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By Lou Stone 

When tribal leadership incompetence becomes racketeering

Letter to the Editor

 


It’s one thing to be ignorant of one’s own stupidity and incompetence, but TR 2016-217 rubs it in the face of the Colville Tribal Peoples, a cruel insult to the members of the CCT who are ashamed, especially, of the criminal racketeering by Tribal Government. Such racketeering is a result of the influences of conspiratorial corruption, cronyism, and nepotism institutionalized within tribal government, the racket that spans the corporate-council relationship.

(Editor’s note: The writer refers to a tribal resolution passed May 5, approving a loan of $7.4 million to the Colville Fuels Division to build a Moses Lake truck stop with money from a community projects fund from a federal settlement.)

It is important to realize why a council-corporate team violates the major rule of saving face when a person or a group finds herself in total error, turning to fraud: “When you find yourself in a deep hole, stop digging.” The business failures from one decade to another, first solely under tribal government (Colville Business Council [CBC]) then in partner with Colville Tribal Enterprises Corporation (CTEC) turned Colville Tribal Federal Corporation (CTFC), just by name changing (capitalist shape-shift) alone, illustrates how tribal government runs away from liability for these failures. The transition from CTEC to CTFC illustrates how attempted liability escape simply kicks the can down the road rather than corrects the stupidity, incompetence, and criminality of the operations and enterprise of what has become racketeering.

Keep in mind there are a few well-used tools to sustain the racket. Censorship of criticisms of so-called leaders who orchestrate the racket has also been orchestrated by two CBC (one current, one former, yet business partners now) members. The Tribal Tribune (TT) is now void of criticism, and the letters-to-the editor policy guides only supportive commentary from members for tribal operations and enterprise. The other main method for sustaining the racketeering is the intentional toothless Council Ethics Code controlled solely by the CBC.  Bullying dissenters by threats of job loss and trumped up charges are other tools used to curry favor for the CBC tribal administration and policy setting.

So, “where’s the beef”? On the subject of TR 2016-217, “the beef” is that it was required because the operations and enterprise won’t stop digging their own hole. The CBC, CTEC, and CTFC have exhausted their defenses by all their collective errors which resulted and continue to result in insurance claims and law suits.  These insurance claims have caused the insurance rating of the racket to virtually disappear which has resulted in the lowest of low credit rating that even the scams by the CBC’s political games couldn’t sustain. No number of ridiculous bought-and-paid-for “Indian Enterprise of The Year” awards can overcome the poor credit rating. The corporate failures and government incompetence reached their points of no return for creditors, who will no longer extend credit to the corporation. At least the creditors stopped the excavator from digging the hole deeper. TR 2016-217 is corporate borrowing of The Peoples’ funds that were formerly asked to be paid out to The Peoples from “The Settlement” funds. But no, the CBC’s infinite greed-funded-grift retained the funds to spend down, and spend it down they are.

If the corporation was as successful as it claims at every annual charade under the name of “The General Membership Meeting,” such corporation could fund its own growth rather than borrow from The Peoples’ funds. To put it another way, where are the “profits” from the corporation that should be sustaining cash dividends to The Peoples over the decades? Adding insult to injury, The Peoples are offered up the public humiliation by an individual actually using this charade as a parlay for congressional campaign in Washington State’s 5th Congressional District. But, even this humiliation is leveraged by a perception that any con can, so we are left with incumbents and candidates clawing and scratching for the musical chairs of the CBC elections. Filling the position from one clown to the next is a pathetic social-cultural tragedy. Yes, we have our own clown cars to disable. The musical chairs, sadly, embarrassingly, reflect leadership void from necessary constitutional and operational changes that would benefit The Peoples and our cultures, and which would honor, rather than insult and dishonor, our Ancestors.

And, all the while, capitalist-“privilege”-colonizers, settlers, and pirates grin … and bank it.

Lou Stone

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