Keeping Tribal Members at poverty level wages

The signs of reality are setting in from a locally governed tribal member, point of view, on the Hannahville Indian Reservation. While continuing to battle to expose tribal government corruption and how tribal members resources are being squandered. Resources availability for this tribal member continues to suffer, due to tribal government regulations and rules.

The tribal government and its hired, contracted and paid cronies continue to skirt obligations of improving the lives of tribal members. The dominant view of the tribal government is the tribal members are a resource that provide grant dollars, from foreign governments and their influences and control.

The main objective of the tribal governments grant division is too keep a majority of tribal members at or near federally published poverty level wages.

This produces a negative effect for the economic growth of tribal members as new qualifications and requirements find their way into the disbursement of resources.

Not only is this a control issue for registered tribal members but, premium jobs, paid contracts and outside experts often are the only people who meet qualifications and per-requite demands. The tribal member is pushed down so that tribal government’s official acquaintances and family members qualify for grant dollars that pay premium wages.

The decisions connected to the making of this problem, do rest on the shoulders of elected tribal member leaders.

This tribal government body is composed of fourteen (14) elected tribal members and non-voting members,that comprise the tribal council. These elected officials have established a smaller control group, called the Executive Officers (CEO Board). These five (5) tribal members and (2) two members who are not tribal members, make all the critical decisions for the tribe.

This CEO board controls all aspects of the tribe and for all intents and purposes are the Elects of this tribe.

These people are often close family to voting tribal members which creates a cesspool for nepotism and rule skirting. The probem is this activity is not helping the tribal member who has become qualified and has an experienced background.

I ride an e bike around daily and notice the grant writer, a finance employee and a few other government employees (non-tribal) come into the back door with no masks on or tempatures being checked.

It is really disturbing because these are the people who determine the policies for Indian people on this reservation and do not follow their own recommended rules for grant dollars.

It is a sign of contempt and is a slap in the face to tribal member’s who has work hard to obtain a Bachelors degree (Cum laude) and is two course short of a Masters degree (3.8 GPA) that does not qualify for jobs but has to wear a mask to get Health Services after a third stoke.

Have a great day and fight political corruption before we have no chance left.

Basic knots

Today I am trying out a feature on the platform.

I find this type of information useful, especially in gloomy times like now!

I used to fish a lot with my Dad Wilsey and his youngest son, Alan Paul. His son was somewhat a childhood idol for me and I would pattern my behaviour after him quite often. I believe this is where I acquired thirst for knowledge like this video.

Creating division through policy

Must the world continue to promote division?

Yesterday I went to our local convenience store, located on the reservation, on the Hannahville Indian Community. The store or tribal government is in partnership with BP oil company and faithfully collects taxes for the State of Michigan.

Governor Whitmere, with her new relationship with the Pfizer drug company, recently allowed the pharmaceutical giant a move in to the State. This company and others are in the DRUG RACE to sell its vaccine on the market as a cure for the worlds newest threat. This has created policies worldwide, such as requirements to wear mask or face coverings

Due to the Tribes compact agreement and recent negotiations to allow the tribal economy to open, a new hardship has been created and more qualifications on tribal members and creating constant division.

Is this the intent of the policy, while the public is experimenting with unproven drugs from some of these companies?

The policy agreement between the State and the Michigan tribes is creating more additional social problems not needed in this social environment.

Yesterday, while visiting our store on the reservation, which is considered a sovereign territory authorized by the Federal Government to operate a tribal government. A young lady tribal member attempted to embarrass me into wearing a mask in the store before I could purchase my items.

Our tribe is small and even without social media platforms, we all know each other business. At least we have idea that we think we know, as information travels fast in the community.

I am in the minority today and it is no secret here about my opposition to mask wearing. Most people respect this position and law enforcement has never been needed or involved over mask issues to date, on the reservation.

That nearly changed yesterday as the young lady cashing me out from behind a large Plexiglas window, put her hand under the service window and waved a mask at me, while looking at me without saying a word.

It was an attempt at embarrassing me and to harass me about my position of not wearing masks. Her Uncle is the Chief of the Tribe and she knows I do not support his agreement with the Governor in Michigan. His whole family are large democratic supporters, which has already created division in the tribe on other issues.

We are supposed to be a sovereign entity and the State at its rules, largely do not apply unless the tribal government negotiations terms.

There are also rules in economic exchange as well but that is not relevant when people are waiting for a chance to tell others what to do. It is not out of fear of spreading a virus or anyones safety, they just want to be rude and bossy to people they feel threatened, by due to personal views.

I will continue my personal protest and not participate in this economic sabotage being forced upon the worlds masses and my tribe. Who’s people, in most cases, trust what their governments and tell tribal members what to do.

Division is worsening daily over rule enforcement from the State of Michigan, while Tribal law is not being enforced in areas of tribal commerce.

This keeps many tribal members from benefits intended for them with no requirements, liking wearing a mask.

Sunrise and garden blooms

These are some of the fresh blooms from this years flower garden efforts. I am quite pleased with the results.

Have a nice mid-week as we slide into another wacky world.

The sunrise photos from the other days morning stroll.

registered and ready to ride

With all the protesting and other non-sense, like greenhouse door destruction and mask-wearing, I decided to register my e-bike. I forgot my mask at it has become policy to wear one in government buildings so I hiked up my sweatshirt for appopriate cover, I mean to safeguard others. Anyway…

Officer Poupore came out to regisgter my bike for me in case I need to file a claim. Insurance is a whole different type of legal robbery I will avoid today but sometimes can be useful if it pays.

Officer Popoure and I have had our run-ins, especially when I drink (imagine that) but he has always given me a sense of mutual respect.

Here is Officer Popoure is seen here getting my information.

We rely on people like him when we are in need and need help or protection from threats by others. He has been with our tribal organization for many years now and survived our tribal politics. For which he deserves a medal.

