I had the privilege of serving as a Member of the Sault Tribe Board of Directors for nearly 8 non-consecutive years. It has been an honor to serve in this capacity, and if I am fortunate enough to be elected I will continue to provide the Tribal Membership with the same effort and determination that I have illustrated in the past.
As an elected representative of the Tribe I have introduced well over 100+ resolutions for the betterment of the Tribe. I am pleased that over many these resolutions have been adopted ranging from areas such as COLA, School Gymnasium, Middle School Expansion, Special Needs Scholarships, Culture, Budgetary Controls, and Economic Diversification. It must be noted none of these could be adopted without the collaboration and support of fellow elected officials working collectively to achieve results.
During Tribal Elections many candidates offer grandiose promises. I have never believed in this approach, seeking to find realistic solutions to the issues facing our Tribe and putting forth the effort to move Our Tribe progressively forward, which the Tribe has been able to accomplish during my tenure by working together.
While it is my firm belief that actions and effort speak far more eloquently than political promises. I would like to address several of the areas that I will be emphasizing throughout this election.
Everyone is supportive of expanding services to the membership. For us to accomplish that goal, we must first PLAN accordingly. It is irresponsible to make such promises without ensuring that it is realistically feasible. Investing in the future of our Tribal programs will yield this type of expansion over time. I MUST STRESS THAT THIS WILL TAKE TIME to grow the funds, and this growth must be continual to ensure its long term sustainability.
There are many ways to improve upon our existing structure. We need to invest in our Tribal Members, for they are the reason that the Tribe exists.
Education is one of the keys to the Tribe’s future. Education can afford Tribal Members the means to be self-sufficient, thus fitting with the overall goals of the Tribe itself.
Education takes place on many different levels. Educational opportunities for our youth provide them with the tools to excel, and advance to higher levels of Education and Career placement.
Our youth need to understand that we as a Tribe care, and are supportive of their educational goals. We need to instill a belief that anything is attainable. To do this, we need to provide the means, including economic support. We need to closely monitor the progress of our children, to make sure that they have all of the tools necessary to succeed. We need to start this from the first day that they enter a classroom; to the day they walk across the stage to receive their High School diploma.
Once a Tribal Member graduates, they need to know that Higher Education is an attainable goal, should they choose to seek it. It is important to note that Higher education takes many forms: College, Vocational Trade Schools, and Graduate programs just to name a few. No one is more important than the other. The importance only results from the needs of the individual member.
Too often, the high expenses of this type of education turn off Tribal Members. The Tribe needs to provide the economic support so that these hurdles do not halt our Memberships progress. To do this, it will take additional funding.
Additional funding can, and should be provided, by a means that is reasonable and sustainable. A percentage of our revenues should be earmarked for educational purposes annually. These additional economic resources would be added to the principles of current educational investment funds, thus increasing the educational opportunities over time.
Another area we must focus upon is our Elders:
Promising to increase the Elder Fund is easy to do; making it happen takes hard work and planning. To do this, it will also take additional funding.
Additional funding can, and should be provided, by a means that is reasonable and sustainable. A percentage of our revenues should also be earmarked for towards our Elders Fund annually.
These additional economic resources would be added to the principles of current Elder investment funds, thus increasing the Elder Dividend consistently over time. I will work with fellow elected officials to ensure that this occurs.
If we continually fail to add the principal of this fun, as well as others, they will never grow. This has been the number one detriment to the success of these services. While politicians have sought to give out short term enhancements, these enhancements actually would’ve been better served if added annually to the principal of the funds yielding a larger annual return for our elders annually.
We must Never forget that our most valuable assets are our children and Elders.
Our elders are the foundation of our tribe, and our children are our future.
WE MUST INVEST IN OURSELVES TO ENSURE OUR FUTURE!
The above areas are not the only areas that Our Tribe must focus upon. The following links will provide greater detail on topics such as:
Please click on each area to gain a greater understanding on these and other issues facing Our Tribe.