CANDIDATE ESSAY: Faron Jackson Sr.

Chairperson Candidate: Faron Jackson Sr.

My name is Faron Jackson, Sr. I want to thank everyone for the honor given to me four years ago to serve as chairman. I live in Onigum with my wife of 44 years Laurel, we have five children, 24 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. We have been foster parents for 30 years and adopted five foster children. Our 30 foster kids over the years continue to be a part of our family.

When I sought the chairman position four years ago I thought then as now that we could do better. So I went door to door on the reservation and in the urban areas talking to our people about issues and concerns. We have numerous crises and a lot of heartbreaking social problems that needed immediate responses. We are all impacted by the issues; opioid/addiction crisis and overdoses, children in out-of-home placements, homelessness, a housing shortage, high unemployment, high poverty rate. The pipeline to prison for our men, women and even our juveniles when they get involved in the juvenile justice system, as well as reentry issues for those released from prison. The needs of parents due to personal issues who need to stabilize their lives including finding work and stable housing to get their children back. All of these issues and others, as well as the numerous negative statistics all indicate a people in distress. None of us personally, our families, our relatives are untouched.

Many issues we face are of very long standing, generational in fact as they have root causes going back in our history to U.S. genocide policies, forced relocations, forced boarding school, loss of our lands or more accurately the theft of our natural and economic resources that have by design left us destitute. The resulting historic and intergenerational traumas continue to disrupt lives. But we also have another history demonstrating over and over again that we are a people of resistance, determination, and strength; The Battle of Sugar Point, standing with Standing Rock, the takeover of the Dams by our members in the 80’s, our treaty demonstration a few years back at the Hole in the Day Refuge near Brainerd to protect our off reservation gathering rights. Our continued fights in their (U.S.) courts to protect our reserved rights.

We all know we have to live in today’s world. Even after all we have suffered we do not advocate hate or opposition but only to be treated fairly and honestly. For we too have dreams as individuals and as a separate people. As Native Americans we are not a minority group or just people of color. We are indigenous to this country and to this land, our homeland. We have political standing and our own governments, sovereignty, territorial rights and inherent rights that preexist the establishment of the United States, and reserved rights guaranteed through treaty. We have to walk in two worlds and that requires diplomacy and involvement with the United States government, the State of Minnesota and its political subdivisions. We have to protect our rights as citizens of the United States and as citizens of our own homeland and the Ojibwe Anishinaabe Nation.
I point out the above because I take extremely serious the responsibility of elected office, and all elected positions whether the chairman position, secretary/treasurer or district representative well as those at the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT/TEC). I see the need for setting a future, addressing long standing issues and current social problems affecting our people. Setting a focus on our youth and children, on our culture and language. I have spent the last 4 years learning while working on issues and solutions. I can say during this time we have accomplished much as an administration. However, it takes time to build a responsive and progressive system of government while dealing with crisis and the need to improve lives by providing opportunity and job creation. I think it is important to hold to a strategic course instead of potentially changing direction every two years.

While I am limited in this article for the newspaper, I hope that I have conveyed an understanding of the position of chairman and the need for us to continue to hold to the positive progressive direction that has been set for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe over the last four years. I will reach out to as many of our people as I can during this election. If you have concerns or want to talk reach out to me. I humbly ask for your continued support and vote in this election.

Please Vote Faron Jackson, Sr. for Chairman. Miigwech!