Thanks for registering my bike Officer.

rising sun

The past few days have created more personal challenges that leave one to wonder and ponder the point of life. It seems people prefer negative over positive. Maybe the culture I live in has influenced my behavior to recognize only the negative as this seems to be the case when I look for assistance from my tribe.

Over the past 20 years I have attempted to regain my own own sense of self worth by chasing a dream that has been over for some time. Although many of the accomplishments that were made continue to benefit tribal member today, even though I believe tribal members have been robbed and left by its leaders, in favor of economic development.

There is always a push to create more tribal government which largely excludes tribal membership. This results in the tribal government being made up of mainly non-tribal members who create rules, policies and laws that benefit tribal government and its employees. These people, very often, make all the critical decisions that are kicked up to the Chief and his executives, who continue to practice State law on Sovereign tribal members.

I am continually ostracized by my own tribal government but I must find a way to move forward as I look to the heavens toward the Rising Sun.

The Chief and I: “I am not going to jail for anyone!”

Being a part of history is not always recognized or told.

Recently my Uncle Ted Wandahsega passed away at an age typical of in the Native American population. Ted was tribal chairman for a year until the current tyrant took over.

My uncle Ted never got the credit he deserved for sticking his neck out on line, for the tribal members. In order for the tribal members to purchase slot machines for gaming operations an agreement had to be signed with a leasing company known as “Yellowhammer”.

One evening I sat with the Chief, Uncle Ted (Casino Manager)and I were “negotiating terms” for tribal members to lease slot machines for the relocation to US 2, a popular route through the U.P. of Michigan.

It was a perfect opportunity as the Seminole tribe was making headway in Florida.

Upon commencement of signing, Yellowhammer sent a woman who appealed to my Uncle’s taste. He was getting the contract signed for the casino or a date. I teased him quite a bit over the whole deal.

The contract was presented and she slide it over to the Chief for signature, and he almost immediately slide it to the middle of the table and stated, ” I am not going to jail for anyone!”.

Ted, as the Casino Manager, says, “Give me the damn thing, I will sign it, I have been to jail before!”

I believe that is history but some will call fake news.

Rest in peace Uncle and thanks for taking the risk for all the tribal members.

The Mask Wearing Dilemma

This whole idea that my body is not designed to meet the challenges of any natural viruses the earth’s environment produces, seems ludicrous to me. I believe in a Creator and the design given, so I can house the soul I carry around in this life.

When human intelligence wants to interfere with this design, I get very suspicious and somewhat insulted. Who is any human to think they can improve the design each one of us is give, individually?. Some of our designs are made for labor and some for planning. We do not chose these traits our parents give those to us as part of our creation package, if you will.

I am against wearing a mask or face covering for this reason. I am born naked and will eventually lie on my deathbed the same way. My body is designed to have oxygen, no person has any right to deny me of my proper intake of the very source that keeps me alive. I recently had a stroke caused by blood clots on my brain. I need all the oxygen I can get at this point. That is why I do not want to wear the mask. I also have many disabilities from anxiety and abuse which further complicate a mask wearing for me.

Recently the county in which my reservation is located recieved a memo from the local sherrif through facebook. I was delighted about his stance and feel the tide may be turning.

To me it is a choice to wear a mask, especially if you think you are sick. If I think I am sick, I stay home. Forcing people to wear a mask is not only dangerous to many but a violation of a basic human right to free oxygen needed to keep the body functioning properly.

Has governments forgotten some of us are not equipped to handle wearing a mask.

We are healthy for our age and pose no public threat.

I do not feel that way. I feel I am a threat to everyone for not obeying an unporven command. Besides, commands are for military personell not civilians

We have a choice to wear a mask or not, that is the law.

We have the right to LIFE, liberty and happiness.

Tribal Government: Child Protection Services

In the Hannahville Indian Community the welfare of the children is monitored by a child protection service team who follow the State of Michigan guidelines for child custody cases.

ICWA or the Indian Child Welfare Act is a Federal law that gives more authority to grandparents in the role of deciding where children are placed and taken care of in the tribe. Of course our legal and prosecutor department encourage the more stringent policies of the State of Michigan and due to funding gathered from State programs. These state guidelines allow child protective services to invade tribal member homes at will based on rumors.

For several years my girlfriend of 11 years and I, have been raising two young children that had been brutally traumatized. The court awarded my woman custody of 2 of the 3 children left in our care over 2 years ago. We have been struggling ever since but the children are coming along well and behaviors are improving. I love the little ones.

A few years ago the older boy had been talking in school. He often is separated from the class as he has behavioral outbursts from his traumatic experiences. He reminds me so much of myself at that age. I had speech impediments until I worked with a specialist. Anyway, he must have been babbling about past traumas and they were sexual in nature, evidently. This is what prompted the “investigation” of child protective services.

They showed up before lunch and two workers said they were there to pick up the 5 year old boy. I was in shock immediately because I have dealt with the CPS before and my brother ended up in Federal court over there “investigations”. Charges he ultimately beat after sitting in jail for 15 months going to court. I was worried I was next.

They took the 5 year old boy after threatening to call police if I did not cooprate and hand him over. I was intimidated because this tribal government has repeatedly abused my personal rights as an American citizen and as an Indian person protected under the Indian Civil Rights Act or ICRA, a federal law. I let him go with the workers.

For an hour we waited. I cried many times in that hour worried I may meet the same fate as my brother as I was broke and could not bail out of any jail. I was so sick I was dry heaving and crying at the same time. I was scared as hell.

After an hour the lady’s returned the 5 year old boy to us and were very nice and apologetic. That is when they explained why they took the boy. I was disgusted and immediately wonder if they would do this to the Chief if it was him. I was completely mad and felt violated and mistrusted by my tribal government.

What do I when contact tracers show up on a whim? I am scared of the what the future holds for our freedoms and liberty as human beings.

Today I feel like a commodity that belongs to the tribal government, who is about 25 percent Indian, for a head count to get state funding from Michigan.

I am scared they may come after the children again, this time on suspicion of a virus.

This is communistic.

