Dagotíee! My name is Gwendena Lee-Gatewood, Chairwoman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. I am of the Nilchiíentiín Clan and born for the Tseíkine Clan. Following my motherís roots, I am from Carrizo and Limestone areas and my fatherís roots come from the Oak Creek, Cibecue, and San Carlos areas. I have three children. I was born in Whiteriver, but grew up in Show Low in humble circumstances as the 11th child.
Previously, I worked 12 years as Executive Assistant for former and now the Late-Chairman Ronnie Lupe. Before that I was the Human Resources Director. I also served as Vice-Chairwoman of the Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce.
I am a proud alumnus of Show Low High School and of Northern Arizona University where I attained a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration and Human Resources Management. I am currently School Board President of Theodore Roosevelt School, President of the Apache Alliance (an eight member Apache organization), Chairperson of Arizona Indian Gaming Association and a member of the Presidentís Advisory Board for Northern Arizona University. I also serve as the Tribeís Public Information Officer.
My late-parents laid the foundation of hard work and being resilient. I will never forget the culture and heritage of the Apache people. It is humbling to have seen my oldest son graduate from Princeton University and attain a Masterís Degree at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, China; my second son is a Senior at Arizona State University, and my youngest daughter just started her higher education at Northern Arizona University.
While looking towards the future, we should not forget that our people have overcome great adversity. By working together, we recommit ourselves to the values our ancestors to write a brighter chapter for our people. I will pursue positive results through our customs intertwined with innovative ways of helping The People, because we all have a purpose.