Fri Oct 26th, 2018
Tags: Aaron V. Torres, Amy J. Barry, Byron Frost, Candidate Statements, Election Board, General Elections, Lindsay J. Box, Lorelei Cloud, Shane Seibel, Southern Ute General Election, Tribal Council, W. Bruce Valdez
AMY J. BARRY
Together, We Can
My name is Amy J. Barry, I am seeking a seat on Tribal Council.
My parents are Marge and the late Benny Barry. My paternal grandparents are the late Preciliano and Jeannette Joy Barry. My maternal grandparents are the late William S. Thompson and Grace Rock.
I have had the honored pleasure of residing on the Southern Ute Reservation for the last 42 years and serving a three-year term as your Tribal Council member from 2014-2017.
During my tenure as a leader, I served as the tribal representative for CCIA with Chairman Frost, NCAI Representative on tribal issues, Albuquerque Indian Health Board member, Tribal Council Youth Liaison with the Sunshine Youth Advisory Council, Southern Ute Youth Initiatives Committee, Southern Ute Museum Board member, Permanent Fund Investment Committee member, Budget Committee member, Governor Hickenlooper’s Commission on Native American Mascots in Colorado schools, Southern Ute Economic Development Strategy team, Region 9 Economic Development Committee, and also served as the tribal representative with Chairman Frost on the History Colorado Ute Museum Expansion Project.
Prior to serving as your tribal leader, I served as one Executive Officer under the late Chairman Jimmy Newton from 2011-2013. During my tenure as a member of the Executive team, we held the tribal operating budget at zero growth for 30 months while continuing to serve our tribal membership on and off of the reservation.
Today the tribal budget has nearly doubled since then … The tribal government established a new evaluation process for staff and their supervisors to ensure consistent and equal treatment was rendered in the best interests of the tribal people we served while working to establish good morale for the tribal government in a consistent manner. Tribal employment was a priority and many hours were spent with our entity wide Human Resource departments to ensure opportunity was being created and offered regardless of who you were, what your background was, and regardless of what ADVISEMENT was given by staff or legal, we always left the table committed as a team. The true mission was to employ our people by any means necessary. That took many long hours of management at the Executive level to ensure we were communicating effectively with staff and leadership on current or proposed initiatives consistently to ensure we were operating in a transparent fashion.
During the tenure of the late Chairman Newton, I was fortunate to work with a few Southern Ute tribal leaders who had served as tribal leaders for many years, who had endured the hard times our tribe lived through before the Financial Plan was established, and who served as visionaries in prior years.
Our leadership doesn’t have that history or those stories at the table today, we need to bring that history back and acknowledge how we exist as a People today, acknowledge our past leaders and seek their guidance.
Listen to our People.
Many years have gone by since the Financial Plan was created and for the last 5 years the leadership has been tasked with updating that plan with the People, but it has not been done. That is a huge priority for our people today and tomorrow.
We must ensure our children and grandchildren will be able to have services made available to them when they are establishing a home, a family, a job, a career, and their vision whether they reside on or off the reservation.
Treat everyone equal.
As a tribal leader, one must always remain humble to the life experiences the Creator sends our way, and learn each day.
Our Tribe must come together now, during the financial and political crises going on today. I do not believe our government is in need of re-inventing the wheel, but now is the time AGAIN to give our people a chance. A chance at career development, a chance to obtain the financial tools to have a happy home life, a career and a healthy family environment and a chance to have A VOICE.
It is time to stop pushing our people down and invite them into the leadership circle so we can create our destiny together.
Our government can only be successful with help from a leadership team that is willing to acknowledge policy, procedure, process, and the ability to commit time to make change that makes sound and wise sense for us as a People with our elders continuing to advise us in any capacity that we can create.
We must re-evaluate the care our elders, disabled and veterans are receiving and work with them to establish a common ground to meet their needs, to listen, to be compassionate, to be honest, to truly be a leader of our Nuuiciu …
Today, let us focus on the bigger picture and the tasks that have been established to have a prominent presence in decision-making, let us empower our own People to take that chance, to come and serve their People and manage our own resources.
On November 2, 2018, vote for a candidate who truly has compassion, common sense and experience to help our current leaders continue to carry out the vision that has been established today and for our future.
Elect an incumbent who has the expertise to acknowledge processes, rules of order, votes consistently on tribal issues, projects, etc. that are presented by a government who has hired those with professional expertise to help us as a People, exist into perpetuity.
