Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.


"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Contact info:

Contact info:

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tribal government needs investigation and reform

Grand Forks Herald publishes Letter to the Editor by Curtis Buckanaga. Please read and circulate:

http://www.grandforksherald.com/content/letter-tribal-government-needs-investigation-and-reform

LETTER: Tribal government needs investigation and reform
By Curtis Buckanaga from Bemidji Today

Leech Lake is a $200 million-a-year corporation funded by taxpayers to provide services to uplift and empower its underserved and socio-economically challenged band members, who are historically disenfranchised.

Our tribal government operates under the Indian Reorganization Act, which Congress enacted in 1934 in hopes of encouraging tribes to become more self-determined -- even though our traditional governmental practices already had been proven effective.

Eighty years later, we learn that this is a detriment to many Native Nations, including Leech Lake.

For under this form of governance, there are no checks and balances to maintain order, accountability and transparency against the tribal council, whose members are the handlers of the annual $200 million revenue stream.

Across America, efforts are taking place to reform tribes out of Indian Reorganization Act standards. Most are being spearheaded by indigenous academic organizations, which research best practices to help tribes transition to culturally matched governments that let tribes reach their full potential.

At Leech Lake, those efforts have been discouraged and sabotaged by tribal officials, who mishandle taxpayer dollars to maintain dysfunction. These officials work with state and federal officials to create this dysfunction against the tribal members, who are misrepresented because most of the time, only 10 percent or fewer of tribal members vote in tribal elections.

As taxpayers, we are funding these ineffective tribal officials, who are not only abusing resources allocated to them by the federal government, but also oppressing the tribal members.

Yes, we have casinos to help us be less reliant on federal dollars, but the casino revenue is mishandled at the council’s discretion.

I am a citizen of Leech Lake as well as the United States. As taxpayers, don’t we deserve accountability from these individuals to whom we hand our money? Shouldn’t we call for the Indian Reorganization Act to be repealed to encourage reform and prevent the abuse of tribal people and their tax dollars?

Shouldn’t we demand an annual audit and report?

I’m not trying to open the door for bigoted criticism. I’m trying to raise some valid points about wasteful and wrongful spending of taxpayers’ money.

Curtis Buckanaga

Bemidji

Buckanaga is a former executive assistant for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.