On Friday, June 14, Bernadine Burnette – president of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation – was elected president of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA). During her two-year term, she will help ITCA achieve its mission of promoting Indian self-reliance through public policy development.
Just named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2019 by Az Business magazine, honored as a “Woman Warrior” by the National Indian Gaming Association in April, and previously recognized as “Woman of the Year” by former Arizona Governor Jane Hull, Burnette is well deserving of her new ITCA position.
Burnette has led the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation for more than two decades, during which time she has held the position of Secretary, Vice President, and now, President. She has also served as Vice President of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association and Secretary of the National Indian Gaming Association, with current and past memberships in the National Congress of American Indians, the National Tribal Environmental Council, the National Indian Education Association, and the MAG Regional Council.
“I’m honored to have been chosen to represent the best interests of all the vital, productive tribal governments within the beautiful state of Arizona,” said Burnette. “By working closely with ITCA director Maria Dagdar and my fellow members, I look forward to helping develop policies and programs that will ensure self-determination for us all.”
The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona was founded in 1952 to provide a united voice for the 21 tribal governments located within the state to address common areas of concern. Twenty-three years later, the council established ITCA as a private, non-profit corporation that is comprised of the highest elected tribal officials to offer an independent resource for obtaining, analyzing and disseminating information critical to Indian community self-development.
The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is an 889-member Native American tribe that calls Central Arizona’s upper Sonoran Desert home. Located to the northeast of Phoenix within Maricopa County, Arizona, the 40-square mile reservation is a small part of the ancestral territory of the once nomadic Yavapai people, who hunted and gathered food in a vast area of Arizona’s desert lowlands and mountainous Mogollon Rim country.
Fort McDowell Casino and the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center will become the all-new We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in 2020, a state-of-the-art gaming and entertainment venue with luxurious accommodations and amenities.
The tribe also operates a variety of successful enterprises including We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, Poco Diablo Resort in Sedona, Fort McDowell Adventures, Eagle View RV Resort, Baja Gas and the Tribal Farm.