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o umns Leaders must commit to transparency for membership e relationship between a community and its leadership is built on trust. Trust comes from transparency and transparency comes from communication. Understandably, within government operations there are boundaries in place to protect confidential interests and in some cases leaders simply don't engage to avoid a sense of loss in authority. However, there seems to be a severe lapse in basic communication directly between leadership and constituents regarding non-sensitive information that affects the daily lives of our membership. This current system of operation alienates and fosters a sense of "us versus you". Transparency is also more than a rundown of minutes in the CUJ or vague meeting announcements on our website. While I appreciate these efforts, it seems it is no longer adequately sustaining our progressive people. It will take commitment from each individual elective to utilize all avenues of communication and possibly even consider new technologies. When leaders engage to inquire our thoughts and experience, you affirm that our voices matter and we are important contributors to our civic process A disappointing example of this distancing system of communication is the exclusion of General Council from the conversation on issues like the distribution of the RAMAH settlement or marijuana within the CTUIR

boundaries. This division refutes the objective of a tribal government that thrives on the principles of a democratic system in which we tribal members are stakeholders. We constantly talk about the importance of education; this should absolutely include the constant education of information to our people. How are resolutions and votes in the board room directly reflecting the issues we are facing daily on an individual level? Not everyone has the privilege to attend BOT work sessions and it would be beneficial to have a weekly publicized summary of actions being taken on our behalf. Another unfortunate point lies within instances of crisis, such as the tragic events we experienced in March. Direct communication would have been essential in alleviating some of the frustration and animosity that followed. The letter sent out to the community seemed to be a Band-Aid for the lack of presence from leadership during the neighborhood response that followed and while the intention is appreciated we truly needed a more spirited sense of assurance. A positive model is with the elected leaders who have been operative in interaction with their constituents. One particular member at-large has built a solid foundation of reliance through positive communication and presence in our community. I believe the effects of his efforts showed in the sizeable number of votes he received this last election. The Warm Springs tribe was very inclusive

of their citizens in their marijuana endeavor and they had a record turnout in both voters and participants. Finally, in regards to knowledge sharing: we can' t afford to assume our citizens automatically understand the ins and outs of our operations. It is our responsibility to teach just as much as it is for us to learn. In the few months I' ve been serving in General Council, I was genuinely surprised at how many people do not understand the basics of our meeting process let alone how to assert their right to information. I believe from that lack of clear instruction comes a sense frustration and distrust, which also seems to be cultivating an apathetic sense of duty amongst our younger generation. This is not good for building a strong future of leaders. When we are left in silence, we are left with rumors and assumptions. And perhaps instead of the defensiveness that seems to follow disapproval of the current system, please consider it is very much a possibility that a different approach is needed to implement effective outreach in communication and teaching. As Steve SoHappy always says "I'm not trying to hurt anybody' s feelings." This is true for me in my words here; simply, a personal observation that there is much opportunity to be had in strengthening the trust between leaders and the community with just a little more communication. — Jiselle HalPnoon is Secretary for the CTUIR General Council

Tribes'unwritten law has no place in open public debate s your Board of Trustees (BOT) Vice-Chair, Fish ICc Wildlife Commission (FWC) Chair and fellow Tribal member I am here now not to fight over our foods or call out any of my people. I am here to provide supported facts and describe what the FWC have been tasked and ultimately decided to do in respect to our foods and our people. Tamanwit/Tamalwit is our "unwritten law". Throughout my short life I have heard many elders articulate it as our natural laws; felt it in song, dance and sweat; seen it in my child's eyes. In short, it is our way of life as native people of these lands. This along with the other issues of money in the CUJ April 2016 Op-Ed, "Commercializing our ceremonial fish violates Tamanwit", have been addressed and defended to Secretary Close at the Feb. 2, 2016, General Council, the March 8, 2016 Fish ICc Wildlife Commission Meeting and the BOT in 2015. To my knowledge he has not changed his stance. Our unwritten law has no place in an open public debate, but what I can say or should say is we all have

been born into our way of life. Our way of life that is a balance between two worlds and a daily fight to preserve our history and culture while adapting to an ever changing present. All of which defines our responsibilities to the First Foods and our next seven generations — a task every generation is honored with. The FWC will be providing compensation to our ceremonial and subsistence tribal fishermen for a number of reasons: they risk their lives, their crews' lives, their boats, nets, tools along with burning fuel for their boats and vehicles. What we provide as compensation to the fishermen is an offering of appreciation from a tribal budget that has not always been available to give. In fact, the Brigham family along with a few others provided fish for ceremonial purposes without Tribal compensation from 1978 to the early 1990s. This timeline of financial capacities/compensation coincides with the Tribes' influx of economic development and our Wildhorse Resort ICc Casino origins. Transparency and opportunity for all potential CTUIR ceremonial and subsistence providers is a priority for the FWC moving forward. As footnoted in last months Op-Ed, four different ceremonial and subsis-