Vote for one who has one voice,
The People’s voice.
Vote Amy J. Barry
LINDSAY J. BOX
My name is Lindsay Joann Box and I am the daughter of Jann Smith and Orian Box, egap’. My paternal grandparents were Fritz and Pearl-Posey Box, egap’. My maternal grandparents were Howard and Joan Sackett, egap’. I was taught not to talk without being acknowledged to speak. I have to apologize to my Elders for speaking before them. I would like to apologize and share that the reason I am doing so – it is for my people. I see our Tribe as stagnant and in order to continue providing services to our membership we have to make impactful change.
I was born in Durango, CO and raised on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. I graduated from Ignacio High School and from Fort Lewis College with two bachelors in American Indian Studies and Sociology. Before taking a sabbatical from graduate school, I was attending New Mexico State University working on a Master’s degree. Since I began working for the Tribe, I have held positions in the Cultural Preservation Department, Southern Ute Museum, Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, and currently in Tribal Council Affairs. Although this background seems to have scattered interests, it has helped me develop into a balanced woman with a breadth of experience. These positions have challenged me in many ways and transformed me into a leader.
I do consider myself a young leader. I know that I have what it takes to be an influential and reasoned member of Tribal Council. I believe a leader puts her people first. A leader should have a strong cultural foundation. A leader should be knowledgeable with the ability to think independently and critically. A leader should always be listening and evolving. A leader should have fierce work ethic. Finally, a leader should always demonstrate consistency. Tribal politics are unique. I promise to demonstrate these essential attributes. It is time for Tribal elections to produce serious leaders capable of handling serious problems, rather than follow the largest family or some kind of popularity contest. We have to stop voting in this manner. We need leaders who want to serve their people, who want to make decisions in the best interests of the Tribe as a whole, who keep the Southern Ute people in the forefront of their minds, who are not just representing themselves and their families, but each and every one of us. We need leaders who are humble and gracious, while exercising authority in the best interests of their people in the most respectful way.
I am asking for your trust, because I understand the role and responsibilities of this office. I know this seat should place the tribal membership in the highest priority, but also act in the best interests of the many and not the few. I will place the tribal membership first. Without the tribal membership, there would be no need for this seat. This includes the youth and the future generations of my Tribe – who currently have no voice.
The world is constantly evolving. Information and data are flowing at a pace many companies and governments cannot keep up with. It is vital that we have informed leadership who have the skills to think critically and who have the analytical abilities that the Tribe demands. When leadership is being tasked with approving hundreds of millions of dollars in investments, we must do so from a position of understanding. As the Tribe continues to progress, our leaders must be able to think of new opportunities and not be afraid to ask questions about commercial ventures or investments. I promise to always ask hard questions, think critically, and stand up for what I believe is in the best interests of the tribal membership. For example, the Southern Ute Growth Fund is a for-profit company and we need leaders who are savvy in business. Our leaders MUST know how the Tribe makes money and what the risks are to remain commercially and operationally viable. Most importantly, our leaders need to know the costs and benefits to the tribal membership.
We also need leadership who do not depend on others to do the heavy lifting, nor expect the Tribal attorneys to come up with the decisions they should be tasked with making. Recommendations from staff and the legal team are appreciated, but it is not always the only solution. While being in my position I have continued to learn and expand my knowledge on all aspects of the tribal organization and this will not stop. I will continue mastering the tribal business, while educating myself on as much as I can to create new opportunities, clearly communicating my vision, and making informed decisions. I will also be committed to continuously improving my understanding of policy – then doing the work to revise our archaic codes and tribal constitution. Our Tribe was innovative years ago, elder leadership made decisions with vision and I believe they did so because they were raised to listen and learn. (Hence, the reason younger people are expected to ask permission to speak.) I view this is a necessary skill of our tribal leaders. I have been fortunate enough to work within Tribal Council Affairs for almost 2 years. And since the day I walked in, I have made it a point to ask questions, seek understanding, admit vulnerability and learn as much as possible. Our leaders should challenge themselves to learn more about the Tribe every day. Our leadership should have the capability and confidence to answer questions from the tribal membership. I believe that if the membership entrusts me, I would not skip a beat. I would not require the learning curve many of our elected officials have when they are first elected to office. I will hit the ground running, thinking ahead to identify potential problems before they become real risks. Often tribal member concerns are considered complaints. I believe that these concerns have some sort of origination point and should all be heard with validity. I promise to listen to each concern with empathy and to do my best to find solutions to problems for the membership. I strongly believe that our elected officials should be held to the highest standards.
