The California Valley Miwok Tribe (located at 10601 N. Escondido PL, Stockton, CA, as listed in the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ BIA/DOI Spring 2011 Tribal Leaders Directory), a federally recognized tribe eligible to receive and distribute services from the federal government – on Friday, July 8th, 2011, held a first-ever meeting between the elected Chairpersons Yvonne Miller of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians, and Silvia Burley of the California Valley Miwok Tribe. Also in attendance were Mr. Randy Yonemura, California Indian Water Commission Project Director and member of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians, Ms. Atta Stevenson, California Indian Water Commission President and member of the Cahto Tribe of Laytonville, Ms. Rashel Reznor, Secretary/Treasurer, California Valley Miwok Tribe, Anjelica Paulk, Council Member, California Valley Miwok Tribe and Tiger Paulk, Consultant, California Valley Miwok Tribe.
The main topic of concern discussed was the lack of adequate health care for the members of the tribes represented at the meeting but a wide array of other topics for the betterment of services to tribal peoples was also discussed. After introductions, Chairperson Silvia Burley went into an in-depth conversation with Chairperson Yvonne Miller on the different issues affecting both tribes and of the need for federally recognized tribes to work together in Indian Country. Chairperson Miller was very responsive and had many ideas that would be mutually beneficial to both tribes. Everyone participated and offered ideas after which Mr. Randy Yonemura took lead of the discussion and afterward, formally introduced Ms. Atta Stevenson. What Ms. Stevenson discussed was of major importance at this meeting, for she herself was an indispensible proponent in the evolution of her tribal peoples’ healthcare and the healthcare for her surrounding Native American community.
Her lifelong commitment helped establish and modernize access to medical, dental, pharmaceutical, diabetic services, physical therapy, ophthalmology, child psychology, behavioural health, podiatry, dietic services and the initiation of a wellness center. Even household doctor visits are another service that she helped to institute. The service areas of both the Ione Band of Miwok Indians and the California Valley Miwok Tribe could greatly benefit from someone whom has already pioneered the establishment of these types of services and the attending tribal representatives were very thankful that Ms. Stevenson pledged to assist and guide the tribes through whatever healthcare system they wish to undertake. Other topics previously mentioned that were also discussed included water rights, resources, property procurement, USDA Food Assistance and the need for federally recognized tribes to collaborate on projects to have a stronger voice, because by working together, we can achieve things once thought impossible; making services not currently available commonplace in the Native American community.
The California Valley Miwok Tribe would like to thank all whom attended for their participation and valued input at this meeting and in initiating the first step in what could greatly improve the future services for our tribal peoples.