By Robert A. Sanderson, Jr.
December 29, 2006
As we go to the polls we need to remember our past struggles and look to the future. As a past Tribal Council member (who is not a candidate) I would like to share some thoughts. As we go into a new year, KIC is at a crossroads. It is critical that the Tribal Council seek to become self-sufficient and not depend on federal monies to support our Tribal members. Economic development is crucial to our tribe.
The clinic needs to be identified by the Tribal Council as a priority.
The future Tribal Council should be a diverse, knowledgeable and experienced group. Each Tribal Council member must have a specialty that they bring to the table that will benefit the tribe as a whole. We need a Tribal Council that is well informed regarding health, education, economic development, finances, governmental processes and other issues facing the tribe.
We need a leader that will bring integrity, statesmanship, and leadership to the Tribal Council. We need a leader that has the ability to carry out the vision of the tribe, the Tribal Council and staff. We need a leader that can communicate with the Tribal Council, administration, staff, local, state and federal government officials. We need a leader that seeks to improve tribal members lives through added involvement in improved health care, subsistence, foster care, substance abuse, education and training, culture and other issues vital to the tribe. We need a leader who can provide management, guidance, commitment and direction.
There have been several positive strides accomplished since the last election. The financial status of KIC has been brought to the forefront of the tribal members through the direction of administration and the finance committee. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough has dedicated land for educational purposes that will benefit both KIC and the community of Ketchikan.
The KIC Tribal Council should be at the table with local, state and federal officials regarding issues that affect our members. When you are not at the table, you are simply left behind. Committees that have been dormant need to be revitalized and reorganized. Tribal members should be included in committees and work groups. Partnerships need to be made with other tribal organizations that have issues in common with KIC.
KIC should be hiring qualified, trained and experienced native employees. We have employees that are tenured who are qualified to fill many of the positions at the administrative level both in the clinic and other departments.
I would like to say that as a past Tribal Council member and having observed the Tribal Council since then, it is not an easy position. No matter what the issue is, there is often dissension and unhappy members. It takes a strong, committed and dedicated person to fill these seats in order to provide for the best interests of the tribe.
In order to move forward we must accept the fact that we often have to take a step back in order to take two steps forward. Now is the time to move forward.
I would like to thank the elders
for their direction and continued guidance. Without your dedication
we would not be where we are today. I would also like to thank
the staff for their commitment and perseverance through the many
changes KIC has experienced.
Robert A. Sanderson, Jr.
About: "Tribal member, past KIC Tribal Council member, looking for new direction which only membership can provide by voting."
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