Study: Next president must act fast on Colorado River
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Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, et al. v. John McMahon, et al.
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Chemehuevi Department of Housing
Chemehuevi Elementary Now Open
Chemehuevi Elementary

Chemehuevi Tribe set to begin work on grounds for new casino
Todays News Herald – Chemehuevi Tribe Casino

New Casino, Hotel & Marina is coming soon!
The dream of a new Havasu Lake Hotel, Marina and Casino Project has taken a momentous step! On July 25, 2015, Tribal Council took action to review and approve Term Sheets for the construction. This action allows the Tribe to review, finalize and approve the Closing Documents on the loans and begin actual construction. Once begun, the Project will be completed in approximately 18 months.

Learning the language: The tribe is working to have more children learn Chemehuevi as few adults speak it fluently

Kevin Baird/News-Herald photo

Language school

Mia Escobar 8, and June Goldech, learn to verb conjugate verbs in Chemehuevi in the Siwavaats Junior College, which is a language academy for the tribe’s youth, in Havasu Lake, Calif. Their instructor, June Leivas, is one of a only a few Chemehuevi who can speak the language fluently.

Chemehuevi Junior College

“Nük Nuw,”or “I am Chemehuevi,” is how the students introduced themselves in the Siwavaats Junior College in Havasu Lake, Calif.

With only a handful of Chemehuevi who can fluently speak their native language, efforts to preserve the language among youth have been redoubled, so the Siwavaats Junior College was established as a kind of summer school for the children to learn their native language.

At the forefront of the language education efforts is June Leivas. A Chemehuevi Tribal Council Member who grew up speaking the language with her family on the CRIT Reservation.

“We don’t have a written language so it wasn’t until about five years ago that I came up with phonetics that I was happy with,” Leivas said. Since then she has been teaching language courses and writing a dictionary. The Chemehuevi dictionary, she said, is about 2,500 words in length, and she is in the process of proofing it now. She hopes to have a first edition out sometime around the new year.

Leivas admitted the language is tricky to learn. Unlike English there is a rhythm to the language, and for cultural reasons, certain words do not exist.

“There are no words for please and thank you,” Leivas told her students. “It’s not considered rude to give orders. And there are no good byes, only see you later pikaiyumppu (Leivas then explained this is because good byes imply that you won’t be seeing that person again).”

Although some students think it’s a tough language to learn the appreciation for the language is there.

“It’s hard to remember because it’s not something you learn every day in school,” said 13-year-old Gino Sanchez. “Not many people know it, so it’s special.”

Mia Escobar, 8, said, “If we get to speak Chemehuevi and learn it all, we can teach others. If they’re Chemehuevi they’ll want to speak Chemehuevi.

Veronica Nimri, 8, says she likes the language because of the way it sounds.

“I like sawager (which means blue and or green) because it sounds like swagger. I like the way like mikwas (hello), and pikaiyumpu (see you later) sound,” Nimri said.


• There are no words for things such as computers.

• The consonants J, R, B, and L have been eliminated from the alphabet because the sounds these letters make are not used in the Chemehuevi language.

• The language is in the Southern Paiute family of languages and similar to the language the Utes speak.


Loggerhead Shrike rescued on, July 24, 2015, by Matt Leivas, Sr.

The bird was injured by a vehicle and left in the street. The loggerhead was later released into the wild. Great Work Matt!
Nurturing the Wild!

Nurturing the Wild!

Loggerhead shrike Bird

The loggerhead shrike is a passerine bird. It is the only member of the shrike family endemic to North America; the related northern shrike occurs north of its range but also in the Palearctic.