These are some “side-effects” of the Drug and Alcohol Policy
- Marijuana users turn to harder drugs to avoid detection times
- Increased Alcohol use leading to other health problems and death
- Increased use and abuse of legal drugs
- Increase in criminal activity to obtain prescription pills
- Increase in needle use to inject prescription drugs
- Increase in birth defects and addiction in newborn babies from legal drugs
- Unfair application of the policy
The single most negative effect of this policy is the inability to Provide Tribal Members with meaningful employment.
In 1992 our tribal community had a 95% tribal member employment rate which was instrumental in the Tribal-State Compact negotiations and provided tribes with a very legitimate reason to conduct gaming on reservation land.
In 1996, our government implemented the Drug and Alcohol Policy reducing the tribal member employment rate to about 60% tribal member employment.
This represents a total decrease of 35% in tribal membership employment.
Although the Policy was designed to “improve” social responsibility and accountability it has only lended itself to creating more “professional” type jobs, which most tribal members do not qualify to hold.
Tribal members who struggle with addiction, depression and suicide has only increased since the introduction of this policy.
We need to establish a program to help us with these issues but we do not need a policy that prohibits employment of tribal members.
Our number one policy of employing tribal members has fallen along the wayside and is no longer the #1 priority.
If tribal members are working this leaves less time for use and abuse of any drug or alcohol.
Let’s get back to employing our own! First, the rest will work itself out.
There will be not be a regular tribal council meeting, this Monday, due to scheduling conflicts.
Regular Meeting rescheduled for the following Monday
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 Tribal Council is considering where to allocate 1.3 million and there are two ideas that are at the fore front of the economic investment. The question that needs to be answered is who will benefit most from either investment.
One plan is build a high end spa/massage parlor located in motel operations. This would create a new draw for the customer base but we have to be certain this is where our marketing plan is targeted towards. Presently the plan is centered around busing programs that are designed to break even. Would these patrons really have the additional revenue needed to pay for a 65 dollar back rub?
The other thought is to reinvest in our current housing program and build more housing for tribal members. By following this course of action jobs, housing and population growth needed to sustain gaming operations would be realized and the positive effects it would have for the local economy.
Which idea do you like best, answer the poll provided on this blog.