Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tulalip has a Vision

Now that we’ve moved into our new Administration Building I want to revisit the Tulalip Tribes mission, vision and values. Our vision is: “We gathered at Tulalip are one people. We govern ourselves. We will arrive at a time when each and every person has become most capable.”

What does that mean? We gathered at Tulalip are one people. We are definitely not just a business, or a government organization. We’re a family. We’re a family in the sense that we’re related to each other, but we’re also a family because we love each other and are working together to provide the best possible present and future for our people.

“We are one people,” doesn’t just apply to tribal members. It also means our community. It’s the people who have married into our tribe. It’s our friends and supporters. It’s the people that work for the tribe. All of these people are working to make our reservation a better place, and to make our tribe stronger.

“We govern ourselves,” seems pretty self explanatory as well. But what does it mean to govern ourselves? It means we do pass laws and ordinances. We have jurisdiction over our reservation and we have a law and justice system to enforce law on the reservation. But to me, it also means we remain a sovereign people, a nation within a nation. Our tribe has always had the intrinsic right to exist as a people and to decide our future, and who we are. It means that we protect our culture, language and the natural resources we need to continue into the future.

“We will arrive at a time when each and every person has become most capable.” This is the tribes’ sincerest goal. We don’t just want people to leave here with a pay check or a per-capita. We don’t want them to be forced to depend on a welfare system or to come to work at a job that they hate. We want each person to find that passion, that thing that speaks to their heart. And then we want to give them that hand up. Once they’re ready, we’ll give them that little push to leave the nest and fly.

That’s not just for people who don’t have jobs or who are going through difficult times. It’s the person who is stuck in a dead end. The person who is just going through life putting one foot in front of the other and not looking for the next opportunity. I know a lot of people have heard the word re-organization or restructure, and I know that sometimes it has negative feelings attached. But all these growing pains we’re feeling, they’re leading us to that, “time when each and every person has become most capable.”

Thanks for taking to the time to read, and remember, I have an open door policy. I’m always here for my people and if you have questions or concerns you need to discuss, you can always leave me a message here on the blog, or on my concern line, 360-716-4006.


Shelly L. Lacy