Margie Mejia, influential tribal chairperson for the Lytton Rancheria of California, has died

Margie Mejia, influential tribal chairperson for the Lytton Rancheria of California, has died
Margie Mejia (Facebook)

Margie Mejia, Tribal Chairperson for the Lytton Rancheria of California, passed away unexpectedly on October 19 – leaving behind a remarkable legacy. 

During her 27-year tenure as Chairperson, Margie was dedicated to developing the Tribe’s businesses, investments, infrastructure, and housing plans. She was a distinguished tribal leader recognized throughout the country for her hard work and devoted her life to advancing the economic self-sufficiency of the Lytton Rancheria of California.

In testimony before the United States Senate, Margie shared the challenges faced by so many Native American leaders when she said, “I follow a long tradition of leaders who have been responsible for the safe keeping of the tribe and its members.  I have lived the highs and lows of my tribe’s status every day of my life, from the devastating effect of poverty, alcoholism, and drug abuse, and having our tribal status terminated, to the economic success we have finally been able to enjoy though our restoration. This is not simply one of a broad array of issues I have sought to advance; this is the pride, respect, and stability of my tribe.”

Margie was instrumental in establishing San Pablo Lytton Casino and spent nearly a decade working to have ‘land placed into trust’ by the U.S. Department of Interior so the tribe could build a master-planned community which is currently under construction in Windsor, CA. She worked tirelessly to maintain strong cooperative relationships with local, state, and national governments.  

Margie’s commitment to the health of Native Americans was exemplified by her many years of service and Chairperson of the Sonoma County Indian Heath Project, a consortium of tribes dedicated to the health care and advocacy of Native Americans.

Margie was passionate about helping those less fortunate and supported, publicly and privately, countless organizations whose work directly impacted the underserved. 

Margie was devoted to her family and is survived by 4 children and 12 grandchildren. Two of her children previously passed. She will be deeply missed by all who were privileged to know her.

This remembrance article was submitted by Doug Elmets of the Tribal Council