tence permits have been awarded in 2016. Further, the FWC deemed there is no violation of the CTUIR Fish and Wildlife Code, Section 5.18, G., "... no one shall sell or offer for sale, and a commercially licensed fishbuyer or wholesalefish dealer shall not have in his or her possession,fish taken for subsistence or ceremonial purposes." The fishermen are not setting financial terms with the FWC nor are they negotiating a price for their service to the Tribes. The FWC is providing the compensation as a part of the permit at the FWC's discretion. I appreciate the FWC and Tribal staff for providing guidance in historical reference in this matter along with an understanding that both the natural and human worlds are that of a give-and take relationship. We will give all for the preservation of our 1855 Treaty retained rights by way of remembering the promises given to the First Foods and our people, both of which have given so much already. Nothing is free, especially our way of life. Qayciyowyow — Xitsu-ilp-ilp aka Jeremy Red Star Wolf is chairman of the CTUIR Fish & Wildlife Commission. He also is Vice Chairmanfor the Board of Trustees.

Tamanwit means being respectful, accountable and truthful avid Close's April CUJ opinion article pretty much blasted past Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) members who are no longer with us to talk to about this issue, (atways Sam Kash Kash, Kenneth Bill, Elize Farrow, Raymond Shippentower, Rod Cowapoo, Rose Mary Narcisse, Jay Minthorn and Mitch Pond) along with the current FWC and me. The FWC [for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation ] (CTUIR) has never commercialized ceremonial fish, violated Tamanwit or the Fish and Wildlife Code, nor did I violate the Fiscal Management Policies. Robert [Brigham] has fished for the FWC from 1978 to2016; the first20 years there was no compensation provided. For 5 years I wasn't on the FWC and he was still selected to fish for the tribe. The FWC is not a commercially licensed fish buyer or wholesale fish dealer. An objective of the FWC is to give the tribal community an opportunity to have one of the first foods, salmon, available. In the spring of 2015 David Close came to our house


May 2016

to talk about himself and how much more he could do for the Fisheries Program if hired, but never brought up ceremonial fishing. Afterwards, he drove off in a University of British Columbia van. Later Close contacted FWC members, stating I should be removed from the FWC due to conflict of interest of our ceremonial fish. The FWC discussed the issue and made a decision not to support my removal because, as Chair or a member of the FWC I never voted, signed any permits or purchase orders. I was not present when the FWC made this decision. In reviewing the February 2016 General Council information Close distributed, without support from the Board of Trustees or the General Council offlcers, the information that focused on the Brighams and one Bronson. The list was incomplete, purchase orders have the wrong dates, and some are identified incorrectly. Some are reimbursement for boat gas, oil, knives and vacuum fish bags, not for fish delivery. The current FWC process is to review any fishermen interested in fishing for CTUIR. Once a tribal fisherman has been selected, a permit is prepared that identifies their helpers and fishing sites. The fishermen must pro-

Confederated Umatilla Journal

vide all vehicles and fishing gear. The permit is signed and sent to enforcement. The process has not changed since 1977, other than to do more outreach. The FWC have always been open to improving the current process. Close didn't bring up the eel or bison harvest, where funds are provided to pay the permit holders to harvest and bring them back to CTUIR. The FWC doesn't have the funds to provide per diem and mileage to cover 3-4 weeks of fishing to fishermen. Therefore a decision was made to provide compensation to the fishermen for the use of their fishing gear, by the number of fish they caught, which is counted at least twice to confirm the number of CTUIR fish. Tribal fishermen must ice fish daily, communication with the Fisheries Program daily, and provide all the salmon to the transporters. The fish transporters are paid by the FWC to pick-up the fish using CTUIR equipment. Traditional Law is about being respectful, accountable and truthful. — Kat Brigham is former chairperson o f the CTUIR Fish & Wildlife Commission. She also isformer Secretary for the Board o f Trustees


Profile for Confederated Umatilla Journal

Confederated Umatilla Journal 05-05-2016  

The Confederated Umatilla Journal Monthly Print Edition For May 2016

Confederated Umatilla Journal 05-05-2016  

The Confederated Umatilla Journal Monthly Print Edition For May 2016