If I am elected, I will exhibit the work ethic required to increase the momentum and progressive pace of our Tribe, while demonstrating TRUE transparency. I heard once that the ability to influence people keeps you in the room while the art of influential diplomacy gets you respect. I plan to use these methods to keep the Southern Ute Indian Tribe at the table to advocate for improved benefits to the tribal membership and increased self-determination. I think an effective leader needs to exercise the ability to say “no” to situations that do not greatly benefit the majority of the tribal membership. This requires leadership to know their priorities and recognize the high value placed on the work they are doing.
I view the tribal organization as a family business. However, it’s currently a family business that has been mismanaged and lost sight of its priorities. The Growth Fund should be building its portfolio to benefit the tribal membership, the core of the family business. If I were elected, I would advocate for a succession plan within the Growth Fund. This succession plan would hand the business back to the tribal membership. I would also consistently question why our investments are not meeting the 15% rate of return detailed in the Tribe’s Financial Plan. I would ensure that the appropriate rate of return is achieved to maintain operations, optimize risk, and provide growing distributions. We need to evaluate options on and off the reservation and be innovative in our thinking. Investment opportunities could help make us more diverse, bringing in a higher return. We MUST create new ways to drive value for the Tribe. I am committed to developing and following through on ideas rather than doing nothing more than approve the ideas of others. For the past two years, I have worked towards increasing entrepreneurship among the tribal members and this effort will not stop, rather it will become an elevated priority.
If we are looking at ways to increase the value of the Tribe as a whole, we must not only focus on revenue generation, we must also look at ways to reduce the unnecessary spending among all entities. Consolidation of services and elimination of redundant efforts will greatly improve the effectiveness of the Tribe and minimize tribal budgets. Additionally, flattening the organizational structure making the hierarchy less “top heavy” among all tribal entities would greatly improve efficiency. There is no need for so many managers, presidents, vice-presidents, and directors.
I have identified many areas for improvement and will spend the upcoming weeks explaining my positions and detailing my action plan. I invite the tribal membership to share their concerns, to ask questions about my platform and to engage in healthy discussion. I truly believe constructive and open discussions are necessary and I look forward to them.
When I was growing up, my father always told me, “Remember where you come from and never forget who you are.” I have taken that to heart and I live my life with this sentiment guiding my decisions. Our Ute traditions and values, even our simplest daily practices, are slowly being or already have been forgotten. This breaks my heart. Our Ute traditions and values are truly my foundation, the roots of my stability. Our leaders should know and practice our traditions and utilize them when making decisions. I currently live my life believing my traditional values and Ute culture is the foundation of my identity, what I return to during life’s difficulties, how I show humility and why I remain humble for the things I have and my source of strength. I will continue to live my life in this manner.
I hope that some of what I’ve said here has resonated with you and will help you make an informed decision on November 2, 2018.
Lindsay J. Box
My Name is Lorelei Cloud, and I am running for re-election for Southern Ute Tribal Council in the general election. I’m very grateful for being your voice on the tribal council for the past three years and I would like to continue to be of service to the membership. In the past three years as a council member I have served as the Vice-Chairman for nearly a year and have been the Treasurer for the past 2 years.
As Treasurer, I have served on the Audit Committee, the Pension Committee, the Permanent Fund Investment Committee, the Permanent Fund Budget Committee, Youth Services and I have had the honor of serving as the Chairman of the Ten Tribes Partnership for the past two years.
Council as always said that the tribe does not have an open check book which I firmly believe. I know that we can do more with less and still improve services for the membership. I was instrumental in eliminating more than 10% from the Permanent Fund’s budget. I recognized wasteful spending and knew that we could cut the fat from the budget, and we were able to we cut more than expected. If re-elected I will continue to work towards keeping a tight budget.
I am proud to have collaborated in a working group to revitalize a financial literacy course in the high school for our children so that when they graduate from high school they will have a good foundation of financial knowledge. I have established a monthly Treasures report and a quarterly newsletter because it’s important to me that the membership know and understand the financial state of the tribe. With your vote I will continue to make decision in the best interest of the membership and to keep our spending of tribal dollars under control.