The Chief and I: Tribal Sovereignty

On a blistering winter night the Chief and I made our way to Lansing, Michigan during a frigid ice storm. The Chief did an excellent job navigating us to our hotel but we had to drive very slow. This gave us an opportunity to get to know each other a little better and talk about dreams and goals in life.

It was strange with us at times because we knew we have become adversaries but we still communicated with each other often.

As I reflect I understand his motivation. I was in control of the casino at the young age of 23. I was too green to understand the politics of everything but soon came to realize relationships are a means to an end in politics. In other words friendships are temporary and have no trust factors. In my opinion of course.

Anyway to make a long story short, the subject of “what we wanted to be” came up. I felt like I was 15 again and talking about being a fireman or police officer.

I told the Chief I wanted to be the Tribal Chairman one day as I had recently became chairman of both the Casino and Housing boards. He looked at be kind of puzzled and chuckled a bit.

I asked him what he wanted to be and the response left me speechless for a good hour. The ride just got longer for me after I heard his reply.

The Chief says to me, while looking straight forward, “I want to be a State Senator in Michigan”. I almost chocked. All I could think was, ” Your the Chief of an Indian tribe than has a special relationship with the Federal Government, isn’t that like taking a step backwards?”

Well we tribal members got a memo from our Chief today supporting Governor Whitmers decree or EO.

I guess Chief has fulfilled his wish to work for the State of Michigan!

I am feeeling a little disgusted today.

My Chief has still not asked me my opinion.

I suffer from anxiety cause by years of child abuse and cruel forms of punishment but that makes me the minority and now I am ostracized from my own community.

Are you people qualified?

Tribal governance on the Hannahville Indian Reservation began to gain strength and grow tremendously in the early 1990’s as Indian Gaming was introduced as an economic means to improve tribal member lives with employment and housing opportunities.

It also provided tribal government with an opportunity to control the population as well.

The tribe hired an assistant prosecutor from a neighboring county to replace the outgoing tribal member attorney from Bay Mills Indian Community. I knew him as “Mickey or Mick”. He was one of the silent champions of the tribal gaming compact negotiation with the State of Michigan. He moved on to become the Presidsent of the College on his reservation.

His replacement became nothing but a challenge to opportunities I thought belonged to tribal members. One of these was making decisions about child welfare issues occurring within the boundaries of the reservation.

Our tribe used to elect community boards every year and I was honored to have served on the Child Welfare board for one year. During that year the new tribal attorney became an adversary as we disagreed on regulatory control. In order to receive more “free funding” from the State of Michigan we needed tougher or more stringent guidelines than the Federal guidelines provided by ICWA.

I was not in support of this and felt it was taking away authority from the Child welfare board. When I questioned the new attorney about this her response was, “do you think you people are really qualified to make these descions?” I was immediately insulted as a member of that board.

I made an issue of this at our next meeting and the board decided to make all the decisions in regard to taking or leaving tribal children in homes that were experiencing dysfunctions compared to other communities. The attorney and child welfare team gave me some real nasty looks that day but for that year, the board was qualified to make decisions on its own merits, following guidelines provided by the federal government, not state.

Our resources were growing at an exponetially huge rate and budgeting needed to be established. I had to remove myself from several boards and concentrated on housing and gaming development.

Soon after the child welfare team and the attorney took back authority and implemented state standards which severely restricted tribal control of adoptions and other child welfare issues.

Tribal control was lost to implementing higher standards and the only people “qualified” were largely non-tribal people.

All for the “free funding”, our control was given over to non-tribal members again.

The child welfare board is still in existence but is merely a mouthpeice for the state of Michigan and its standards for Indian people and their children.

The political money (tribal member resources) games continue on the reservation as we continue to “disqualify” tribal members for jobs and governmental positions.

Tribal governments will never grow to protect tribal members if they continue to believe they are not qualified.

Political corruption is alive and well here, that is for sure.

My Dad Wilsey

My tribe allowed me to be adopted by the Wilsey Family in the mid 1970. The entire affair gave three “Indian” children a spotlight in the legal arena. My earliest recollection were rumors that “my people” were looking for the three of us, as we lived out of suitcases for a brief period of time. Eventually the tribe awarded “us three” to our cousin’s family on my mother side, she was a white Swedish women. I remember her as an angel.

Former Court house where adoption took place

Anyway, Dad Wilsey had to make plenty of personal sacrifices for us and the strain was a lot for his family. It literally has taken a lifetime to have an appreciation for the real fear he felt for losing us. Many nights he would sit the three of us down, by himself, and literally cry. He would let us know we worth all the trouble in the world.

Today I remember my Dad Wilsey who was a highly decorated war veteran of the Korean War, which left my father skeptical of government but he maintained his allegiance to the country.

I have many stories of “Pops”, and as I approach my final years I have a greater appreciation for the sacrifices he made for three children in need. I am proud to call him Dad. Without him and the guidance from him and his family, I would not be able to form my own opinion and be able to stand up for that, even if he did not agree.

He taught me to stand up for myself and learn to take care of myself because as he said “no one else is going to do it for you”.

Happy Father’s Day Dad and thanks for the confidence.

Happy Father’s Day to all men who make sacrifices for our children’s comfort today.

The Chief and I: The Water Tower

After completing the water tower portion of the Home-ownership project in 1993, the Director of HUD, Region V Indian Programs, sent me a congratulatory letter on achieving the task of resolving compliance issues and the success of our building project. I immediately shared it with my direct boss, the tribal administrator and the Chief of the Council. They seemed fairly happy for me but after a few years it dawned on me that I had started a competition of sorts. Not my intention but that is how it was between the three of us from that point forward. The tribal-administrator became my first, “go-tween” communicator, as the Chief and I began to cement our rivalry.

The HUD funded water tower was constructed to service BIA school and the housing project. The tribe would match the program with a portion of my salary which was about 8 dollars an hour with full benefits. The IHS (Indian Health Service) representative invited the Cheif and I to take a tour of the newly constructed water tower similar to the one located at our golf course.

