Pull the Wagon in the Same Direction

July 30, 2022. 

Should the Tribal Board Pension be tied into Profits?    

If you are mad because the Tribal Board gets paid more than you, that is not their fault or is it their problem to solve. Thinking they should be working to MAKE SURE we earn profits is another thing. The Board should be working to make us a profit.  

If a Board Member wants to return some or all of their monthly pay back to the Tribe’s General Fund they can feel free to so if they think we are paying them too much but they should also feel free to use it for anything they want just like any other person that works for a paycheck. Grand Standing about pay acting as if one Board Member or Chairman is Holier than Thou because they are uncomfortable getting paid the measly amount, we pay them is nothing we have time for. Some Students graduating this year from a state college with a bachelor’s degree are getting offered more pay for their first job than Board Members are getting paid.  If a Board Member thinks he or she is getting paid too much they can also work over-time if that makes them feel better about taking their pay.  We will truely appreciate it and remember their efforts at election time.  But the BIG PICTURE is we need people that want to be Board Members. We need folks that can pay their bills.  Nobody is getting rich serving on our board. Stop shaming Board Members for the amount of their paycheck.  That is a distraction we don’t need. Board Members deserve raises, cost of living increases and all benefits paid to Tribal Employees.  

BUT when it comes to the Board Pension, we would like to see it tied into profit sharing from Tribal Enterprises, with nothing paid until all Tribal Members have money they can count on from the Tribe at retirement.  Tribal Enterprises are businesses started with funds received on Tribal Members behalf. It is their duty to make sure we earn a profit.   We believe the Board's Pension Payment should be the exact same that Tribal Elders are paid annually.  We have no problem with them getting paid what some may call a "double dip"  being paid an annual Board Pension Payment for their service along with an Elder’s Annual Payment because it would be based on performance. Currently the amount Tribal Members are paid from Tribal Enterprise Profits annually is ZERO.   Because we endure the always ignorant incredibly rude question posed to all Enrolled American Indian Tribal Members “How much money do you get?”  We want the answer to be one that would make our Ancestors proud of the treaties they negotiated. That takes all of us pulling the wagon in the same direction.