New Tribal Officers elected at Fort Independence
On January 6, 2016, a set of candidates campaigning on a platform of open communication and government transparency was voted into office at the Fort Independence Paiute Tribe. Longtime Owens Valley community member and former Tribal Vice Chairperson Norm Wilder was elected Chairperson, tribal member and medical professional Karma Henry was elected Vice-Chairperson and long time tribal activist Stephanie Arman was elected to the position of Secretary-Treasurer.
The Fort Independence Paiute Tribe is the smallest of the four Owens Valley Native American Tribes with approximately 160 members, of which about 80 live locally. The tribe has operated a travel plaza, cafe, convenience store, RV Park and small Casino about 2 ½ miles north of Independence since 2008. Though the operations early years were marked with setbacks, the Travel Plaza and Casino are now recognized as one of the busiest on Hwy 395 and have won a number of awards and accolades.