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Report by Council Member Henry Butterfly
"Our People Are The Blackfeet’s Greatest Resource:
Hello to the Blackfeet Tribal Members. I am Henry Butterfly and I am one of your Council Members, here to work for you 24/7.
I ran for the Tribal Council for a chance to help make changes in our Tribal Government. I believe accountability makes a strong government and starts with the Leaders at the top.
In fact, I believe so strongly in transparency, communication, and accountability, I have proposed we install webcams in Tribal Council chambers so everyone can see what we are doing.
After I got on the Council the first thing I suggested was to put all Directors on administrative leave, rewrite all the Director’s job descriptions and advertise them. All the Directors could apply for their jobs if they qualify. I believe we need a good house cleaning and by making the Directors accountable, the number one and most costly problem could be stopped: namely getting paid for not being at work. Plus, we still have many Directors that treat their departments like their own personal kingdoms. Again, we need a serious house cleaning. But I haven’t yet been able to get a majority of the BTBC to agree with me so we are still in the old school mode
I have always believed that the Blackfeet Tribe was blessed with our Reservation and all of its natural resources. I came on board with twenty five years of experience working in our natural resources. My AAS degree is Natural Resource Management. I said electricity is like baloney, any way you slice baloney it’s still baloney, and electricity, any way you make it, its still electricity. We have several ways to make electricity. Water for hydroelectric, wind for wind mills, natural gas to power generators and the sun for solar. The Blackfeet are blessed with Natural Resources and Human Resources beyond our imagination and all we lack to succeed is Leadership.
Tribal Members are getting shafted by the Courts and our children are falling through the cracks in Family Services. Since I was sworn in I advocated turning the Court back to the B.I.A. for at least a year because the Tribal Council can at the present time run the Courts with a phone call. I researched 638 Contracting and found that the Blackfeet have in the past turned the Court back to the B.I.A. and took it back again more than once and it don’t hurt our sovereignty. We don’t have qualified people in family services. We have Tribal members with Masters Degrees in this field that are willing to step up to the plate and bring the family services into compliance. Again the Leadership wants to hang on to the old school people with no regard for the children.
In our Tribal body of employees we need to change people or replace people. Either change their ways and make them accountable or change replace them with accountable people. Our Tribal Government is like a huge dairy farm with a lot of people milking the Tribe. These are the people that need to be changed.
Part of our problem is that different departments operate like islands, with little communication between them and no standards of performance, operations, or productivity. People can hide away for years on these little islands and produce nothing of value while still drawing a paycheck. Sometimes I feel like I have to get in a boat and row over there, just to find out what is going wrong. There is no excuse for us to continue operating in this ridiculous way: We have technology and management expertise at our disposal to tie all these departments together, make them productive, and make them earn their paycheck. It is time to do this.
I see light at the end of the tunnel for our economy with our natural resources and the light is getting brighter and brighter. Our prosperity is going to come as a result of our own people resources. We no longer have to depend on the outside world. Blackfeet Tribal Educated Members are going to be the people helping to lead us into a prosperous future.