Tribal infrastructure services local Michigan township in Bark River

We met at the empty water tower. After entering the access area I immediately started to climb up the ladder, no saftey gear at all. Soon the Cheif and the IHS contract adminstrator were behind me as we ascended up the ladder, unsecured. I was pretty young and dumb, did I mention that fact?!

I wonder why they followed me to this day and often assume it is an internal drive to compete or something becuas it sure was dangerous.

On the descent my hand became very sweaty half-way down but we all made it down.

Too bad we did not film this lack of safety.

More later…

The Chief and I: Low-Rent Housing Program

I mentioned earlier the Chief and tribal council government of the Hannahville Indian Community hired me to manage and resolve compliance issues with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in order resume housing construction programs for the tribe.

Several federal programs were available, such as the section 8 voucher or another low-rent housing program. The board and I chose a rent-to-own program called the Mutual help Homeowner Opportunity Program, which provided housing at a discounted rate. Another income-based housing program but one the resulted in owning the housing unit for the tribal member. Another lesson in local and family politics in this process too, but that is another story as well.

The director of Region V, HUD Indian Programs was a Choctaw man, and very insistent on rule and regulation enforcement, even when the project was over 20 years old with dilapidated and rotting housing units, he still wanted 30% of tribal member income collected as rent to fund housing operations. If done successfully this would resolve compliance issues and grant status would be restored to the tribal entity.

Re-certification or Certification is a process where household income is evaluated and rental payment are based on the adjusted income. The Chief live in one of the 15 units of low-income housing project from the 1970’s. I computed his payment first and found out the amount would be quite high. He said he was not paying that much for a house in the condition he lived in at the time. I agree with him but he wanted the program reinstituted but did not want to pay his rent. It made my job more difficult and also created a negative relationship with him and the director. At this point I felt both were making my job harder. I just wanted to see some Indian people get housing.

Hence, my very negative political career began. I was very young and gullible to the world. I thought everyone played fair. I should have known better after seeing many “trustworthy” people take advantage of my Dad Wilsey.

Tribal entrepreneur performing routine maintenance for tribe.
Ty doing the prep work

The board (tribal government leaders) and I eventfully resolved the 20 year compliance issue and won a new contract for 1.4 million that funded a 10 unit home ownership project with water and newer infrastructure.

More later…

Vote for yourself next time

My experience as a tribal politician began when I learned that being insecure in any race, will cost you the “win”.

The first time I decided to “run” for a leadership position in tribal government I ran against the current Chief of the Tribal Council and lost by one vote. My inexperience and sheer lack of understanding of competition cost me the chairmanship of the Tribal Gaming Board in 1991. A few people really teased me a lot but the following year I did vote for myself and managed to secure the postion year after year until the late 1990’s

Organizing any business after business has already started is a challenge in any industry, the gaming industry presents many challenges as the inventory is cash.

When our tribe first “turned on” our slot machines, we had no management plan or controls to make sure people were not taking “excess inventory home with them. In the beginning we had no surveillance cameras and “leakage” was a major issue.

Eventually the board established depositng procedures and contintued to work on internal processes in terms of cash handling.

After 15 months the board improved deposits by nearly 200%. Not bad for a governmental unit. Eventually the deposits normalized to produce many tribal government programs, like housing, childcare, youth services and overhead costs to administer tribal government programs.

Overall it was a pretty successful government-run operation the tribal members had allowed their tribal council to participate in starting with car bingo in the 1980’s

Tribal operations had grown immensely since that time and now employs roughly 200 people to manage and govern operation funded with gaming revenue.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

I recently acquired a business degree, cost-benefit analysis is a major factor in evaluating business health.

Let me demonstrate from a personal level.

Yesterday, I attempted to do some gaming where I normally lose about 100 visit. I want to win of course but I know I am supporting some kid or parent in having a job and I go about my business after losing my shirt.

Now I am no longer allowed in the gaming establishment, my “public administration” builing or the Indian Health Service with out a mask.

Who is paying for all this if they are refusing long term customers like me?

I figure it cost the tribe for my refusal of service.

Young person to tell me I can not enter is paid 10 bucks an hour, while constuction is taking place about 100 yards away. Not only is that young masked fellow getting paid to turn away business, we have a room full of accountants out back smoking cigarette after cigarette with no masks on or praticing social distancing. Let just say they all get 10 bucks an hour. We are looking at about 100 bucks and hour to tell me no plus the 100 I normally lose.

The House just took a beating.

I still have not paid top management officials averaging 90 grand a year.

COVID is a killer of business too. No testing for that one.

Blame the children?

Speaking ones mind does come at a price. May be this is natural wind damage too.

Well blame the kids of course, we had a party 2 days ago.

The children respect this greenhouse as they helped and watch me build it after my third stroke.

Wind Damage?

I am not intimidated but feel pretty sad.

The children will be to blame or wind damage.

Political Corruption

I sympathize with the families and ethnic groups that suffer from racism, I am a half-breed but you would not know to look at me. I have been verbally assaulted in many scenarios throughout life involving race, as I am often labeled a “Wetback”, “Chico”, and other assortment of name calling from all races. All designed to make be feel ashamed and most never know I am a half-breed “white guy” (Swedish mom). To look at me one would think I am of Mexican descent. These comment can come from any race, person or “sexual orientation” people. None care about how they talk to others they do not know.

Understanding and living with racism is difficult enough, I have arrived at a point where I do not recognize when people are treating me different, based on my skin color. It often frustrates me because I forget it is a real factor in our society.

As a person who has suffered racism and reverse racism from my own tribal members I know it is an issue but not as important as Political corruption in governments.

Yesterday I published an article about activties involving Michigan Governers standards for tribal casinos to open in Michigan. I also pointed out how tribal politics has already started with this mask wearing business.

The article led to information about tribal leaders or tribal government officials action in regard to use of Federal resources. Not even a day passed and I start getting contacted by tribal government officials asking me to not talk about things from 20 years ago…uh this incident was a few days ago, not 20 years ago and it is not about me.

