Seems that I need to consider a new chapter for my book…Indian Elections Manifesto. Since it was originally conceived as a guidebook to engaging Members and making better elections…an additional chapter on the importance of maintaining and updating Custom Election Code language and provisions is becoming increasingly evident. Experience so far would suggest that most Custom Codes, at least the majority I have worked with, are approaching a decade in age with little or no review or update taking place…in fact, none have any provision at all built in to them requiring a regularly scheduled review process…a perfect storm for Election problems and challenges down the road. Good governance – effective governance and leadership – understands the importance of making sure its governing processes and documents are reviewed regularly and updated as needed to reflect the constantly evolving needs of its citizens/members and the changing realities of the world in which we exist. There is no denying this…communities in Indian country change and evolve just like the rest of the world…and leaving Electoral processes ignored is a recipe for community discontent, distrust in elected leaders and electoral processes – not to mention very costly appeals.
- “Always remember you are Indian. Do things to make your people proud.” — Joe Coyhis, Stockbridge-Munsee