TOLOWA DEE-NI’ NATION MEMBER NEWS RELEASE
Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation
Contact: Briannon Fraley
Interim Executive Director
Building a Strong Foundation through Organizational Change
For Immediate Release
September 27, 2018
Smith River, CA– The Tribal Administration has been updating tribal members and staff over the last year on the Yvtlh-‘ii~-chu mvlh-netlh-‘i~ k’wvt-sta~ na’lh-ni wvn tr’vlh-sri, or Building the Foundation for a Strategic Government, a $1.2 million dollar three-year project designed to improve the governmental structure. The project was developed in 2017 through the Tribal Council with the Office of Self-Governance in order to address the need to strengthen the Administration in program development, data collection, and communication.
In 2018, the Tribe entered into a contract with the BlueStone Strategy group to conduct an organizational and operational assessment. The primary objective of the assessment is to support the Tribe’s interest in advancing a strong organizational foundation for its continued growth in the 21st Century. Tribal Council will be reviewing three proposed options of structural change at the executive level in the month of October that will be used to refine the Executive Director role and function within the Administration.
In light of the 2019 budget development process, Tribal Council has directed executive staff to plan to move forward with a governmental re-structuring to meet the objectives of the Tribe’s strategic goals. The first tangible changes to take place are in the form of combining like services and functions, resulting in a framework to develop an Education Department, which will combine services from Community and Family Services, Culture, and Head Start. The Tribe has taken official action to fill the THPO position and align preservation and compliance programs under the Office of Self-Governance.
The re-structure provides the opportunity for professional growth and development to valued Tribal staff. It is important to highlight that the re-structure is not intended to eliminate positions, programs, or services. All programmatic activities will continue, and we are improving cross-departmental coordination of services, especially traditional activities, including the utilization of Tribal Members who have traditional knowledge to share within the community. We value the Tribal Members who dedicate their time and energy to serve on our appointed committees and all standing committees will remain in effect while the departments facilitating and coordinating may change.
It is Council’s belief that we all work to serve and represent the collective people’s needs and desires, and this governmental re-structure addresses broad audiences and those collective desires. Over 50% of our staff are Tolowa and we have the opportunity to empower and embrace our Tolowa culture throughout the Administration. Culture lives within each one of us as Tolowa Dee-ni’ and it is our collective responsibility to promote and endorse traditional values, as well as create space for the community to be Tolowa.