The governing body of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe is the Tribal Council. The Tribal Council is comprised of seven (7) members elected by the General Membership. There are four officers: Chairperson, Vice- Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and three Members-At-Large.
On February 1, 1998, the qualified voting members of the Mechoopda approved and adopted the Constitution of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, California. The Constitution serves as the foundation for implementing the Tribe’s status as a federally recognized Indian Tribe and promotes the common welfare of Tribal Members and the Tribe as a political entity. Additionally, it works to secure the rights, powers and privileges of Tribal Sovereignty to the Tribal Members and their descendants.
Chairman Dennis Ramirez
- Elected December 2007, Chairman Ramirez holds a strong commitment to providing education, housing, and healthcare for the members of the Mechoopda Tribe. Chairman Ramirez has worked tirelessly to build a strong ethical foundation, adhere to sound tribal laws and policies, and believes that accountability is instrumental in achieving tribal self-sufficiency. He has served for several years on the Board of Directors of the Northern Valley Indian Health Consortium, one of the largest health organizations committed to serving the underserved populations of Northern California. Chairman Ramirez works for the Glenn County Public Works Department and has held positions with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Forest Service.
Vice Chairperson Sandra Knight
– Having served on the Tribal Council for the past 19 years, Vice Chairperson Knight has the capacity to lead by providing strong leadership critical to the Tribe’s success in its business and governmental operations. Vice Chairperson Knight has been employed since 2001 at the Mechoopda Tribe in its Business Development operations. Vice Chairperson Knight has also served numerous years as the Treasurer for the Northern Valley Tribal Health Board of Directors and as a Board Member of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Fee-to-Trust Consortium.
Secretary Roberta Lewis
– Secretary Lewis has served on the Tribal Council since her election in 2012. She was previously a member of the Chico Rancheria Housing Corporation of Directors for 4 years. Roberta is a charming and friendly person and brings a local Tribal Member perspective to the Council.
Treasurer Robyn Forristel
– Ms. Forristel was elected Treasurer in 2015 and also serves as the President of the Chico Rancheria Housing Board. As President of the Housing Board, Ms. Forristel is committed to meeting the housing needs of low-income families.
Having served on the Mechoopda Enrollment, Personnel and Election Committees, Mr. Forristel has a proven track record of strong leadership and commitment. Ms. Forristel is dedicated and looks forward to support her role as Tribal Treasurer.
Member Cassy Wilson
- Member-at-Large Wilson has served on the Tribal Council for the last five years, while also serving as a Housing Specialist with the Chico Rancheria Housing Corporation.
Ms. Wilson is a member of the Northern Valley Indian Health Board, where her passion is to help build healthy families and communities. Council Member Wilson is dedicated to promoting wellness through preventive health.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Chico.
Member Paulita Hopper
- Member-at-Large Hopper has served on the Tribal Council for the last nine years. Mrs. Hopper has her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work, is employed as a Tribal Youth Coordinator for the Tribe, is a certified domestic violence sexual assault Advocate, and serves on the Board of Directors for Northern Valley Tribal Health and on the Board for the Four Winds, Inc. Afterschool Program. Mrs. Hopper also serves as a representative for the Tribe to the California Indian Manpower Consortium, the California Tribal TANF Program, the Women’s Wellness Council, and the Community Diabetes Action Council.
Member Kyle McHenry
– Member-at-Large McHenry is serving his first term, having been elected in 2014. He is highly focused on preserving his native Konkow language and culture.
As a Cultural Mentor with Northern Valley Indian Health, McHenry provided innovative language instructions to area tribal youth. Connecting members, youth and our elders to their culture and heritage is what drives Council Member McHenry.
Council Member McHenry’s secondary education includes an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Butte College in 2008 where he played football and helped his team achieve a Division Championship, the NorCal Conference Championship, and a No. 1 ranking - National Championship. He went on to earn his Bachelors of Arts in American Indian Studies from Haskell Indian Nations University.
The Story of Coyote and the Ground Squirrels
App Development - Content