VOICES: Opinion by Joseph Orozco
Dear Two Rivers Tribune,
Hoopa Community Foundation Update:
I have been in contact with the Humboldt Area Foundation, the North Coast Small Business Development Council, the Economic Department of Humboldt State University and the Seventh Generation Fund.
They each gave me names of people who may be of facilitation help. They all think this is an exciting project. A small number of tribal members have said they are interested.
I have been asked how any collection of funds would be used. I have been cautioned that the initial steps may take a while to result in any decisions. I agree.
When a person starts a fund for community use it is a simpler legal matter. When attempting to gather an unknown number of people to contribute personal funds for a mutual community purpose it becomes a much more difficult legal matter.
But, I shall tread on anyway. It is a worthy challenge. On the surface, we the people need to envision what we want to happen. If we start discussions in terms of dollar values we may cut short certain elements of our collective reality. To me this is the general practice of grant proposals. The Request for Proposals identifies a purpose and an amount available. The grant writer submits an application for that amount. This is a simple straight forward process. In my opinion this system does not always take into account the deeper social underpinnings that some people may be experiencing and the possible mediating steps.
Without numerous discussions the community in general may not be able to understand or identify the deeper social needs. For example; if the radio station wanted to submit a grant to hire a Development Director, we would have in mind what we wanted that person to accomplish by what certain date. But when seeking improvements for a community, we need time to discuss what improvements are needed. We need time to discuss why one element should be addressed before another. We need to take the time to discuss, to understand, to compromise and to voice a united opinion.
If this process is done systematically, we could determine whether a concern need can be and should be handled at the tribal council level, at the tribal department level, at the for-profit business level, or at the non-profit community level.
If successful this process could not only move us toward improving the quality of life in the Hoopa Valley. It could set the direction for specific developments within the community that sensibly build upon one another.
We must include the ideas and thoughts of the community at large. Whether or not a person has a dime to invest, their needs and opinions are just as valuable. We need to be aware of who is not at the table so that when we think we have discussed everything, we don’t find out later there are unaddressed problems we overlooked. I will set a meeting site and time for the last week of this month.
Joseph Orozco, Hoopa