TEB Debates Committee Chair Appointments
The Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes Executive Board held their regular meeting Monday, Nov. 13, at council chambers in Poplar. Chairman Justin Gray Hawk Sr. and the newly elected board voted on land use issues, delivered travel reports and discussed department priorities.
The board’s collegiality was on display when a procedural debate unfolded regarding votes on committee chair and vice-chair positions.
Board member Roxanne Gourneau said the board had no legal standing to vote on committee appointments prior to her addition to the board. Gourneau was in 12th place for TEB, but the 13th-place vote-getter Charles Knowlton requested a recount which had not yet been completed at the time of the votes. Gourneau insisted that she was denied her “right to help construct the government.”
The issue was resolved following lengthy dissuasions when a vote to amend the list of appointments failed to achieve a necessary super majority.
During discussion of Indian Health Service administrative issues, board member Carolyn Brugh said she wanted community members to know that tribal elders and seniors have a full 30 days to request compensation for emergency room visits. Enrolled members typically have just 72 hours to make ER compensation requests.
Board member Stacey Summers raised concerns about a Bureau of Indian Affairs report documenting problems with Fort Peck Department of Law & Justice evidence rooms and other items she described as “out of compliance.” She said issues affecting evidence collection have real impacts on investigations of area rapes, murders and other serious crimes.
Board member Bryce Kirk relayed requests from Indian Health Service staff at the federal level for “better communication” between local IHS staff and tribal government. He said inquires started by board members have been stymied when communications break down at the local level.
The next full TEB meeting will be Monday, Nov. 27, beginning at 9 a.m.