During my term on Council, I have been an advocate of protecting our tribal water rights. The Ten Tribes Partnership has been working on a Tribal Water Study and this study will be signed off by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) by the end of 2018. This study came about from the BOR’s Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study which failed to show the current and future use of tribal water and the potential impacts of the use of the tribal water. The Ten Tribes Partnership will continue to advocate for inclusion to conversations that involve tribal water. We are also in the process of creating our own master water plan for our reservation.
I have helped create the Static Plan for the tribe. I have also represented the tribe on Outdoor Recreation with the State of Colorado; a panelist at the Colorado River Water Users Association conference (twice); a speaker for the Water Foundation seminar; in working group for Water & Tribes in the Colorado Basin and finally in a small working group with Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) and a speaker at their annual NAFOA conference.
I have been a strong advocate for our traditions and our culture. I would like to have all our tribal publications and all signs on the tribal campus (and eventually throughout our communities) with Ute words on them so that our people will be encouraged to talking more Ute. It may not be the perfect solution, but it’s a start. It saddens me that we have been losing our language and our culture for many years and I am determined to help bring it back. Our children are losing interest in our traditions, but our children are our most important resource that we need to protect. If we don’t have our children, or traditions, we don’t have a future. They deserve to have the best possible future. They should feel confident and be able to walk strong in the world no matter where they are and be proud that they are UTE and they know their traditions.
With your vote I will continue to be find innovative ways to keep the membership that live off the reservation involved with what is going on with the tribe. We are all tribal members and deserve to have the same opportunities and information. Since I have been on council we have changed the way we use social media and technology. We have a Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter. We have also incorporated WebEx for our general meetings and virtual town halls. I feel that it’s important to keep the communication lines open for all tribal members. We are also using KSUT for a 30 min radio show for those that want to hear a verbal update. There are those out there that want to divide us but I believe that we have strength in numbers. We as leaders should encourage our membership to be engaged on all levels and we have created different opportunities to voice their questions and concerns.
I know that we cannot make everyone happy. We must make decisions that are in the best interest of the membership with the information that is presented to us. I am a fair-minded person and I have a track record of helping tribal members that have reached out to me with their issues that they need resolved. Some issues are part of a bigger picture and have taken time or will take time to get completely resolved.
Also, in my time on council I have learned that the Chairman and the Executive Officers have the most power in the tribal government. The 6 members of council can give a directive but it’s up to the Executive Officers to carry that direction out. Council has limited powers when it comes to the operation of how government departments are run. I would like to change that. I feel that if we have an Executive Officer that is elected or a non-appointed employee, this would help with the stabilization of the government structure. We would have more accountability and transparency from employees. This is an opportunity to create an environment of trust in the tribal government for the benefit of the membership. We will be able to make changes in the best interest of the membership, but it will take a lot of work to change the culture that has been prevalent for many years. We all work for the Southern Ute Indian tribal membership.
Our younger women need to be empowered and have their confidence strengthened because they are our back bone of our tribe. We are a matriarchal society. Our young women should be giving the opportunities of having a good emotional foundation. We have domestic violence here on the reservation that is out of control. Our women should be protected and respected for being the givers of life, and our women need to feel that about themselves as well. We need to end domestic violence. I, myself, am a survivor of domestic violence and I want to end that behavior on our reservation. It’s a huge goal but I know and believe that is possible.
With your support I will continue to be an advocate for the membership, a voice for the youth and make decision for the betterment of the tribe. I am respectfully asking for your vote to continue to be of service to my Southern Ute People.
“Remember where we came from, protect our Land and Water”
Mique Pino Nuchu
Let me introduce my family and myself. My name is Byron Frost and my wife is Etta Frost, I have 2 sons Brian and Aaron, one daughter Deanna and two grandsons Richard and Ivan Joseph. My father’s name is Jack White Frost and my mothers name is Annetta Frost.
My background: I am enrolled in the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, but I come from the Moache/Uncompahgre band of Indians. I have my education in Civil Engineering, I wrote business plans and bought Land for the tribe under the Consolidations Program. I have vast experience and knowledge in tribal issues. I have 30 combined years working with the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
I believe having a vision for the future use of our land and water for our tribal members is very important. My platform will mostly be toward the water, land, and education that will benefit both off and on reservation tribal members.
Water: Water is and will always be important to us both spiritually and practicable usage. The Winters Doctrine stated that we would never lose our water, but this doctrine has been changed because of the McCarran Amendment. Under the McCarran Amendment our Sovereign Immunity was taken away. Are we in the mist of Termination because we are not using our water for beneficial use? Without water our land will turn to dust. If elected I will fight to make sure our water will be here for the younger generation. I will make sure we lobby congress for more funding to repair our ditches that carry water to our lands.