I guess the tribal government is worried about how they treated me over the past 20 years. I tried to resolve the matter with the tribal government represetatives. They told me to go to the work rehab program. They additional spread community rumors that I went there because I was not getting what I want.

I want fair play and equal treatment. If they want to talk about how I have been treated over the past 20 years and not last week that is OK too.

I have to talk on here though because I am not masking up for anyone to meet them in person.

God would not want me to be ashamed myself. Besides mask wearing is just a new form of discrimination already being practised quite efficiently

That is the my side of the story. Maybe they should publish their side of things, like firing me because people just can not get over me calling them in a black out drunk 20 years ago.

Have a nice day.

Tribal enforcement of Whitmer COVID standards

Hannahville Indian Community is a sovereign nation, also considered a sovereign-dependent, as we accept funding and make agreements with the sovereign Federal Governments. One of our dependent requirements of a tribe is to negotiate matters not regulated by the Federal government with State governments where Tribal governments are located. Indian gaming is a classic example of the “memorandums of understanding” tribes make with sovereign states of the U.S union.

COVID has presented a new tribal-state negotiation opportunity for tribal governments. Six of Seven tribes who originally negotiated the 1993 Federal State-Tribal Gaming Compact of Michigan arrive at a agreement to open recently. I was honored to be part of the 1993 historic negotiation event. Since that time our tribe has contributed millions upon millions of cash into state coffers. All payments from our tribe have always been paid on time, and on a monthly basis. Tribal members do not get this type of treatment for allowing the tribal government to operate a casino but that is an entirely different subject.

Today I went to my tribal government to file civil matters with a rigged court and ran into this sign:

Now I can not file any court matters without a mask, this is a blatant form of discrimination.

Yesterday I visited the Indian Health Service and mask wearing young lady demanded a mask be worn my me there as well. Politics (Politricks-thanks Dick Gregory!) were evident here as a mask wearing young lady prohibited me from entering with my significant other, with out a mask. I kindly refused and stood by our vehicle and waited. Within minutes another popular elder was allowed into the Health center to pick something up with NO MASK. A few minutes later the IT guy shows up and is let in with NO MASK. This all happening while the former chief of police was having lunch in the parking lot.

Am I thoroughly confused and disgusted yet?!!!

If COVID is so serious and our tribe succumbs to the States demands, why the discriminatory practice against people who suffer from wearing a mask? I am almost an elder here and felt completely stupid for having to wait for my partner while others received service, with NO MASK.

I would bring this up with the Chief but last time I asked him why IHS is not covering my 30,000 bill from a stroke, his reply, “Well, they pay mine!” I was thoroughly disgusted because he is compensated 2000 grand a week to look after tribal members welfare, like me, why is IHS paying his bills and not mine?

Tribal Politics are alive and well.

Thanks Governor, I can not even get served in my own community due to stupid regulations, not being equally enforced upon everyone!

We just created a new way to discriminate and become even more inefficient in deliver of services to human beings and business ventures.

The Chief and I

The article I have included was written in 1992, this was my first year as Chairman of the Tribal Gaming Board. This was an elected governmental unit and those who served on the board elected their own chair. I was fortunate to have served as the Chairman until 1996 when the board was disbanded to form the CEO board composed of Tribal Council officers.

I never intended to become part of any government when I was a young man but my adopted father inspired me to participate in reservation life. He would often tell me that I am going to go back to my tribe one day and contribute.

He was right.

The stories I am publishing spotlight my relationship with the Tribal chairman of the Hannahville Indian Community. He hired me on a part time basis and eventually supported the tribal council hiring me as the official of the local Indian Housing Authority, which had been defunct since losing grant status for not managing a low-income housing program in the mid 1970’s.

I would correct the problem with the help of the elected housing board of the tribe.

The government operations were housed in a single wide trailer with no septic or water facilities.

The tribal government was still forming in the early 1990’s but Indian Gaming would soon change all of that for tribal members and its government.

I won the chairmanship of the Gaming Board, as we called it, and beat the Tribal Chairman of the Council for the position. This ended our professional relationship and we soon became adversaries as our approach to community building did not match.

The article I included is evidence of the accomplishments the tribal boards were making in the housing and casino industries. I had never intended to be in the article but the tribal chairman insisted I talk to the reporter, as I was more aware of what was going on as the tribe was developing its housing and gaming operations.

There rest is history.

It has been a battle of rotten politics since and if you look for any of my contributions to the tribe there are none to be found as others have claimed them as their own accomplishments. I thought that accolades belonged to the boards I served.

Tribal government was quite an experience but also very corrupt and unforgiving. Truth and fair play are not the motivation in many cases.

As I continue to write this history I still motivate myself to stick around here in hopes of making it better for all tribal members.

More later…

Tribal Government, really pissed a guy off.

After another stroke this writer has been mighty crabby! Such is life for an aging Potawatomi, living in the US.

Politics or Politricks as some may say, frazzled my nerves.

I have recovered again…so look out.

Stories of Government corruption ya say?!

I have many in terms of tribal government structures, so hang on to your hat as learn how to use this platform more effectively.

I hope we never return to the normal opeation of government and media fooling the hell out of eveyone.

I will be writing up some controversy soon. LOL.

Stay tuned to your favorite Potawatomi website for in depth stories about tribal life.

Down with the Mask, the hell with Covid 19

I am a Native American and Swedish.

And I say the hell with mask and stop testing for a cold!

I am Leroy, I am for the sovereign Nation of Potawatomi

Face Mask Accidents and Fatalities

Returning to college and earning a bachelor in business administration has left me with a desire to research my own opinions. I find myself attempting to verify how true or factual my opinions maybe in comparison to society.

The society I live in is a “Tribal” society and many of the spiritual and ceremonial activities comprise of human contact and are impossible to attend if required to wear a mask.

