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  • Writer's pictureKevin Gunter

HEAR YE, HEAR YE — TETLIN MEMBERS OVER 21... COME ONE, COME ALL!

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

The time… January 10, 2024, 1pm

The place… Titus David Tribal Hall

The reason... TO VOTE FOR HONEST TRANSPARENT LEADERSHIP.


That’s right Tetlin tribal members. ALL of us are being called to VOTE in accordance to our tribe’s CONSTITUTION.


Whether you have to drive in from up the road in Tok, from Fairbanks, Anchorage or fly from Buffalo, New York and hitchhike to your home... the village of Tetlin.


Some of us may have moved to other parts of Alaska or even outside. But Tetlin is still our home, with our families and friends, and no one should tell us differently.


A very important meeting is coming up. If you are enrolled as a member of the Native of Tetlin and you are 21 or older. YOUR VOTE COUNTS.


Oh, so you say... "But the Tetlin Village Council’s announcement says… 18 and older and who physically reside in Tetlin — blah, blah, blah…."


Well, I blew the dust off Tetlin’s tribal IRA Constitution and it says…


ARTICLE V-RIGHTS OF MEMBERS

SECTION 1. Right to Vote.-All members of the Village 21 years of age or over shall have the right to vote in Village meetings and elections.

Now, just to be certain if Tetlin’s Constitution, ratified under The United States Department of the Interior Office of Indian Affairs since 1940, still carries any weight to the federally recognized Native Village of Tetlin — let’s see what their regional office in Anchorage had to tell us.

 

SARAH WALKER, Tribal Government Officer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Alaska Region says…

Quyana,

A Tribe's Constitution is the foundation of their governance. All tribal laws (codes, ordinances, etc.) can build off of what is provided in the Constitution, but should not be contrary to what is found in the Constitution or federal law. Passing an ordinance does not replace a constitution. The only way a constitution can be replaced is pursuant to the requirements provided in the amendment article of that constitution.


Tetlin tribal members, your CONSTITUTION RULES – not the discriminatory ordinances that the Council has made up along the way.

To prove my point, look carefully at the announcement for our upcoming election. Notice how Tetlin’s so-called leadership …


  • violates the rights of all Tetlin tribal members to participate and vote because of where they live,

  • and (drum roll for the really big one)... violates Tetlin's Constitution and the Native Village of Tetlin Written Code of Tribal Ordinances that they were elected by to uphold.


The announcement even adds stuff that is in not even in the Constitution or the Ordinances...

To serve as the First Chief of Tetlin, a person must have completed at least 1 full term on the Tetlin Village Council, immediately prior to an election.


Where did that come from. Could they be more obvious about trying to control the outcome of the election?

The only thing they did not add was that your initials have to be M. S.


For all facts and purposes, the Council could have saved a couple of trees because their election announcement containing their ludicrous “qualifications” for voters and officials to be elected — according to  our tribe’s Constitution and Ordinances (laws) are INVALID.

I repeat, my friends… I. N. V. A. L. I. D.


They don't even give us the correct Ordinances. The actual Ordinance is...

Section 3. Qualifications for Tribal Council Office

A. To be eligible for Tribal Council office, candidates must be tribal members who are lineal descendants of base roll tribal members, 18 years of age or older, have no felony records involving crimes of murder, manslaughter, or sexual assault, and physically reside in Tetlin at least one year prior to the election. Exceptions for physical residency include temporary circumstances such as seasonal employment, education and training outside Tetlin, or prolonged illness.


And, there is absolutely NOTHING about to serve as "First Chief, blah, blah, blah".

They just made that up!


But even this Ordinance contradicts Tetlin's Constitution that says

All members of the Village [the Tribe] aged 21 or over have the right to vote in Village meetings and elections.

Tetlin members, the biggest issue in this election process is seeing the measures taken by the Council to manipulate and divided us in order to control the elections.


In fact, they have blatantly, boldly, arrogantly, in-our-face… ripped up and tossed away an entire Chapter of Tetlin’s Ordinances that involves the entire tribal membership (CHAPTER 3 ADOPTING, AMENDING AND REPEALING ORDINANCES).


Is the Council doing this for the benefit of the tribe? You and I both know the answer to that question, NO!


They are doing it to hold onto their power, control, and privileges as Tetlin’s Council – not as our leaders.


Tetlin’s Council was elected by the tribal membership to uphold Tetlin’s laws in accordance to our tribe’s Constitution. They cannot make up laws and expect us to follow them. That is WRONG.


The Council has created laws contradicting our right to vote under our Constitution that was established and long honored by the tribe for the benefit of ALL members. Not just those that live where the Council can control them.


See you January 10, 2024


UNITED WE STAND

DIVIDED — WE FALL ========================================================================


Please email comments on Kevin's blog to:David Flenaugh dflenaugh@tetlincorp.com
and your comments will be forwarded to Kevin Gunter

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