On Sunday, April 20th, 2014, the California Valley Miwok Tribe celebrated Chairperson Silvia Burley’s 15th anniversary as the leader of the Tribe. Silvia Burley is currently the Chairperson at the California Valley Miwok Tribe.
Chairperson Burley is the first woman and longest-serving Chairperson of the California Valley Miwok Tribe, leading the Tribe since first being elected in 1999 to present. Under her leadership, she has overseen every aspect of the organizing of the California Valley Miwok Tribe pursuant to the Tribe’s sovereign rights to chose their own form of government. She initiated the Tribe’s first government to government P.L. 93-638 contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She oversees executive level management of the California Valley Miwok Tribe’s Tribal governmental operations, including the Tribe’s Departments of Administration, Natural Resources, Social Services, Cultural Preservation, Miwok Language Retention, and the CVMT Indian Child Education Program (ICEP).
Chairperson Burley earned an AA Degree from the D.Q. University (Native American Tribal College), Davis California, and a BA Degree from The Evergreen State College (TESC), Olympia, Washington. She was appointed on July 6, 2012 to the State of California Health Benefit Exchange Tribal Advisory Workshop as the alternate for the Central West Region, and she also was appointed as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee – TAC (September 18, 2013), at the San Joaquin County Community Development Department General Plan TAC, Stockton, California.
Over the past 15 years, the Tribe, under the leadership of Chairperson Burley, has collaborated directly with state, federal, international and Tribal governments. The Tribe has a government-to-government relationship with numerous organizations, such as non-profit organizations, Child Welfare Departments, Adult and Juvenile Court Systems, Veteran Affairs, USDA Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Fish and Game Dept; US Bureau of Land Management (BLM); US Fish and Wildlife Dept; Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC); US Customs and Border Protection; California Transportation Dept. (Caltrans); US Military and Army Corps of Engineers; Higher Education, Tribal Land and Water Issues; Tribal Sovereignty issues, Tribal Policy / Governmental Affairs; Tribal Health Issues, Timber Harvesting Projects, City, County, and other land use projects.
At the 15th ‘leadership’ anniversary celebration, Chairperson Burley spoke of the personal courage it takes to be a Native woman in a leadership role, and the sacrifices made to take on tasks both great and small. Chairperson Burley said, “It is an honor to serve as the duly elected Chairperson of the Tribe. These past 15 years have been an experience that one can never attain from reading books. I have learned so much, not only politically, but personally too!“. She credited the unity of the Tribe for supporting her.