Today these important activities of tribal and human existence are being threatened by government regulation, worldwide. We are being stripped of human contact and communication over media and government induced fear.

I do not argue that we spread diseases among each other and we all know to stay away from other when sick. Today governments are claiming the spread of a disease and requiring a mask to be worn in public. To satisfy the fear induced claims of this government supported health issue, we all must wear a mask.

Mask wearing can cause panic for many. I am one of those people. I can handle the panic most times but when it becomes an issue I almost pass out and have to take of the mask to regulate my breathing as I began to panic. My panic is caused by many years of abuse as well as many other people in the world.

When people panic, accidents happen.

How many accidents are being caused because of wearing a mask or even looking for a mask while driving a car or operating public transportation for others.

These statistics are very important to publish along side the growing numbers of reported deaths from the pandemic.

This information is crucial because many activities requiring mask use are also causing people pain, panic, and death due to adherence of this policy. The deaths in some cases are results of suicide. Many people are scared to visit a hospital in fear of being classified as positive for current virus as they will be subject to prevention methods being practiced by governments and its agencies through out the world.

Wearing masks is causing more issues that are not being reported and people like me are at risk of panic attacks that could result in severe injury to others.

Stress and depression are my personal causes for not wanting a mask but some have experience tramatic experiences in life and have to relive these while wearing masks and is very risky to other health and welfare.

I also believe it is dehumanizing and robbing us all of our spiritual connections to each other

I will be returning to work with the public and provide customer service to the best of my abilities. I really do not need this distraction and if a panic attack hits me I hope I am alone.

My personal opinion, masks are causing accidents and deaths, and I am going to research this deeper.

I also believe mask wearing are robbing us of something deeply spiritual when preventing human contact and faicial recognition.

Gardening for Grandma

Today was a good day for planting some more flowers around the yard. Grandma had plenty of work for us to do as we played in the dirt all day!

She was very interesting and wanted a ride to play with the dirt. I wonder why children enjoy playing in the dirt so much? I know I use to enjoy it when ever possible!

Today was a good day to make memories for young ones in a very trying time for the world.

Children are what make everything worth an effort when they enjoy and learn to appreciate life.

We did good for Grandma today.

U.S. Airman Tyrone P. Wilsey

In remberence of my beloved brother who inspired me to continue even when times were tough. I miss and love him so much.

This is my brother while serving and a photo of him and my sister in high school. He was a devoted brother and father who left behind 2 sons and 2 daughters along with his wife, their mother.

He served during “Operation Desert Strorm” and was very proud of his service and accomplishments in the military.

He was a part of the flight maintainence team and was the “Crew Chief”, which earn him a spot on the plane. Pretty cool.

His greatest thrill was being able to be taken up, given the stick and perform a double barrel roll, I believe that is what he called it, I am not sure.

My brother would be astounded at the condition of the country today, I am sure.

Rest in Peace Brother as we will meet again.

Remembering Mom

Life as an adopted child can be difficult and challenging as my sister, brother and I experienced at a young age. Our biological parents were tragically separated from us and in their deaths we were introduced to the Wilsey family. Who took all three of us in after our tribal court awarded them legal custody.

Today I am blessed with my own son and several children I help raise, who are grandchildren to my girlfriend.

Today the children offered to help me water the gardens and it brought back memories of my mother who raised me. On this day of remembering it reminds me of why I enjoy some of the activites I participate in today.

If not for my Ma Wilsey, I probably would not have this desire to gardening and even painting. As challenging as it must have been for her to bring us into the home, she was continually providing an excellent example of how to take care of the family home. This included everything from cleaning to making gardens and weeding the lawn on the weekends while the fellow played ball.

Thanks Mom for instilling some value in me to pass along.

Have a blessed day and remember all those who motivate us to care for each other.

The Scooter Spill

Recently I visited an “essential business”, which is a big box lumberyard chain store and witnessed a very terrible accident. It did not kill anyone and no ambulance was called but the response of others was pretty alarming to me.

An elderly man, maybe 70, was attempting to back up his scooter down an incline from the back of his truck. He turned to quickly backing down and liteally jumped out of the way of the cart as it was going off the side of the ramp to early. He had a very serious accident as his head hit the pavement as he landed. Very scary.

I jumped out of the truck and ran to help.

As I approached another man, in a mask, approached to investigate and stopped about 6 feet short of assisting us and adjusted his mask. Soon a young man came bye and collected a cart to see what was going on, ” Can you get us help!?” I yelled somewhat loudly as I was in disbelief no one was helping.

I checked the man out and told someone to get a manager to write up the accident. I checked head and it was fine but i am sure he was very scared as he lay there waiting for help.

I still can not believe an able bodies man and a worker never bothered to offer any assistance with the man. I got him up as he said “help me up” and he recovered and went to shop.

I still cannot believe people are so scared now, we stop short of helping the elderly in fear of our own saftey.

I believe he was looking for his mask as his basket was in the back.

Road Travel Tips for Users of Handicap Scooters

We, the Wisconsin Potawatomi

Our Tribal Constitution was formed by 47 tribal member in the mid 1930’s. A time when there was not much hope for tribal members. They formed their own tribal government with-in the the State of Michigan boundaries and often make government to government agreements with the State.

Tribal Government Office

The tribal government has an agreement with Potawatomi and Indian people that forms the basis for our National Constitution, as some may perceive the document, but non the less it is our forming documents that establishes a relation ship with the people and elected tribal government (s).

The following is an expert of our forming documents:

UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE
HANNAHVILLE INDIAN COMMUNITY
MICHIGAN

APPROVED JULY 23,1936

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON: 1936

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE HANNAHVIILLE
INDIAN COMMUNITY

PREAMBLE

We, the Potowatomies residing near Wilson and Harris in Menominee County, Michigan, on lands reserved for the Wisconsin Pototatomies residing in Michigan, in order to form a representative organization, to promote the welfare of our people, to preserve the land for ourselves and our children, and to provide homes for all the Indians of this Community who need them, do establish this Constitution.

