Newly elected Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council lady Amy J. Barry said her goals for the next three years are the same as her campaign platform: education and communication. Barry was elected to Tribal Council in the Dec.12 runoff election alongside Councilman Tyson Thompson and Chairman Clement J. Frost.
“I want to bridge the gap between leadership, the government and the membership,” she said in a Dec. 22 interview with the Drum. “[Councilman Thompson] and I proposed using Fridays as council’s day to go out and visit with the membership.”
Barry said Fridays are usually left open for council members to take care of their committees and any other business they need to finish. Tribal Council supports the idea, she said.
Educating the membership also tops Barry’s priority list. She said she hopes to help educate the membership, “from birth up to elders”. Not only on a scholarly level, but educating the membership on the Tribe as a whole.
“I want to educate on all levels, [culturally, financially and educationally] I really want to be a participant and not sitting here just as a leader,” she said.
According to Barry, living on the reservation her whole life, her outgoing personality, and her work history as an Executive Officer has attributed to her ability to communicate to with the membership.
“We have to be there to listen to every tribal member, because no matter what they are a tribal member and they are entitled to services,” she said.
In Barry’s opinion the youth are not being focused on enough, she said. She hopes her connection with the younger generation will help Council communicate with them more effectively.
“The youth needs to be paid attention to, they need that positive interaction with the leadership,” she said. “We need to talk to the youth.”
Barry said she would utilize all forms of communication to reach out to the membership, anything she can do, “to bridge that gap.”
One way she is hoping to do that is by jumpstarting a Tribal Member Services Guide she was working on while in the Executive Office.
The Tribal Member Services Guide is a great tool that can be utilized by the membership on and off the reservation, she said. The guide provides information on services that Tribal Department’s provide to the membership as well as useful contact information.
Barry is also tossing the idea around of transforming her campaign Facebook page into Councilmember page – providing another medium of communication.
Lastly, when asked about being the only female on council, Barry said it doesn’t bother her.
“It’s not of significance, I’m here for the people by the people and I’m here to promote a unified council,” she said. “As Natives, the way you were brought up is how you will preform as a leader. I was taught respect, and to accept decisions whether they are in your favor or not, and to move on … and to live a humble life.”
“Thank you to all tribal voters who came out and voted in the last two elections, what a turnout. I can’t say enough to our people, my campaign committee, family, and friends. Conrad Thompson, Julius Baker and Carlos Whiteman thank you for your artistic vision that promoted by campaign platform. It’s about communicating, mentoring, educating and not forgetting who we are in our heart and where we come from, Pino Nuuciu,”Barry said.