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By Ross Johnson

To all Tuscarora Nation enrolled members and residents,

Over the past three years, our current Chief and Clan Mother system has unfortunately shown that it is incapable of handling the New York Power Authority settlement, as well as other affairs of the nation, in the best interest of the Tuscarora people. There has been no improvement to the way of life for the people. There have been many "deals" and partnerships formed that can be damaging to the sovereignty of the Nation.

We now have a huge financial responsibility with the new community building that was built at an unknown cost, since the current government decided it would be best. The people had no input on the cost or design of that building, only the current government did. A new building could have been built at half the cost, with the rest of the money going to the people. But the current government didn't want that, because we would just buy drugs and waste the money.

Certain people have applied for utilities, but have been denied based on personal preference. This type of government cannot be relied upon to handle $100 million of TUSCARORA money. This "secret" form of government resembles a dictatorship style of rule. It cannot be tolerated anymore, not when some of our people are struggling to put food on their tables without public assistance from New York state. Our nation should be governed BY our people, and FOR our people.

With these reasons as our motivation, there will be a public meeting held to explore the options for the Tuscarora Nation. Plans for a revised form of leadership will be introduced, one that will be transparent and accountable to the Nation, one that will be able to lead the Nation in the 21st century, while still holding onto the traditions and culture that are so important.

This is not a job for 20 or 30 people to decide. This is a job for the whole Nation to initiate and endure. It's time to put the past behind us and look toward the future. WE are in control of our nation, and we need enrolled Tuscarora, as well as residents of the Tuscarora Nation, to attend. This is not a movement that is led by one or two people, this is a movement that started years ago and has gained the acceptance of more and more Tuscarora since our Nation and our money is not in our control anymore.

If you are comfortable with five people in control of $100 million of your money that they don't have to tell you or show you where it's being spent, then don't attend. If you want to know how your money is being spent, as well as have your input and voice heard, and want your Tuscarora Nation to remain a strong, independent nation that can support its members, then please attend to show your support for the future of the Tuscarora Nation.

This new beginning for the Tuscarora Reservation will be held Saturday, July 23, at 1 p.m., at 1521 Mount Hope Road.

Thank you.

Ross Johnson

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com June 21, 2011