No where in the document is it stated the tribal government formed this arrangment.

Just like the US Constitution, ours begins with,

WE the Pottawatomie, not We the Tribal Government, or State Government.

Tribal employment

Well 15 months of applying for jobs that interest me I finally get the Food and Beverage Supervisor position with full benefits after a 90-day probation evaluation.

I hope these guys are ready for me again!

If it does not relate to customer service and food quality I probably am not entertaining it.

I was reminded about Facebook policies. Personally I think Facebook posts are the social media jobs to police, which they doing anyway.

There are 14 other supervisors so this should be quite a challenge if nothing else.if I apply Dad’s rules. Being productive is key and I will be contributing to the success of the tribe, even in a small sense.

See you all at the Island Resort & Casino

Dawning the Mask

The dawning of a mask presents issues for some people. These reasons can be caused from a of variety of medical, psychological and physical problems.

A recent visit to the big box lumber yard store, reminded me just how much wearing a mask disorients me. As a child I experienced several traumatic events and wearing a mask often produces unwanted panicking as I feel I am struggling to breath. Soon the feeling turns to disorientation and I have to pull off the mask or risk fainting.

It is embarrassing as an older person and probably not good for a person who has had three strokes.

When verbally forcing someone to wear a mask, remember we all have pasts and certain triggers can lead to additional health related problems.

Not everyone is stupid for refusing to wear a mask.

Most of these enforcement efforts are only recommendations as we will become sick if we contract any virus or germ.

Pollen season is upon us, let us not confuse current events with our natural response to this time of year.

And lets take it easy on mask enforcement. Some of us have serious issues when using them and become disoriented and frustrated. These two conditions can created more hazards for humans and cause death as well.

Return to Normalcy

Normalcy is different for all human beings as we journey through this life.

Today we celebrate our “return to normalcy” with a birthday party for the Mother of this household. A very popular past time in many cultures worldwide.

We may celebrate differently but Mothers bring life to the world as their birthdays seem more meaningful and special. to me.

Enjoy the Celebration

Mother Dolly Birthday Party

All Mothers are extra special on their birthday.

Thanks for watching out for us Dolly.

Green Toy House

It was a very good day and my little partner and I worked on getting the garden done. It is getting late in the season and we still have not done much but planted some seeds in the greenhouse. We plan on growing vegetables for salad and strawberries for homemade milkshakes.

My helper is growing so fast and can already use a camping saw fairly well. After some time on the saw I had him drive nails with a hammer. I was surprised at how well he was at using tools.

He is going to be quite the challenger as well. That is fine with me, if he can have use of the skill. He likes to question everything and does not leave any disciplining unchallenged with a remark. I have to smile inside as I am sure he will be very well adapted at taking care of himself.

This is all one can hope for when trying to provide some guidance to a young mind, ready to challenge the world.

Of course his younger sister has dubbed our new greenhouse, the “green toy house”, where she brought her “babies to visit” yesterday.

Today was a good day.

Tribal Government reopens tribal economy

Tribal government businesses employees returned to work today at 8 am.

Proceeds from the tribal government operations heavily support surrounding schools and communities. These payments may become stalled as the tribal businesses try to recover significant loses as it’s tribal economy was voluntarily shut down to assist in the current health crisis.

Former Tribal Courthouse

Not all business offerings are available as they will be phased in overtime to accommodate regulatory requirements of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), which regulates Indian Casinos for the Federal Government.

Expectations will be to provide employment levels to previous counts of about 850 employees, many who support families in the local counties.

The Island Resort Casino also has two golf courses and is building additional hotel space for future golfing venues.

Island Resort and Casino

For more information contact : https://www.islandresortandcasino.com/

Smell of Spring

It is a beautiful day in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan on the Hannahville Indian Reservation.

The smell of spring is in the air and the birds are chirping loudly this morning.

A very reassuring sound in trying times.

May we appreciate life and all the gifts we have been given to be able to live in this amazing place we call Earth, were life is abundant.

Holes in Information

Yesterday I logged on to my social media account and discovered I had been dropped from a more conservative group I joined. The message they were sending really agreed with my personal views and I immediately began posting while they were still starting the page.

Today I had to clean up my pages because my pages looked like Swiss cheese with all the missing information.

It is irritating enough that social sites owners can control posts and determine our “truths” for us on a daily basis but when site administrators just drop you after you support their causes, well it leave me a feeling of division.

I shared a few of my personal posts and they were approved but maybe the last one I tried to share was not agreeable with a conservative view. I grew up in a conservative household and understand this type of view. Talking about gambling and how it heavily supports Michigan economy was not well received, is the assumption I am making.

Even when we demand unity, as this site promoted, it is odd to be dropped if ones view is not conservative enough.

How does this promote Unity?

Division is a part of life and ruins relationships, this is truth.

I miss my Brother today, we often disagreed but we stayed unified in business and were successful.

Tyrone P. Wandahsega

Peace, Unity and Brotherhood

When receiving official tribal government mail from the CEO Board of Directors of the Tribal Council Executive Officers, our letterhead includes an emblem surrounded by three words.

Peace, Unity and Brotherhood.

This represents the official motto of the Potawatomi tribal government organization. This organization was established by 46 tribal members, which has now grown to an estimated membership of about 1,000 members.

First Campfire of the Season

As our tribal economy is being slowly reopened, we all should consider this a time of understanding. A time of understanding the power of people to influence the governments under which they create, live and raise families in an American culture of many faiths and people of many colors. These people are to enjoy the fruits of earth and its nature.

As the motto of the Hannahville Indian Community government’s is to seek Peace, Unity and Brotherhood, so it should also be for each tribal member and its 900 employees. This can only benefit and unify the local business economy in which we are now idle over panic, fear and undetermined regulation.

Fear can not be the determining factor as we move forward in providing for tribal members and the local Michigan economies in the Delta and Menominee counties. With an estimated payroll of 32 million in payroll and another 14 million in health, paid time off, and other benefits about 75% is distributed to non-tribal members to produce benefits to 900 tribal members and the local economy.

