VOICES: Tribe Needs an Open Forum to Discuss Issues

Dear Two Rivers Tribune,

My name is Sonny Hescock.  I have been an enrolled member of the Hupa Tribe for all of my 27 years on this earth.  Just this morning, I spoke with a few other Tribal Members who agree with me that it is “utterly appalling that our elected officials are behaving like high schoolers.”  These were one person’s words verbatim.  It is evident that our Hupa People have opinions on the recent happenings at the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council.  So I opened this forum on http://HupaTribe.yuku.com and started a few introductory topics.  It is my wish that we can utilize this forum to open a dialogue among one another to identify our issues, work together to solve them, and hopefully accomplish our goals without all the vulgarity that we are seeing.

Marjorie Colegrove, our Bald Hill Councilwoman, is my grandmother.  I do not know where she stands on any of the issues that have been plaguing our Council.  Regardless, as a Hupa Tribal Member I am appalled that we elected these people to represent us, and they cannot simply agree to disagree.  Facebook, from what I can gather, is being used to bash people, and lay out all of these issues, and is altogether counterproductive. It is extremely embarrassing that these “issues” that we have, no matter how large or insignificant they may be, are being plastered all over Facebook.  On Facebook, any outsider who has access to their Facebook “friends” will be made privy to our business.  This of course may open the door for the outside world, i.e. the Federal Government, to see us as nothing more than ignorant Natives who can no longer govern themselves.

We need to be a stronger People.  We need to unite ourselves, because if we cannot set aside our differences and work out our issues in a calm, collective, and professional manner, then we as a people are doomed to fail.  Our once glorious Hupa Tribe, is in a state of decline.  I am hoping that by opening this forum, we can have hash out our problems like adults are supposed to.  If we allow our petty differences to come between us as a People, then we are undoubtedly headed towards termination.

There are seven Tribal Council Members, and one Chairperson, who are elected by the people to govern our Tribe.  These are 8 out of the few thousand Tribal Members that we have.  It is my belief that we should not solely rely on the 8 to make our decisions for us.  We have the right to Referendum Vote, and at times, we need to exercise it.  Of the few thousand members we have who are not on our Tribal Council, including our youth, there have got to be a few great minds out there who can help us resolve these issues without having to resort to physical altercations, slander, libel, or whatever negative act that few choose to plague our Tribe with.

So I invite all members of our Hupa Tribe to join my effort and open a dialogue where we can all offer our input in a positive manner and hopefully resolve these issues without aggression.  Join me on http://HupaTribe.Yuku.com.

Respectfully,
Sonny Hescock

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Date
April 30th, 2014

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