Candidate Essay: Tami Jackson

Chiarperson Candidate: Tami Jackson

Aaniin, my name is Tami Jackson, I am from Cha Cha Bah Ning-Inger. My family- the Bowstring family are from Cha Cha Bah Ning. My parents are Lewis and Agnes Bowstring, I have three sisters Tina, Melissa, Christina and three brothers Lawrence, Frankling and Bradley. I have been blessed with three children and four grandchildren. I went to Deer River High school; I graduated in 1981. I attended Itasca Community college with an emphasis in Business Administration and accounting, graduate. I am currently pursuing two degrees at Leech Lake Tribal Community college in Indigenous Leadership and Business Management.

The reason I decided to seek the esteemed position of Chairpersonship for Leech Lake Reservation is, it is time for our reservation to elect another woman for leadership. For the past 10 to 12 years, we have been under the leadership of men, our women have sat in the back of the room for far too long. No one in these esteemed positions have sought out our women for any direction, any guidance to assist in making wise decisions our reservation can use. Our women are the backbone of our families and our reservation. It is time to choose a new leader to lead our reservation forward. Often, we have heard we are moving in this direction or that direction, and yet, we have become stagnant in our reservation. Nothing achieved to fix our issues. We put up a new building here or there, and still it isn’t in the right decision that was needed. We need to address issues that concerns our youth, our elders, our people in general, we need to make those issues a “guiding issue” within our leadership councils, our executive and administrative levels and especially in our communities. We need every one’s input, so we can rebuild ourselves to better healthy citizens of this reservation.

We have the same issues we had 12 years ago, 20 years ago, the same social economic issues we had then, homelessness, drug and alcohol, over budgeting in some areas and underbudgeting in other areas, and in some cases no budgeting at all. We have all responded to the pandemic and extreme loss of our young ones with our drug and alcohol epidemics which we currently experience. These young ones were part of our 7th generation to our futures future. We need to focus on these many factors or we lose our directions. Now we have to look to the future with new innovative ideas to keep our generations in the future strong, the way those from our past did. We look to future with new ideas to generate funds to sustain our people and our reservation, like Cannabis, Gaming, grants so that each of these sustains our reservation. But before we can all move forward, we need to rebuild our infrastructure within our programs we have, so each and every one of these programs can get back to servicing our people, taking care of the needs of the people, to make each and every one healthy so we can live prosperous in health and a managed livable way.

The way I would do this is I plan to have an open-door policy along with an open-door communication dialogue between our communities and my leadership. I will have transparency and build a progressive responsible administrative office. I take policies and procedures very responsively and will always have an open dialogue between the citizens and myself for our reservation. I have always been employed within the constraints of our reservation, whether it was Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Gaming, and currently with Leech Lake Housing Authority. I may not have had the opportunity of ‘managing” a division, but I have managed very well in many of these departments I have been employed over the past years. I started work here on the reservation after college back in 1994. Youth Division, Head Start, Health Division, a brief employment service at the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. I have lived off the reservation and have lived in other states before then. I take leadership very responsibly and will continue to do so. I am dedicated to a progressive future for our reservation and understand the obstacles of technology, new responsive ideas are always a welcome for us to embrace and not shy away from the opportunity of learning. Learning new ideas and sharing those among us can only build us stronger. I look forward to your open dialogue don’t hesitate to contact me and ask questions or just to openly speak with you. I have a very open opinion on any topic you wish to talk with me about. I humbly ask for your support for the office of leadership of Chairwoman of Leech Lake Reservation. My telephone and email are provided below. Chi Miigwech!

Tami Jackson

Tami. [email protected]