Peace, unity and all people and other entities, like governments, should strive for these principles to guide themselves in uncertain times. This will restore positive energy and human connection that is very much needed in these trying times.

Tribal Government Office of the Hannahville Indian Community

Be safe everyone.

Who am I taking orders from today?

Is anyone taking orders from their Creator today? You know, that unseen force that tells you what is right and wrong.

I hope so, there may be more caring and compassionate behavior from the news and governments of the world.

Have a great week!

Hannahville Indian Community – The Barn

This may turn out to be a series of articles of a personal view of historical perspective, at the Hannahville Indian Community, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There is other history to consider but this article shows the beginnings of the tribe’s success and contribution to the local economic structure for surrounding communities in Michigan. The story begins in a “barn”.

No not that story!

This story is about the development of an economic success established through gambling and tribal government growth.

Pictured above is a pole barn building the we used to operate the gaming business for the tribe. Many of us worked here as blackjack, craps, poker dealers and waitresses. We had an industrial fan to pull cigarette smoke out of the building every few hours. The smoke was unbearable at times but we continued to deal to very drunk and beligerant customers. The racial comments increased as people would lose their money but we dealt smiling and dealing. As a tribal member it was tough to listen to the terrible names customers would use.

We continued to deal in the “Barn” but moved to a more convenient location in 1994, on Hwy US 2, that leads to the Mackinaw bridge.

Please visit our Tribal Casino site at: https://www.islandresortandcasino.com/

Our tribe contributes 5 % to the State of Michigan, in lieu of taxes and pays on an annual basis. 2 percent is spread among local counties and schools.

Whitmore shuts down tribal officials

The Hannahville Indian Community Tribal Government succumbed to the will of the state of Michigan and decided to reopen the tribal economy in six more days. Initial indications are Governor Whitmore threatened police action against Michigan residents who may support the tribal casino with their patronage. Tribal officials apparently agreed to change its plans and wait for an additional six more days. The purpose of this decision may be more politically driven than a health driven need to protect the public.

Island Resort and Casino

As tribal members conintue to wait for crucial services to be restored tribal, state and federal government officials continue to collect massive payroll checks to support their families and friends while the tribal member population wait to secure employment. This employment merely provides a poverty wage earning and many continue to suffer with depression and suicide. A much greater disease that afflicts many Indian people.

Tribal members will surely be denied the one small “per cap” payment of 400 dollars a month while tribal government has spent between 1 to 5 million in payroll investment dollars with no return for tribal members in the past few months, most of which are not tribal members. When will this stop? The Tribal Chairman and Governor Whitmore are out of touch with reality. All they have done is further damage the little income tribal members receive to pay their light bills.

The wealthy and elite can not possibly comprehend how they are ruining the future of many over a media hyped cold while depression and suicide remain one of the largest contributors to health problems in this community.

Per Cap will be eliminated in the near future.

Will these leaders contribute their payroll to an emergency assistance programs to feed and house tribal member children later? Per cap is surely destined for elimination soon.

Cultural Grounds on the Hannahville Indian Reservation

Tribal Council Reopens Economy

The tribal government has given approval to the CEO Board to resume operations for the tribal and local rural economies of Bark-River, Wilson, Gourley and Escanaba townships in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The 12-person tribal council, the governing body of the tribal community, has given the Community Economic Oversight Board authority to reopen gaming and government operations. These will include implementing health standards in the wake of the recent health concerns the world is experiencing. This allows more full-time employees to return to work.

A trucker visiting the tribes gas station during Michigan’s lock-down.

The tribal economy has a mission to improve the lives of over 900 tribal members located on land held in trust by the U.S. Congress. During the lock-down about 200 full-time salaried tribal, federal, and state government employees and primary managers of gaming operations were paid full wages. These are the top authority and the highest compensated people in the tribal economy. The tribal members deserve to have a report on the amount of payroll, insurance benefits, and board stipends paid to these governing officials.

A low estimate of the tribal government and management wage expense paid by the community funds could be made assuming the 200 “essential employees” were paid an average of 45,000 yearly. The hourly cost would be 21.63 per person.

If 200 people collected weekly checks, the tribe paid out full time wages of over $1,038,000 or more since mid-March. What percentage of those essential jobs were actually benefiting tribal members during this crisis? Is there a plan to recoup the lost production time for many of these jobs other than more regulation? If the tribal member was investing 4,300 an hour for 200 employees, what did we gain? A bigger building and more expense is what we will gain. What percentage of tribal members were essential during this time of crisis?

The tribal government should answer questions as it moves forward with its goal and mission of improving the lives of tribal members and their families who are currently living on poverty level wages even though tribal members “own” a casino.

Tribal Members are not essential?

On my reservation the tribal government is represented by four executive officers, all of whom are paid an average salary of $100,000 per year plus full benefits. . These “essential” executives have managed to secure sole authority from a 12 member council. During these times of distress these four executive officers and a host of accounting personal, who are coincidentally white men and women earning salaries and benefits well over $50,000 per year with full health benefits have become the “essential”. These people are now making plans to dispel tribal funded programs and are possibly looking at our “per cap” (tribal welfare benefits) as a first resort to secure interest in cash flow loans and construction benefits.

Where does this leave the rest of our people, who are still economically disadvantaged on many fronts?

While the tribal members have now become non-essential and non-tribal members continue to collect exuberant salaries compared to the tribal members, it is tough to say we are not living a society where those intended to benefit first, will never mature to fruition, again.

It is sad state for the world today and even a sadder state of affairs for tribal members who rely on tribal governments to provide for welfare and sustenance and fall drastically short in these times of need as the four executives and their non-tribal administrators and over priced accountants suck the life out of the payroll system meant for the tribal member, especially in times of dire need.

It is a typical example of how the tribal member has been treated by unjust chiefs and greedy administrators they hire to “look after our needs” for many generations.

What world.

Be safe All

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