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
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.
Member: Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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