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Tribe Adopts Mission Statement

Thursday, 29 June 2017 by

On May 9, 2017, the Whitener Group facilitated a dialog with Council and key staff on the development of the Tribe’s five-year governmental strategic plan and the need to understand the fundamental purpose as to why we operate as a government. It was shared that the current mission statement is representative of a vision statement, and part of the strategic planning session would be to work towards developing a mission statement to align with the direction we are going as a Tribe. A mission statement describes the purpose of the organization, along with who, what and how. The current mission statement of Honoring our Past; Serving our Tribal Family; Protecting our Culture and Independence; and Controlling our Future, is more of a vison statement that is a source of inspiration that shares our desires.

During the strategic planning session, the group was posed with three questions: Who do you exist for? How you do what you do?
and What is your fundamental purpose? Stakeholders were directed to write down their thoughts and post their answer to each question. The group was later broken down into three sub-groups where they synthesized the data to identify the answer to their assigned question.

The “Who” question was relatively easy to identify and the top definition was Tolowa Dee-ni’ with more narrow groups defined under that umbrella including nuu-da’-ye’ (our family); nuu-srxii-xee (our children); nuu-k’wii-daa-naa~-ye’ (our future generations); nvn-nvst-‘aa~-ta (mother earth); xwii-t’i (everyone). The “What” question was a challenge but was honed in to represent what we are in this moment and the Dee-ni’ wee-ya’ word to define the present what is ch’a’-xvsh-naa-ghit-li~ (to be whole again) or to return to a better human as a community with the underlying principles of waa-tr’vslh-‘a~ (the way it is kept) as a foundational cornerstone to our existence; xatlh-sri (the beginning) sovereignty the way it is from the inner core and what we represent; and Ghes-naa-t’i (wellbeing) to ensure the wellbeing of all things under our jurisdiction and beyond. The “How” question was answered with foundational principles and common business sense. The Dee-ni’ word that over-archingly defined “How” is waa-tr’vslh-‘a~ (the way it is kept) combined with creating a sound governance structure that includes securing and preserving resources and moving forward on core principles that define the Tolowa Dee-ni’.

Following the synthesis of the defined principles of who we are, what we do, and how we do it, the following mission statement was adopted by way of Council motion on June 1, 2017:

To exert and protect the inherent sovereignty endowed upon the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation to promote our tribal identity, and the wellbeing of our people, community, and environment by building a strong foundation, managing resources, and perpetuating our cultural lifeways and legacy.

Submitted by, Briannon Fraley, Chief Governance Officer

Sacramento, Calif.—Libraries have long served as a place to explore new subjects and learn about the world. A new collaboration between the California State Library and Oculus VR, a division of Facebook Inc., will bring virtual reality technology to patrons in nearly half of the library jurisdictions throughout California.
“Oculus is proud of our work with the California State Library and Califa to make virtual reality technology available through local libraries,” said Cindy Ball, program manager for Oculus Education. “Californians will gain access to a wide range of enhanced services, from curriculum that takes students into outer space to providing hands-on training in skills like engine repair and beyond.”
“Virtual Reality is a generational leap in the services that our libraries provide” said California State Librarian Greg Lucas. “Just as computers have become a critical part of our libraries, this generous gift from Facebook and Oculus will bring new technology to libraries from Redding to San Diego.”
 Each of the participating library systems will be awarded one or two Rifts and Oculus Ready PCs from Facebook and Oculus free of charge. Alongside the virtual reality equipment, libraries will be provided online training and the opportunity to also receive free or reduced cost virtual reality programs and equipment. Libraries will receive their equipment and training this month and will be able to begin offering virtual reality programs in late June or early July.
This project is managed by Califa, a nonprofit, and is supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.
“I think this VR project demonstrates what libraries do so well with new technologies,” said Paula MacKinnon, Interim Director of Califa, the non-profit managing the project. “We start curating the exceptional, the compelling, and the intriguing educational content that is newly being published and provide our communities with the means to enjoy it—for free.”
Partial funding also comes from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.
John MacLeod, Executive Director of New Media Learning, which developed the pilot project of this new system at the Marin County Free Libraries, noted that the arrival of this new technology in California libraries will not only benefit Californians, but also the companies pioneering the new technology.
“There will be a community space where people can come together, experience virtual reality, and help shape how that medium will be developed over the coming years” said MacLeod.
Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation’s Tribal Family Resource Library has been selected as a participant of the Virtual Reality Experience Project. “We are excited to participate in this technological services leap and can’t wait to start offering programs,” said Jessica Haas, Tribal Library Manager.
Check here to see if your library jurisdiction is a part of the Virtual Reality Experience Project: Participating Libraries
Califa is a not-for-profit membership cooperative serving libraries and information organizations in
California. Established in 2004 with LSTA funding from the California State Library, Califa collaborates with members and provides leadership for cooperative negotiations to help ensure that members receive quality
information resources.
About the State Library: Founded in 1850, the California State Library has an extensive collection of documents from and about the state’s rich history, ranging from books, maps, miners’ diaries, newspapers and periodicals to photographs, paintings and posters. The State Library also holds federal and state publications and is home to both the Bernard E. Witkin State Law Library and the Braille and Talking Book Library.
About Community & Family Services: Community and Family Services mission: “We encourage a healthy community by providing services that address the unique cultural and economic needs of our Tribal Family with accountability, integrity, and respect.” For more information, contact the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation
Offices at (707) 487-9255.



Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, Community & Family Services
110 W First Street; Smith River, CA 95567
Tel: (707) 487-9255

Tolowa Teen Invited to Speak at National Police-Youth Engagement Roundtable

Smith River, CA, May 24, 2017 – Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation teen, Felicity Lopez (19), has been invited to participate in the US Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (“OJJDP”)’s Police-Youth Engagement Roundtable.

In April, the OJJDP, in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (“IACP”) and Coalition for Juvenile Justice (“CJJ”), sought youth participants from across the country interested in sharing their thoughts and experiences for a two-day long national training institute with law enforcement leaders.

Of the nearly 100 Tribal youth that entered the competitive application process, Felicity is one of 15 invited to attend.

Born and raised in Del Norte County, surrounded by supportive family and friends, Felicity Lopez has almost completed her Associate’s degree and intends to continue her education in Business
Administration. Joining the youth-police roundtable will give Felicity a broader perspective on issues across the nation.

At the event, Felicity will learn about the juvenile justice system, creative ways to resolve conflict, ways to effectively share her stories and experiences with others, as well as contribute to a roundtable conversation about key issues in juvenile justice and police-youth relations.

The Institute for Police-Youth Engagement is designed to immerse law enforcement leaders in best
practices and innovative approaches on how to improve interactions between youth and law enforcement while effectively contributing to juvenile justice reform. Attendees will explore their role as change agents while determining how to more effectively address systemic juvenile justice issues, improve local response to justice-involved youth, and accelerate progress toward more successful outcomes for youth, families and the community.

Community and Family Services mission: “We encourage a healthy community by providing services that
address the unique cultural and economic needs of our Tribal Family with accountability, integrity, and respect.” For more information, contact the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Offices at (707) 487-9255.


Monday, June 26 at 4:30 PM – 7 PM
Xaa-Wan’-K’wvt 101 Indian Court, Smith River, California 95567

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