by Elmer Makua
January 17, 2005
It has been with great honor to serve as a council member for the Ketchikan Indian Community, and I do not take this responsibility lightly. First, I would like to explain to the tribal members that have been following the filing of a request for a recall petition of a tribal council president. I have chosen to withhold using any names, these explanations are to inform, not to cause harm, as my grandmother taught me to respect those, as you would have wanted them to respect you.
According to Ordinance 11, section 1: RECALL; The members of KIC have the right to recall a Tribal Council Member, including the president, for any of the following reasons: Misappropriation of funds, Gross neglect of duty, abusing the powers of office, conviction in a state, federal or Tribal court of a felony or crime against an individual.
It's sometimes difficult to imagine any wrongdoing was intentional by someone with several years of experience; it could have been oversight or the urgency of the impending rationalization. And it was only after numerous attempts to request for special meetings, along with two other council members requests, to review and/or discuss, actions taken without full council approval, that I felt I had no recourse but to file for a petition of recall.
The intention for this obvious defiance is to uphold an obligation to the office, to an oath when I swore to protect and defend such powers of the Constitution and By-laws of the Federally Recognized Tribe of the Ketchikan Indian Community. To stand by and allow the dismantling and gradual change of the constitution and by-laws without its membership having any vote about it would have been wrong! I moved to recall the president!!!!
What isn't seen is the fact that I had to go through a qualifying process, filing and presenting the charges in front of a tribal council and to convince a vote of the majority. It was at that time I received permission to carry a petition to the membership for their signatures, but no one said anything when she submitted a statement to the media. The petition is to protect the nature of the offence; there is no section to go to the media with it. When she went to the media in her defense or slanderous remarks, she again violated Section 2: NOTICE; The tribal council shall provide written notice to the target of the recall petition that a valid recall has been filed against her. The tribal council member shall be afforded a hearing before the general membership prior to the recall election. By making a public comment she violates again Section 3; CONFLICT OF INTEREST; The tribal council member who is the target of the recall petition shall abstain from all matters involving the recall petition and recall election. No one mentions that it was her comments in the Ketchikan News Paper and other medias, which have brought unwarranted attention, from local, state and national leaders. It is with a lack of common sense or professional ethics to be airing the organizations laundry for the media to use and boy they would like nothing else better. After the letters to the editor and with slanderous public comments in meetings of the tribal council to the membership it has been very uncomfortable approaching the membership and now recently on Sitnews, I again have no recourse but to come to the media and explain my side of it. I want to assure you, I have the itemized documentation to support the charges filed, and I have but one agenda and Oath, to the best of my ability; I would Promote and Protect the best interest of the tribe, In accordance with its constitution and by-laws. There were signatures gathered, not as near the number needed because of comments in the media. This information can only be shared with the Operational Officer, but feel free to contact me at anytime @ 907 225-6461. I would appreciate any inquiries from "members only" for copies of itemized documentation
I would like to thank all of
those who have supported me in this time of trial, Thank You!
I will stand up for your rights, as The KIC Tribal Council President.
What is a recall?
It is an Ordinance provided
to the KIC tribal membership to have the right to recall a tribal
Council member including the president, for any of the following
Who was trying to recall Council President Stephanie Rainwater-Sande?
Elmer Makua, who with only 16 months experience as a tribal council member, was able to complete a rigorous request for a recall petition. The request for a recall petition was not an easy decision to make, but after numerous attempts of three council members requesting special meetings to discuss the reasons for a turn over of a majority poll vote and the cost/expenditures, with denial after denial, it was the only option left to do. I submitted the first request March 26, 2004 and it failed. It failed, because the information for the grounds or reasons for the recall were in excess of 200 words. April 6, 2004 I resubmitted an edited version, keeping within the requirements of Ordinance 11 and the instructions on the Tribal Council approved form- Request for a Recall Petition and it was accepted.
What are the charges that have been made?
The charges fall into three
Ordinance 11: Recall Procedures, provides the members of KIC the right
to recall a tribal council member, including the president, for
any of the above reasons. The charges I brought forward are true,
and I am prepared to defend them and only one of the charges
needs to be validation enough to recall.
Question: Are the accusations that these charges untrue, fabricated, and presented to the membership as the truth with no back-up documentation, that they are self-indulgent griping, based on four council members who cannot make decisions on their own.
Answer: They are true and I presented the charges and received Tribal Council approval to approach the tribal membership to seek signatures. As for self indulgence griping based on four block-voting council members not being able make a decision on their own,
Answer: It's too bad our representative for a leader does not have the confidence of the Tribal Council and is always on the attack, the responsibility of a President is to use protocol, persistence, proof by example and patience to bring the council together, she displays none of these qualities.
Question: The gifts that were given to an out going President and two Council members, if she had no idea who approved the purchase, who did?
Answer: Easy, lets look at the purchase order; someone had to sign for it, than ask them who gave them the directive.
Question: Did President Sande make the decision to eliminate KIC standing committees without referendum vote of the membership?
Answer: Yes (see above).
I am truly sorry for the shame brought to KIC, but I followed the procedures and kept it within the tribe, I did not invite the media into the Tribal meetings and I did not submit any statements to the newspaper at any time.
The increased scrutiny there may be by the community, state and among the national leaders was brought on when Stephanie made a statement directly to the media, the very next day. There is a stigma of the media that would like nothing better to do but to air our dirty laundry.
After it hit the newspapers with some out-right slanderous statements, I felt very uncomfortable and I suppose that is what was intended.
I have made a motion to the
Tribal Council, to develop a policy that only through council
approval, can any information that pertains to the integrity
of KIC staff and/or tribal members and/or elected officials,
be released to the media. This is in accordance with Ordinance
8, Section 3:Prohibtions and Penalties, under 03.03 Additional
Prohibitions, under Section 30.30.04
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.