Monthly Archives: January 2014

Reconsidering; Investments: When Objectives are not met.

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The Tribal Council has what is called a “fiduciary responsibility” to the People of the Hannahville Indian Community.

The Legal definition fiduciary is:
  •  An individual in whom another has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect property or money. 
When the people evaluate the performance of the Tribal Council and its Executive Council, they must always consider first if the assets of this community are meeting the needs or objectives of the people.
When we vote for our Tribal Council and its Executive Branch we should expect that the investments we allow our elected leaders to make for us are monitored as to how these investments have improved the lives of the people that live in our community. 
A big investment we make as a community is a court system to provide our resident members and employees a place to seek fair and unbiased judgments. If the object is to provide justice and relief on a fair and consistent basis, then the tribal council and its executive should make sure all processes are in place to make sure the objective can be met.
One way to ensure our investment is protected is establishing rules and procedures for the people employed to administer our court system. This is a must to prevent abuse of authority, conflicts of interest and lack of consistency in court judgments and probationary requirements. If we lack a way to measure and police consistency then we lack a way to evaluate our investment in the court system.
We do have other areas to consider as a community, from an investment standpoint, but the court system needs to become a priority with the Tribal Council and its Executives. 
We spend a great deal of resources on the court system but is it worth the investment, if the perception of unfairness and injustice continues to persist.

The need for a General Council.

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Technology gives us many places to vent our feelings or just share some random thought on emotionally driven issues. It is a great way to express ourselves but also adds a lot of confusion.

While reading comments on a popular social media sight there was some discussion about who has the moral and ethical obligation to protect ones self, in this case it is about the tribal member. 
Those we elect, in any organizational structure, should be held accountable if the organizational objectives are not met. In this case it is about application of rules and procedures. We know that there will be cases of unfair rulings, misapplication of rules and law, abuse of power and authority and many other negative side affects of the human influence on government, business and education institutions. These influences are beyond the control of a properly run organization.
When we consider that the people elected into any position of power and authority, are only a representation of the groups ideals and principles. If moral, ethical, manipulation of power and authority  are happening it is only because the whole is satisfied with the performance of the few.
We, as a group of resident individuals in this organization are the General Council (aka: The Community or Hannahville Indian Community) and if The Tribal Council, The Executive Branch of the Tribal Council, any elected boards, appointed Judges, Directors, Managers, Administrators, or any other body or position trusted to uphold our principles and values are not doing so, it may be because as a whole we agree with the way our organization operates.
We need to convene as a people more often to keep balance in the power and authority. We, as individuals, are not participatory enough in our processes, and trust others to develop these processes for us, a habit we as a group need to overcome with regular meetings to write proposals or organize ourselves to correct some of the unfairness and injustices occurring around the organizations we are responsible for as a community.
We must become more involved in our government, business and educational systems by attending open meetings and forums, where we can express ourselves and be heard. We also as a group should accept more responsibility as a whole community when processes are being taken advantage of by those we elect, employ and trust to maintain the integrity of those process.
There needs to be a greater interest from the voting population to implement the General Council to keep the balance in power. If we do not organize to regulate our government, our businesses, and our educational systems. There will be no real significant change and the tribal member will continue to be exploited by whomever they give authority and power.
In the end if there is high degree of unethical and immoral behavior, it is only because we cannot unite as one and keep people responsible, in positions of power and authority.

Code of Ethics

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The Council is currently considering a code to address the ethical standards to be applied to itself, other boards (appointed or elected), and officers it may appoint.

Our community has lacked any real standards in the past and with proper implementation of this or any other legal rule should be able to curb some of the abuses and implement some accountability by those who do exceed the boundaries of their authority.

The problem with this new legislation is that the governing body or the enforcement obligation rests in the hands of the officers and creates a conflict of interest.

If we leave the officers to govern their own actions. What guarantee do we have the investigative process will be partial and fair since most of the agencies responsible for the process are in fact overseen by these officer positions.

There needs to be an ethics committee or some outside body created to act independently and uninfluenced by the officers of the council.

A committee of other community members, such as tribal elders, former council members, former board members, or other interested members should be established to enforce this code and provide disciplinary or other associated legal proceedings.