Land: Sovereign Immunity is very important to our land. We should protect and preserve our right to use our land without the interference of State and county regulations or other outside entities. If elected I will fight to protect our Sovereign Immunity for our land, and making sure I always have tribal sovereignty in mind during the decision making process.
Education: Education has always been the vision from the Sam Burch era, “Knowledge is power”, and this is true today. Leaders today must support and assist students that pursue their education goals. If elected my vision is to allow students two months stipend for living and moving expenses. Educated tribal members should be rewarded for their effort and also hired by the tribal administration, so they can give back to the tribe.
Thank you, for your time in reading of my candidate statement.
On November 2, 2018, I humbly ask for your vote, for better leadership, a fresh face a fresh start for protection of tribal sovereignty.
AARON V. TORRES
Hello fellow Tribal Members,
I am currently seeking a seat on Tribal Council due to fact that there are issues that still need to be resolved.
I believe that the financial structure needs to be looked at, we have decreasing revenue and increasing budgets, which causes serious concern for tribal members. I want to impose financial accountability across the organization and make sure that staff are spending funds for the best interest of the people. We need to have a clear picture of our financial structure, today, yesterday, and where are we are going to be in 10 and 20 years out, as the membership deserves to see this information. We need to ask for where our future generations will be in the years to come. Our goal should be to have better financial reports to the membership as to where as a tribe we stand and to where we are headed.
We need to look at all programs and efficiencies and productivity, and we need to review budgets and make sure that they are providing efficient services for the members. I feel that we have many programs, which need to be revamped as needed, and that they have certain standards for their services, as they do not serve the complete needs of the membership. We need to make sure that our vital services such Health Care, Social Services, etc. are at their optimum.
I believe that we still have an issue with employment on this reservation. I would like to overhaul the TERO code to give it some accountability, to hold HR Directors, VPs and supervisors accountable for not hiring qualified tribal members. I also think that our HR departments are not looking out for the tribal members, and we need to fix these departments and find someone who will look out for our interests. My goal is to ensure that tribal members have every employment and promotional opportunity entitled to them within our organization. After learning recently, that we have a higher unemployment rate than that of the national level, I was appalled and this problem as it needs to be resolved sooner than later. I would like to see a work-program created that allows younger tribal members and Elders to be able to work part-time for the organization. This will allow tribal members to work when they can to help them with income and gaining valuable work experience.
I would also like to see a Tribal Outreach program created, as we have Tribal members where their concerns or comments are not taken into consideration. This office would contact and review all comments from Tribal members, both on and off the reservation and submit those directly to the Tribal Council. We tend not to hear from the Tribal members off the reservation, as they have concerns and I would like to hear your concerns and comments as well. I do not want you to feel that you are lost members, but I would like to hear and address your comments as well.
It is important that we protect all of our natural resources, to include our land, water, wildlife and cultural. We are so blessed with what we have and need to make sure that it stays intact today and for our future generations. I want to make sure that our members can utilize our resources to the fullest possibility in order to increase their quality of life.
I would like to make sure that our tribal sovereignty is not a target for extinction and I will fight to make sure that at the Federal level this will remain. We have groups trying to steal our water rights and to decrease the sovereign powers of our tribe. I will make sure that we as people have and exercise our rights.
As you go to the voting booth, and you are checking boxes, make sure you check the boxes of the individuals that are going to look out for you and for the future of your family’s best interests. We have a voice and you have a vote, so make it count for the Tribal membership.
Good day everyone,
My name is Shane Seibel and I am running for a seat on the Southern Ute Tribal Council. We live in a challenging world today with many obstacles and with exemplary leadership we can transform these challenges into opportunities for the whole membership. But this takes a partnership between the members, constituents, and leadership that focuses on our shared values, goals, and our vision of the future.
I am the son of Lillian and the late Harold Seibel. I am married to my best friend Melanie Seibel 25 years. We have six children (Roman, Dylan Sanchez, Trae, Cloe, Ellie and Clay Seibel) and six grandchildren.
The reasons listed below are of relevance as to why I believe I will be a positive and credible voice for you the Southern Ute Indian Tribal membership.
Good luck to all the candidates.
I humbly ask for your vote on November 2, 2018.
W. BRUCE VALDEZ
Editor’s Note: No candidate statement provided