Open letter to tribal leaders regarding EBCI Census

by Oct 13, 2021OPINIONS0 comments


Chairman French, Vice Chairman Rose, Principal Chief Sneed, and Vice Chief Ensley,

The EBCI Enrollment keeps pretty tight records of who are enrolled and where they reside, probably much more accurate than any census would bear out. Why not either referendum a change to the Charter that would define the census as polling the enrollment data to get correct residency for each tribal member? It might not even take a referendum. Just a defining by Council of the census to be taken from the enrollment records. A resolution requiring the Tribal Enrollment to add community affiliation to the data kept for each enrolled member. Tribal Election Board keeps a record of all community affiliations, whether the voter lives on the Boundary or not, so there would be no need for at-large representation, as those records will not just be an on-Boundary census, but a true on-going census of every eligible voter and their community affiliation, regardless of where they physically live.

This would seem to be an easier, more effective, and more accurate way of using modern technology to more accurately administer the weighted vote. Charter language was written when these tools were not readily available to us. Because we vote in legislators by community, it is necessary to continue the weighted vote. So we should use the most accurate data that is available and that is not census data. It is our enrollment record.

While our tribal members might balk at taking a traditional census, we do not hesitate to enroll our people from birth, and our members make sure that contact information and addresses are accurate at Enrollment.

In my opinion, this is a fantastic solution to an ongoing problem with our election process. I wish I could take credit for it, but it arose from a discussion I had with our reporter, Scott McKie B.P. I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

Thank you for your consideration.


Robert Jumper

One Feather Editor