Terry Rambler: A Journey of Leadership and Service to the San Carlos Apache Tribe

Early Life and Personal Journey

Terry Rambler’s upbringing and personal struggles have shaped his remarkable journey.

Terry Rambler is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and has a deep understanding of and fluency in the Apache language. Raised by his grandmother, mother, aunts, and sister, Chairman Rambler was heavily influenced by the strong women in his life. He embraced the traditions and values of the Apache community, but also experienced life with a Christian foster family for five years.

Growing up in an environment where alcohol was present, Chairman Rambler made a personal commitment to never consume alcohol. However, peer pressure and other influences led him to experiment with alcohol, eventually leading to a ten-year addiction. Overcoming this addiction was the most challenging experience of his life, but with the unwavering support of his family and faith in his Creator God, Chairman Rambler has been sober for 30 years. This journey has reinforced his belief in the power of prayer and strengthened his faith.

Leadership and Accomplishments

Terry Rambler’s leadership and dedication have made a significant impact on the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

Leadership and
Elected Positions

Throughout his career, Terry Rambler has held various leadership roles and has been elected multiple times to the San Carlos Council.

Terry Rambler has served as Chairman of the San Carlos Council since 2010, winning re-election in 2014 and 2018 for his third consecutive term. He has also held key positions in prominent organizations, including the Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA), Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), and Apache Alliance, where he served as Chairman, Vice Chairman, President, and Vice President.

Focus on Addressing
Critical Needs

As Chairman, Terry Rambler has prioritized addressing critical needs of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

Chairman Rambler’s administration has focused on implementing projects and initiatives to meet the present and future needs of the tribe. These include improving education, creating employment opportunities, enhancing healthcare services, developing infrastructure, strengthening financial management systems, safeguarding tribal gaming, and preserving the lands, natural resources, waters, and cultural identity of the Apaches.

Contributions to Tribal Gaming and Casino Development

Chairman Rambler has played a significant role in tribal gaming and casino development.

Under Chairman Rambler’s direction, the Rambler Administration played a pivotal role in the development of the Apache Sky Casino. Furthermore, he successfully led negotiations to amend the gaming compact with the State, securing extended gaming rights for another 20 years. This amendment also allowed for expanded table games, additional gaming machine rights, and involvement in sports betting both on and off the Reservation.

San Carlos Training Institute and Apache College

Chairman Rambler has made significant contributions to education and training through the establishment of the San Carlos Training Institute and Apache College.

Under Chairman Rambler’s leadership, the San Carlos Training Institute was created to address unemployment among tribal members. The institute offers comprehensive training programs in various fields such as heavy equipment operation, diesel mechanics, electrical work, welding, and plant equipment operation. Over 1,200 tribal members have completed the training program, and more than 500 have found employment as a result.

Additionally, the Rambler Administration spearheaded the opening of the San Carlos Apache College in 2017. Since its inception, the college has experienced substantial growth in enrollment and is working towards achieving accreditation. Efforts to establish a college basketball team are also underway.

Healthcare Enhancements and Governance

Chairman Rambler’s administration has focused on improving healthcare services and governance for the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

During his tenure, Chairman Rambler oversaw the completion of a new hospital and medical campus, significantly improving healthcare services for tribal members. This development not only enhanced healthcare but also generated employment opportunities for the community.

Additionally, the Rambler Administration led the transfer of the management and operation of the I.H.S. San Carlos Service Unit to the San Carlos Apache Health Care Corporation, ensuring better healthcare governance and services for tribal members.

Advocacy and Community Development

Terry Rambler is a passionate advocate for his tribe, leading efforts to address key issues and foster community development.

Chairman Rambler’s administration has been at the forefront of advocating for water rights and preserving sacred sites for the San Carlos Apache Tribe. On the federal level, negotiations to settle water rights issues are ongoing, while a nationwide coalition has been formed to protect sacred sites. The tribe’s focus also includes building a water delivery system to support cattle ranching and agriculture, aiming to create sustainable economic development.

Notably, Chairman Rambler has been actively involved in efforts to save Oak Flat, a sacred site threatened by mining destruction. In 2017, he was appointed by the San Carlos Council to lead a negotiation team that resulted in a monetary settlement for the mismanagement of the tribe’s natural resources by the federal government.

Contributions as a Councilman

Terry Rambler’s tenure as a Councilman brought significant contributions to the San Carlos Apache Tribe’s development.

During his time as a Councilman representing the Bylas District, Terry Rambler served on various committees, including Transportation, Finance, and Housing. He played a vital role in prioritizing and overseeing key projects that benefited the tribe.

Chairman Rambler was instrumental in the planning, design, and construction of important infrastructure projects such as Route 6 in Gilson Wash, Routes 193/194 in Bylas, and State Highway 70 Safety Improvements in Bylas. Moreover, he actively participated in improving the financial management systems of both the tribe and the San Carlos Housing Authority, resulting in successful management of financial resources and increased housing opportunities.

Furthermore, Chairman Rambler contributed to community development by collaborating on the renovation and construction of essential facilities. These efforts included the Ernest Stanley Activity Center renovation, Nelson Duane Rodeo Grounds renovation, Albert Goseyun Exhibit Hall construction, Small Business Incubator Facility construction, Lee Dona Baseball Field construction, and the establishment of a new Head Start Center.

Commitment to Education and Youth

Terry Rambler’s commitment to education and youth empowerment is evident through his contributions to the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

As a member of the Fort Thomas Unified School District Board from 2004 to 2012, Terry Rambler played a significant role in improving educational opportunities for Apache youth. He was involved in the construction of a new learning center, which led to the establishment of an Alternative School. This initiative provided a lifeline to many Apache youth who may have otherwise dropped out of school. Additionally, Chairman Rambler initiated the development of a new elementary school in the Bylas Community, which now serves grades K–6.

Chairman Rambler remains dedicated to supporting education and alternative learning opportunities. He actively seeks to enhance the San Carlos Training Institute, retain the Apache language, and improve services for the youth, including the establishment of new Head Start Centers and the creation of a Sports Park.

Family, Faith, and Future Vision

Terry Rambler’s family values, unwavering faith, and vision for the future drive his commitment to serving his tribe.

Chairman Rambler is a single parent who successfully raised his three younger children into adulthood. His strong faith and belief in the power of prayer continue to guide him in his endeavors.

Looking forward, Chairman Rambler aims to work closely with the San Carlos Council to address critical issues such as alcohol and substance abuse by establishing an Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Center. He envisions improving public safety, building a solar energy plant for power and water supply, constructing more homes, enhancing broadband connectivity, supporting the accreditation of Apache College, expanding the San Carlos Training Institute, preserving the Apache language, protecting the environment, establishing a Long-Term Care Facility for Elders, improving youth services, investing in infrastructure, building a Sawmill for sustainable forest management, creating employment opportunities, and constructing a Sports Park for the youth.

Chairman Rambler’s dedication to his people and his collaborative approach with the San Carlos Council reflect his unwavering commitment to the prosperity and well-being of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

Stay SCATched up by joining our newsletter!


* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp