Native American Heritage Month Spotlight on Chairman Arlan Melendez

Arlan D. Melendez is the chairman of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, a position he has held for almost 27 years. His uninterrupted leadership is unprecedented in Indian Country. First elected to the Tribal Council in 1987, Chairman Melendez has served as treasurer and vice-chairman of his tribe. Under his direction, the Colony has maintained a strong and fiscally sound government and has become a very progressive tribe

A U.S. Armed Forces veteran, Chairman Melendez served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam Era and is a Selective Service local board member. In 2005, he was appointed a 6-year term on the US Commission on Civil Rights by Senator Harry Reid. In 2015 he was appointed to serve as Treasurer for the Nation Congress of American Indians.

Though Chairman Melendez works on a number of issues, he has a passion for quality health care and has been a strong advocate and voice on the local and national level for improved health care for Native people.  Of the many accomplishments, the most rewarding is the RSIC’s new health care center, which serves thousands of Native Americans in the Reno-Sparks area. Chairman Melendez lives on the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony with his wife Joyce. They have four grown children