The Mescalero Tribal Inauguration was nothing short of monumental. The convention center at the Inn of the mountain gods was packed full of eager tribal members and guests wanting to welcome the newly elected tribal leadership.
This year, as a result of the 2017 general election, women are the majority within the tribal council.
General Manager of Mescalero Apache Telecom Inc., Godfrey Enjady, emceed the event. Mr. Enjady helped the program run accordingly in which he did an exceptional job. At certain points during the program, he had the chance to share anecdotal stories about some of the elected individuals. The feeling of family and community was in the air.
Mescalero’s Post 48 started the agenda with posting of the colors and as per usual, doing so with pride.
Miss Mescalero, Autumn Pilcher shared a few encouraging words and announced special guests from across the state who were in attendance.
The youth of Mescalero also helped the event to be special. Turquoi Garcia, a student at ENMU-Portales, sang the national anthem and the Mescalero boys basketball team said the pledge of allegiance.
Instead of the oath of office being recited one by one, expectation took a back seat. All six individuals stood and repeated the oath of office simultaneously with the help from Chief Judge Monteau.
New and returning members of the Tribal Council, Vice President and the new President took time to speak about hopes for the tribe’s future. One occurring theme that was mentioned in each speech was unity.
Vice President, Gabe Aguilar mentioned working together with surrounding towns and villages like Ruidoso, Tularosa, and Alamogordo. Economically helping one another’s town or village may help our tribe in return.
Some of the speeches were a reminder for tribal members to continue being a contributing member to the tribe in order to improve all aspects of our future. As councilwoman, Helen Klinekole said, “fulfill your responsibility as a tribal member.”
“We all have something valuable to offer to the team (tribal government and tribal members)” as stated by councilwoman, LeClaire Gayton.
The idea of teamwork was mentioned numerous of times. Council members, Vice President and the President had a collective understanding of what it takes to come together and work for the best interest and welfare of the Mescalero Apache tribal members.
Like councilman Fernando Rocha Sr. explained, “We will get our tribe back on top of the world. We will work as a team and communicate with all tribal members – we will work for you. “
When asked why Mr. Blazer competed for the seat as tribal President, he said, “It was for my love and willingness to help my people.” Mr. Blazer joins the office with a great deal of knowledge in natural resources, amongst other things. Not to mention his many business relationships with various distinguished leaders at the tribal, state and government level. “I will use the resources I know to help our tribe.” said Mr. Blazer.
The Tribal Council, Vice President and President maintain five committees within the tribal government realm: Butch Blazer is chairman of the Executive Committee, Sandra Platero is chair of the Tribal Programs Committee, LeClaire Gayton will continue being chair for Tribal Community Services Committee, Marilyn Blaylock is chair of the Tribal Resources Committee, and Pascal Enjady is chair of the Tribal Cultural Committee.
Each committee is assigned different responsibilities according to the type of committee they stand in. With exception of executive and cultural, all committees have three members.
With the new term beginning, returning and new tribal officials are eager to start helping and making decisions for the benefit of all tribal members.