I started my blog while I was on a business trip to Alaska for the mid-year session of the National Congress of American Indians and then after I returned home to Fallon I followed this up with an entry about some of my reflections from that Tribe. I’ve decided to tie my recent trip and what I learned, experienced, and saw in Alaska with where I am going.
As I look forward to the future, more specifically in the short-term, I realize that my term for my position as Treasurer for the Tribe comes up for election in October and I will have to make a decision by early August as whether I will be putting back in for a second term. I realized from my recent trip that while I have accomplished a lot in my current position, there is still more that can be achieved – even in the few months left of my first term. I spent the majority of my time during my first 3 ½ months in office rebuilding a Finance Department that only had one staff member who had stayed from the prior office holder and from an audit back in 2009 that had about 20 significant audit findings. With the assistance of a rebuilt staff and support from the Council, all of the issues have been resolved and the Tribe has got its first clean audit in over 20 years and we continue to move forward on making our services more transparent and more accessible by our membership. As the Treasurer my constitutional duties are tied heavily to the financial management of the Tribe, but also as being a member of the Fallon Business Council, the governing body of the Tribe, I also have an obligation and responsibility towards looking at all of the issues that impact the Tribe and its members. I think that this is biggest reflection that I brought back from my recent travel (as well as from the other trips I took this year as tribal business). Now that my Finance Department is in order and I have a qualified group of people operating the daily business, this will allow me to focus on some of the political goals I would like see implemented. This includes items such as a job training program for the tribal members, working to establish more community facilities on the Reservation (new community center, a park, and a local community store), as well as working to update our laws and policies to reflect the 21st century (most of our laws and policies have not been changed since the 1980’s). While I don’t know for sure if I am running for a second term or if I will be voted back in if a run again, this doesn’t mean that I should stop from starting to implement some of the projects I would like to see happen. It just means that I need to move forward and at least begin the process of implementation so that if I’m not there that the next person and Council can take my at least as been developed and work to implement it during their time. I think that’s where I’m going to end my reflections from my Alaska trip – with a reflection that the future is very fluid and nothing is certain but that doesn’t mean one should look at items with that type of a focus but rather that moving forward can lead to great change (even if you aren’t there to make it happen, more than likely you’ll be able to see it implemented).