Fight For Justice
On the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Reservation
Read from buttom up
Well, a lot has been happening last month and this month. In February the Tribal Council put notices in the local newspapers asking for volunteers for all tribal committees, such as housing, gaming, justice, youth, cultural, and others. This is a was wonderful step. In doing so the tribal council was putting new and different people on these committees. These committees had a lot of power on just who received services. This also removed a small select group of people who were on all the committees.
Gerald Hays resigned from his position as General Manager of the tribe's
gaming operation, he still is acting as the CFO for now. Bruce Maler
resigned as KBIC Police Commissioner. Susan LaFeriner, tribal council
member was removed from her position in the accounting office. Mike
LaFeriner, her husband and also a tribal council member was removed
from his position as head of the tribal construction company, he still
is in charge of two other tribal business, Tub Craft and a tire foaming
business. Gene Emery, another tribal council member was remove as the
casino's electrician. I was not able to find out why these removal took
place as that involves confidential information between the Tribe and
the employee. All I know is that apparently these removals were justified.
(its about time)
The tribal council member selected 54 tribal members to be delegates for a amendment to the constitution regarding the membership clause. We want to fix the constitution to reflect actual enrollment practice and hopefully we never have to face a similar situation as the 1995 election results again These delegates are pretty equally diverse group. Hopefully after one last meeting to vote on it, there will be a amendment to be put to all the voters for approval.
The first council meeting with our majority. The first order of business the new council did was to rescind the previous tribal council resolutions made under Fred Dakota in January 1996 denying over 200 tribal members their voting rights.
Council Member, Jim LaPoint was appointed CEO, Council Member, Bill Cardinal was voted Tribal Chairman, Council Member, Bill Jondreau was voted Secretary, Council Member, Bill Chosa was voted Treasurer. Council Member, Gary Loonsfoot was Vice chair. Coujncil Member, Chris Swartz was voted as Asst Secretary. Council positions are traditionally voted on by council at the first council meeting after a election.
After a closed session, the council announced the hiring of Paul Tesanovich as the Director of Governmental & Economic Developments.
Personally, I think it was a bad move politically for this new council to simply appoint Jim and Paul and without posting the positions. I understand the need to remove Susan LaFernier from the CEO's position ASAP, but as I don't know Jim at all and can't say if he is the most qualified or not, but it seems we should at least post the position to make sure it is fair. Personally, I like Paul and think he would do a wonderful job for the tribe but he is a non Indian. I know the majority of the new council have their hearts in the right place. We shall see what happens in the next few weeks.
The new tribal council is encouraging open meeting and letting tribal
members know what is happening within the tribe.
To read a brief summary of FFJ and it's begining read Tina Lam's Detorit Free Press article