When the former Tribal Administrator, Mike Rogers, vacated the position during the WSP scandal, the Shoalwater Bay Tribal Council wanted to give tribal members who attended the January 26, 2019 General Council meeting assurances that concrete steps were being taken to prevent similar situations in the future.
In this interest, at the General Council meeting a paper was handed out addressing the recent events and outlining many of the things that would be done as a result. “As your Council members we have spent many hours wrestling with these issues and trying to find a better way forward. The process has revealed a number of needs.” Tribal Council then put forward a set of remedies that they promised to implement.
The first problem they addressed was the need for training administration, management, and staff to ensure a more complete understanding of tribal policy and standards, including the development of a reliable system, “where complaints and concerns can be addressed without fear of retaliation and without favoritism.”
Tribal privacy and confidentiality were also addressed in the letter. Considering that aspects of tribal sovereignty were potentially weakened, not to mention the less than favorable publicity that the tribe received in the local press, Tribal Council made it clear that we are “a sovereign nation, a community and a family. We have a right and obligation to keep tribal matters private to tribal members only. To secure this privacy, we are developing a Tribal Privacy Plan, to be adopted as a policy or as an ordinance. This will assure that, in the future, matters that should be private to tribal members only are secured from the general public.”
The Tribal Council closed the important paper with a call to unity in the face of difficult times that the tribe was experiencing. “In closing we join with our members in recalling all the reasons why it often feels like “Us versus Them” when we are dealing with non-tribal entities. But we also join with all our members in trying to keep “Us versus Them” from becoming “Us versus Us.”