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Freedom Of Speech
by Samuel Bergeron


March 09, 2004

There are those on the Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council who would stifle my freedom of speech. An attempt to censure (punish) me occurred last night in executive session for an opinion letter I sent to this forum about the KIC Health Board. They do this under the auspices of a Ketchikan Indian Community rule that states: "No one except the President shall speak for the tribe". This rule applies not to political opinions but to policy positions of the tribe.

No one and I mean no one is ever going to deny me or anyone else that is a member of the Tribal council our say on the issues of the day in this venue or any other they may choose to use. It makes my blood boil to think that the thought police are alive and well on the Tribal Council. I guess they don't want you all to know what my opinions are and why I feel the way that I do. If all of you are in the dark as what is happening, this enables them to continue to operate in the relative vacuum that they now enjoy.

If you ever have the opportunity to walk thru our cemetery here in Ketchikan, you will see some of those folks gave their lives in war, in part, to protect my freedom of speech. Because of that, it is egregious to me to think that a censure from the tribal council for expressing my opinion was ever considered. It is indicative of the caliber of people who now serve on the Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council.

All of you who serve in an elected office are public figures including me. We are open for public criticism whether we like it or not. Get ready.

Samuel Bergeron,
Member: Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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