First state tribal summit focuses on economic development

San Carlos Apache Tribe General Manager Christabelle Mull with Governor Katie Hobbs at the state’s first tribal summit.

Grand Canyon National Park — On Tuesday, September 12, Arizona Tribal leaders and Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs convened to discuss how to create jobs, build businesses and grow the economy. The goal was to address mutual interests and explore opportunities for responsible tourism and other initiatives that benefit Tribal communities and the state. The event was co-hosted by the Governor’s Office on Tribal Relations, Grand Canyon National Park and Grand Canyon Conservancy.

“Building strong relationships with the 22 tribal nations and communities in Arizona is a top priority of my administration,” said Hobbs. “I am working with tribal governments to address problems that affect their communities and our state to ensure they have the infrastructure – like roads, utilities, and access to affordable internet and housing – necessary for economic development.”

“In hosting Arizona’s leadership at the convening, we strengthen our Tribal and State partnerships and build a shared vision for responsible and sustainable economic development and tourism,” said Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Ed Keable. “It is wonderful to see so many leaders focused on how best to preserve and protect our state while sharing all that Arizona has to offer with visitors.”

At the convening, participants heard from representatives of the National Park Service and Grand Canyon Conservancy about their initiatives to preserve cultural heritage at the Grand Canyon. Tribal leaders shared their top priorities and projects. Attendees toured the Desert View Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site, the first of its kind located at a national park. At the site, 11 tribes traditionally associated with the Grand Canyon region raise awareness and appreciation of the history and diverse cultures of the area.

At the convening, a blessing was offered by Diana Sue Uqualla (Havasupai Tribe). In addition to Governor Hobbs and Superintendent Keable, speakers included Jason Chavez, director of Tribal Affairs; Theresa McMullan, CEO of Grand Canyon Conservancy; Lisa Urias, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism; and Jackie Johnson, director of the Arizona Department of Gaming. Grand Canyon Conservancy board member Jason Coochwytewa provided a welcome statement and introduction of Tribal leaders and guests.

San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman Terry Rambler was represented at the convening by Tribal General Manager Christabelle Mull. “I am pleased with Governor Hobbs’ outreach to Tribes on water, health care, economic development, tourism and culture,” Rambler wrote on his Facebook page.

Video News