Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to John Podesta, Chair, Obama-Biden Transition Team.
We are writing in support of the appointment of Congressman Raul Grijalva as the new Secretary of the Department of the Interior. He is well respected by the tribal community and has worked diligently for his constituents – many of whom are tribal members – over the past six years. He has created an open and working relationship with tribal governments in Arizona and the Department of the Interior would be fortunate to have his leadership.
Congressman Grijalva currently serves the 7th Congressional District in the State of Arizona, which covers the southern and southeastern part of the state. Within his district are seven sovereign tribal governments. They include the Tohono O’odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Cocopah Tribe, Colorado River Indian Tribes and the Quechan Tribe.
As leadership of our respective tribes, we know that Congressman Grijalva has been a strong and consistent supporter of tribal issues. He has also taken a lead role in championing issues of importance to tribes, such as reforming mining laws, utility clarification, homeland security and others. We strongly encourage you to consider Congressman Grijalva as the next Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Thank you for your consideration.
– Ned Norris Jr., Chairman, Tohono O’odham Nation
– William Rhodes, Governor, Gila River Indian Community
– Sherry Cordova, Chairwoman, Cocopah Tribe
– Peter Yucupicio, Chairman, Pascua Yaqui Tribe
– Daniel Eddy Jr., Chairman, Colorado River Indian Tribes
– Delia Carlyle, Chairman, Ak-Chin Indian Community
– Mike Jackson Sr., President, Quechan Tribe