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Guest View By Ross Johnson

Recently, a meeting was held with Tuscarora members and residents to discuss the options that we have since our "Chiefs Council" has not been meeting publicly about the TUSCARORA money, they are just spending it at will. In addition to possible legal action for any payment of funds without authorization from the Tuscarora, the "Chiefs" are now going to be held accountable by the people of the nation. The members at the meeting decided to form the People's Council of the Tuscarora Nation.

The following resolution was adopted:

We the enrolled members and residents of the Tuscarora Nation, residing on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation located within the physical boundaries of the state of New York, grateful to the Creator for the sovereignty, growth and prosperity of our nation, as well as the retention of the traditions and culture of our reservation, looking forward to the future with confidence in the advancement of the Tuscarora Nation in order to provide a greater quality of life for our people, do hereby make, adopt, and establish the following resolution:

We, as a group formed by the inability of our government to act in accordance with the best interest of our people, do not recognize the "Chiefs Council" as a leading body on the Tuscarora Reservation. The "Chiefs Council" is a group of 4-5 individuals that are spending the TUSCARORA money without authorization or the input of the Clans, which violates their own system of government. This group has been operating without the general consensus of the people, and are hereby not recognized by the People's Council. Any actions from this point forward on the part of the "Chiefs Council" to misappropriate funds from the TUSCARORA money will be considered treason by the tribe and the parties involved will be held accountable to the people of the nation, in addition to any other non-native investigators that are or will be involved.

This statement has been issued due to the extreme lack of communication between the "Chiefs" and the Tuscarora people. There are so many programs and other essential utilities that have been denied or refused by the "Chiefs" that lead us to realize that they are not a governing body of our reservation. Our children have very few afterschool activities, and the only one they do have, the Lacrosse Box, does not have electricity because of the "Chiefs Council."

The People's Council has reviewed numerous opportunities for our reservation, including housing and elderly programs. We have discussed moving forward with other business plans that would be beneficial to nation members. However, with the "Chiefs Council" in control of our money, it makes it difficult to move forward with progress toward these plans.

For far too long, this "Chiefs Council" has attempted to lead this nation through deception and secrecy. They have been able to do this because of the lack of organization of the Tuscarora people, whether it be through complacency or fear. The People's Council was formed to give the people a voice in their reservation, a chance to voice their opinions about our current government, and to help create a plan to fix it.

The People's Council and its members have finally taken a first step toward making our reservation a better place and holding these "Chiefs" accountable for what they have done. A People's Council of the Tuscarora Nation meeting has been set for Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m., at the Picnic Grove. Unlike our "Chiefs Council" meetings, everyone is invited to attend. "Chiefs Council" members are more than welcome to attend and explain what is being done with TUSCARORA money.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Aug. 9, 2011