Tribal council doing as it pleases
Letters to the Editor
I have rarely aired my opinion in the newspapers regarding the events of the Colville Confederated Tribes. I’ve always felt that “we” needed to take care of and keep our own house clean. However, some very serious occurrences have happened recently that show we need to speak up and address the issues now, however we can.
Since any “letter to the editor” in our own Tribal Tribune (the newspaper developed to serve the Tribal membership) is not being accepted for reasons unknown; our local newspapers, social media outlets, and our personal/professional networks must now be our voice.
For approximately two years now, Tribal Administration has been doing as it pleases in regards to selectively hiring, firing, transferring employees, and incessantly attempting a top heavy reorganization (which has failed numerous times currently) which did not work within our past Tribal organization, while disregarding the Tribes Employee Personnel Manual (EPM), and the full Council. This Administration seems to be doing as it pleases; transferring employees to positions without standard due process, unfairly hiring friends, family, and the underqualified all with lack of regard to the EPM and state and federal laws to lead numerous programs employing over 1,000 employees. There are a lot of dollars involved, with tribal, state and federal grants and contracts. The latter, grants and contracts, have specific guidelines and requirements that are obligated to be adhered to by the grantee. If not, there could be serious problems with our audits and the potential loss of those grant dollars that fund much needed programs and employ our membership.
The Colville Business Council has a very clear responsibility per their “Oath of Office” and are obligated to abide by the “Code of Professional Responsibilities.” Neither of these, which the CBC are sworn to uphold when they are seated, is being respected or abided by!
The horrible news just within the past week involving CBC while on travel has shamed our Tribe and is more evidence that enough is enough and it is past time to demand change. Our leadership cannot continue to operate under a different set of careless and negligent rules. We have all heard that there are incumbent council members lining their own pockets at tribal member expense. There are incumbent council members misusing tribal issued credit cards at tribal member expense. Business is not being done because of travel, personal vendettas, and absenteeism of those incumbents. These incumbents ran on a promise of TRANSPERANCY in all functions — and clearly that is NOT what is happening.
The present Colville Business Council seems to have forgotten about the membership. The present council is not representing the membership’s interests, but self-interests. Per capita payments were promised, and yes we have seen one minimal per capita payment - but that is at the extreme expense of our natural resources and ability to develop and modernize our workforce and Tribe.
I am aware that I am not the only tribal member that is concerned about the actions and inactions of our government and administration. I applaud those that can and are speaking out. We must come together as a membership, and make those changes that will improve our representation and operations of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Our Constitution and By-Laws and every policy which falls under those must be respected for and by all of us.
Harvey Moses Jr.
Member, Colville Tribe