chairman. Both will serve four-year terms. Councilmembers are Delia Carlyle, Ann Antone and Alvin Antone.

The Nov. 19 election was particularly historic because it was the first time Community members were able to vote for chairman and vice-chairman. A change to the constitution was adopted in July 2016 allowing for candidates to run for a specific office and for Community members to vote specifically for the chairman and vice chairman in addition to councilmembers.

“I’m honored that the first time the Community was able to elect its chairman, they chose me,” Miguel said. “Together, the newly elected Tribal Council will work together to strengthen the Ak-Chin Indian Community resources including education, healthcare and continued economic endeavors.”

Miguel, who was the incumbent chairman, is passionate about Community growth and a growing infrastructure. Additionally, he is a strong believer in prioritizing education by providing a greater level of educational resources to adults and children.

Lopez, who previously served four terms on the council, has also played an active role in the Ak-Chin Indian Community,  having served on the Education Committee, Industrial Park Board, Livestock Association, Community Charter School Committee, Masik Tas Committee and Community Justice Complex Committee. Lopez is a strong proponent of upholding O’odham culture and traditions, and in turn keeping the O’odham language alive.

As a councilmember, Carlyle, who previously served two consecutive terms on the council, most recently as vice-chairman, is looking to expand the Community’s economic self-sufficiency. Additionally, she places great importance on the progressive teamwork on the council.

Ann Antone, who will be serving her second term with the council, had previously held several jobs in the Community, including positions with the Recreation and Education departments and at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino.  She is committed to important issues facing the Community such as greater revenue-generating projects, education, and economic development and further positioning the Community as one of the best tribal communities in North America.

While Miguel, Lopez, Carlyle and Ann Antone have all served previously on the council, Alvin Antone will be serving his first term. His focus will be on improving education, healthcare and farming, and he looks forward to continuing to grow the Community’s enterprises, while still maintaining the Ak-Chin Indian Community’s traditions and culture.

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