Executive Council of Central
& Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Gives Report of Meeting
June 11, 2006
According to information provided
by Jodi Wolf, CCTHITA Publications, all Central Council Tlingit
and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's Executive Council members
were present for a spirited and productive three-day meeting
that was held on May 30 through June 1st at the Vocational Training
& Resource Center (VTRC) in Juneau, Alaska.
The meeting opened with President Edward Thomas giving a historical
overview of the Tribe and the Tribe's experiences in contracting
for federal programs over the years; this was followed by an
orientation to the Council on the role that a Board (Council)
plays in an organization such as CCTHITA. The Council viewed
an Effective Meetings video, and also took the time to list some
"Meeting Conduct Standards" that outline how members
should treat one another in meetings. The Council wishes to make
sure that each member is free to speak their mind at any time,
but to do so in an orderly and respectful manner.
A portion of this meeting was set aside to hear about the programs
Central Council manages and to get fully orientated on financial
issues. The Council reviewed administrative issues and the challenges
the Tribe is facing today and will face in the future.
Corrine Garza, Chief of Business Operations, and Dorothy Webster,
Chief Finance Officer, walked through each budget of the tribe
and then explained Fiscal Policies. This was the most interactive
area between the Council and our Administrative Staff. They asked
some excellent questions on budget development processes, budget
monitoring, and budget modification policies. The Council expressed
appreciation for explanations on how indirect cost recovery is
used, and learned what types of expenditures are not reimbursable
from the federal government.
The Council requested a multi-year historical report on Central
Council's major administrative budgets and programs to better
understand budget trends, which would help them make better decisions
in the future. Management will produce this information and will
make it available to the Council and to our management team on
an internal web site that is managed out of our Finance Department.
The Council was given an update on Tlingit & Haida Technology
Industries (THTI) operations and its financial picture. While
these projects provide good job opportunities for people in the
communities in which they reside, the profit margins are very
thin and CCTHITA's "fixed" contracts give little flexibility
in making the salaries of our employees competitive. This leads
to higher rates of staff turn-overparticularly during the summer
Tribal program managers gave reports on each of their programs;
giving detail on program eligibility and available resources.
Generally speaking, people have more needs than CCTHITA has program
resources to adequately address and then again CCTHITA has some
programs set up for getting clients "job-ready" and
we can't sustain a steady clientele of those eligible to make
meaningful differences in unemployment rates.
One point that is always difficult to address is how to make
CCTHITA programs available for those who do not reside in CCTHITA's
geographic region. CCTHITA funding sources require a client to
reside in the service area of Southeast Alaska to be eligible
for most of CCTHITA's programs. While this is not good for those
who reside outside of Southeast Alaska and need similar services,
it is clear that the needs of people who reside in the region
are generally greater than those of tribal citizens residing
Another recent concern is the rapidly rising cost of energy.
This is a major problem for people who reside in rural communities.
Energy costs are generally higher in rural communities because
of the transportation cost. This is compounded by the fact that
program benefits to the needy are not being adjusted to help
the families pay for the higher costs creating undue strain on
the entire household budget of our rural families.
The Council acted on all of the resolutions that were not acted
upon at General Assembly, as well as on some of their own resolutions
that authorize the Tribe to enter into new program contracts
and renew existing contracts. They very much agree that CCTHITA
should have an internal auditor but are not willing to waive
the rule that prohibits a delegate from being an employee. It
was felt that the waiving of such a rule sets precedence and
gives a perception that it is okay for an employee to be a delegate
or a delegate to be an employee so long as you can get the votes,
and the Council felt this is not a good message.
The Council was appreciative and pleased with the reports they
received from managers on their programs, but they want to ensure
that program dollars are maximized and that CCTHITA expends all
program dollars to make certain CCTHITA recovers all indirect
costs that are owed to CCTHITA for managing these programs. The
Council did not hear reports from a couple of program managers
who will report at the Executive Council meeting scheduled for
June 24th in Ketchikan.
The Council and management team will engage in strategic planning
sometime before early fall. They would like to go through this
process so that we will have a good plan for addressing the needs
of our people while it is still early in their tenure. The Council
will have access to monthly financial information on our internal
web site; this will provide an opportunity to monitor the expenditures
of all programs on a more frequent basis.
The Executive Council wants very much to keep in contact with
delegates and other elected officials so the Council is going
to be issuing periodic reports of their activities and the Council
will be printing letterhead for them so that it is clear from
whom the messages are coming from.
Future reports may get more deeply into the heart of a topic
depending upon the need to be more detailed. Stay tuned for future
Source of News & Photograph:
E-mail your news &
photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jodi Wolf, CCTHITA Publications
Publish A Letter on SitNews Read Letters/Opinions
Contact the Editor
Stories In The News