Reno Sparks Indian Colony Chair, Arlan D. Melendez

Arlan D. Melendez is the Chairman of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, a federally recognized Tribal Government representing Paiute, Shoshone and Washoe people.  Chairman Melendez was first elected to the Tribal Council in 1987 as Tribal Council Treasurer, in 1990 Melendez was elected as Vice-Chairman, and in 1991 elected as Chairman. Chairman Melendez remarkably has served on the Tribal Council for 35 years and 31 years as Chairman.

Under Chairman Melendez’s leadership, the RSIC has maintained a strong and fiscally sound government. The RSIC has taken advantage of its location within an urban area to create a viable economic tax base which has allowed the tribe to purchase land and attract business development to the reservation.  Chairman Melendez currently serves as the President of the Colony Enterprise Authority, which oversees the Three Nations Management Corporation; or cannabis operations. Melendez also currently chairs the taxation subcommittee for the National Congress of American Indians, serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada and has played a vital role in the COVID-19 Pandemic for Indian Country.

Chairman Melendez served as a Tribal Council Liaison and Public Information Officer Assistant in RSIC’s Emergency Unified Command System. His leadership and experience has helped Nevada Tribes collaborate with partners at the Federal, State and Local levels to support tribal response to COVID-19 since the virus first appeared in early 2020.

Chairman Arlan Melendez has held a number of national and local leadership roles throughout his career. Just to name a few, Chairman Melendez has served on the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) as an advocate for Indian Health Care.  Chairman Melendez is the Past President of the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada. In 2005, Chairman Melendez was appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights by former Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. In 2010, he was appointed by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to Nevada’s Gaming Policy Committee.

He also, received two life-time achievement awards from the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) and the National Indian Health Service which publicly honored Chairman Melendez for his significant contributions to their respective national organizations.

Melendez is an Armed Forces veteran having served in the United States Marine Corp during the Vietnam conflict. He graduated from Truckee Meadows Community College and attended the University of Nevada.

Chairman Melendez inspires all individuals who have had the privilege of meeting him. His visionary and servitude style of leadership has proven to enhance all aspects of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony.