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Vote experienced and educated

The stakes are pretty high in this election.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte and a Republican-controlled state legislature threaten tribal sovereignty. Without our smartest at the controls, the next few years will be a living Hell.

With this at stake, we need people in power who are not going to risk losing everything. Because the next few years are going to be very difficult for Montana Indian issues, experienced leadership is the only way the Tribes can maintain sovereignty is to use it to the maximum as allowed by law.

Tribal leaders should be people who are educated, college graduates preferably. This is something tribal members must demand because it’s not a requirement to serve on the Tribal Executive Board. Leaders must also be ethical people of high moral stances in the community.

Candidates should be drug and alcohol-free. They need to take responsibility for their actions. They should be of a minimum age of 30-years-old and have experience in leadership (basketball does not count). Until this is a requirement, we will have the same useless leaders in power over and over.

Last year we saw the horrible freak show in the White House get voted out. The chief freak in this show (Donald Trump) cannot accept the fact he lost and started this big lie that nearly all GOP in the United States follow including Montana representatives.

After the general elections, Montana was one of nearly half of the GOP-controlled states that immediately went to work making it harder for young people and minorities to vote in future elections. Their reasoning is to “protect election integrity” from “voter fraud.”

Montana Republicans passed two voter suppression laws that disproportionately impact Native American voters.

House Bill 176 eliminates same-day voter registration, and House Bill 530 makes it illegal for people to distribute or collect mail-in ballots if they’re being paid to do so.

Because of Governor Gianforte’s GOP affiliation, these bills went through without being vetoed.

On a county voter map of the state, counties that lie within Indian reservations can be seen as blue islands in a sea of red counties. The craziness of Trump cult followers creeps on the reservation like a red tide on blue sand.

Now more than ever, we need proven leadership. We need leaders who will be strong and stand up for tribal members’ best interests.

Think of all the people on the ballot and ask yourself why you are voting for them. If it’s because you “like” them, or because your family is telling you to vote for them.

I’m asking you to take a good look at the candidates and pick based on intelligence, experience, and ethics. A leader must be very strong, and present at meetings. They must have compassion, tenacity, honesty, and generosity.

Do not vote randomly. This past administration is the best example of what can happen when you vote based on popularity instead of being experienced and educated. A total random mix of people who can’t or won’t work together, a group that operates in secrecy and is afraid of the public. One of the council members is a felon (how he got around this is unknown), another ran over a small child and got away with it. Still, another has alcohol problems and is another Mike Thompson. Remember him? He was a council member who had major alcohol issues and attacked a cop who stopped him. Despite the embarrassment and shame, he brought to the Tribes through his actions, he was able to retain his power only to do it again. The council refused to remove him and instead he resigned in disgrace. What is going to happen if we have tribal leaders who are only there for selfish reasons?

By voting based on how well someone is liked, you are voting selfishly. Don’t be selfish.

Political power belongs in the hands of the smartest and wisest people, not the dumbest singer of a mediocre drum group. Our future depends on this, so be careful who you vote for this year.

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