I think in our Election that should be the first question. There is a reason that people are asking for changing the status quo. If you are not willing to work differently what is the point of being in office, only thing different is who receives services.
That is something. I think everyone has ideas. We all want our community to do well. Or we want to help the people. Everyone has an idea on what can be done to make the Reserve a better place to live. I think it is not enough to have good thoughts, you have to the ability to do what needs to be done. You know the three "A's" to be successful in the position: Affability, Availability and Ability. That is your Council should be approachable and easy to talk with, be there when the community needs them and have the education, experience to know what decision and action should be made. Not be driven by adhoc choices or emotional decisions.
I have heard this quite a bit, "the Chief and Council don't help me". Indian Reserves are different than town. Our Council must have an individual approach in dealing with people. We have come to expect that the Chief and Council must address the issues personally. I can see it is important to people. "Come and see how my house is". That is one of the big issues in First Nations communities. The housing issue. There is the job or lack of jobs in Reserves. There are also a host of other issues that is not discussed on the campaign trail but in the homes; like violence, drinking, drugs, gangs, the pill popping, the mediocrity of people doing just enough to get by in a job. People would like a visible Council. I can understand that. However, we should also realize that there is much do in a position of leadership. That is why Chief and Council must depend on their department staff/people. Program staff must be able to deal with everyday issues that arise. Council can not second guess every decision made at the program level. That is why you have competent staff. Staff that are equipped to meet the challenges of the job.
I think that the Council is in a Trust position with an obligation to EVERYONE. That is not just putting one person ahead of the other person. I know that equality is not easy in society. One of the things we can strive for is equity. Being able to speak and share information with everyone. That is key in a Reserve. People want to know what is going on. Gate keeping is an aspect of keeping power, when really the power is in the people. Sounds like rhetoric I know, but it is true. Sharing information can drive any leadership. Being open to ideas is another thing. It does not matter who came up with the idea, if it is a sound and good concept, let's try it. We need to encourage our people to get involved with what happens in the community. That means trying to get everyone involved from the daycare people, to our schools, our Care Home, our business people and our program people. Lot of ideas out there from people in the everyday business of living Indian life.