Candidate Essay: Tana Robinson

District I Representative Candidate: Tana Robinson

Aaniin, Tana here. I apologize as I will not be coming to you bragging myself up as I am humbly coming to you from selfless heart and I’m not here to impress and influence you to vote for me based on any misconceptions that this role/job as District Representative is here to give handouts and/or enable in anyway shape or form. Our Tribal Officials sitting in office, whoever they may be, need to get back to our cultural practices and restart the long standing traditions of offering their own skills, knowledge and wisdom gained through their own first hand experiences and provide you with support and resources through effective tribal programming to help you maintain and/or find a healthy balance in your own personal life so that you can become that support, mentor and positive role model who will pass good healthy ways of living onto your children, grandchildren, etc. Historical trauma is a key factor in how we have become unwell over the last few generations in a sense of lacking communication skills leading to loss of connection to others within our own families and communities but more importantly the loss of cultural practices that were once strong in assisting us to maintain healthy spirits, bodies and minds with understanding prayers and gatherings for ceremonies and openly sharing love, respect, life skills, food, daily necessities and stories with an open heart. We have currently found ourselves struggling to cope with our loss of such powerful teachings and values and with that loss of our own individual identities. We often ask, Who am I? Where do I belong? How did I get here?. Many of you have found some stability and successes with your own lives and kudos to you. But sadly for far too many who lack the proper teachings and support systems turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism and on the rise, suicide. If I find myself in this job, yes it is a job, not a title I will start by creating a team of community members to begin construction of a new system that will effectively and timely provide assistance to help each adult set goals for themselves and their families whether it be getting help with addictions, getting children back home from Foster Care, finding a home, buying a home, home repairs, gaining employment or better employment, child care, furthering education, gaining financial stability with better understanding of money management and credit, purchasing household appliances and furniture, purchasing vehicles and more. Having even just one of these hardships creates a downward spiral effect. For example, not having a car can mean no way to get to a job or school. Having no job can mean no food on the table or having funds available to make rent/mortgage payments, keep electricity and heat in a home keeping in mind many households have children. Even issues one might think are so small and meaningless can bring about depression, anxiety, fears and worry which can lead to unintentional negative attitudes which can only bring about new sets of problems being added to one’s shoulders. Noone should ever have to bear so much unnecessary weight in their lifetime, especially us tribal members as we are lucky to have our Tribal Government available. Not to offer any useful support or useless hand outs, but rather provide the resources we need to gain and maintain self-sufficiency. I wish the five of us running for this job could equally take it together because we all have so much to bring to the table. But as stated no matter who gets elected into this position/JOB we the people take precedence. Make your vote count! Do not vote for me, relative, neighbor, best friend, etc because of the misconceptions of the District Representative role. VOTE FOR YOU!!! This job on the Tribal Council and every job position within the Tribal Government itself exists because you exist and the elected individuals are there to serve you. We the people are not supposed to sit powerless waiting to be called upon to serve tribal officials in their time of need. I am going to leave these thoughts with you and hope you can begin to feel empowered to make wise choices for you and your family. We can do this! You want change, right? Now is the time! Bring it folks! In closing I do want you to know that no matter my job or where I reside or what personal endeavors I may be on at any given time I am always here for you, even if just to listen. Do not hesitate to reach out to me at any time with any hardships that may have jumped out of nowhere. If I can’t help out myself I will walk with you on your journey far enough to help you find the resources to get you moving in a better direction. I can be called or text messaged at 218-368-8056 or you can always find me on Facebook ‘Tana Morgan-Robinson’ sharing my life. I also created a group ‘Tana Robinson: You and us, not me or them’ to share my ideas of what building our district support system might look like as well as ideas for restructuring the Tribal Government support systems. Please call or send me a message to learn more about myself and my story or I’d really like to hear your ideas and your story which can comfort and help each other out. I would love to come to you for a one-on-one heart-to-heart as well. Due to COVID and personal privacy I have respectfully avoided going about unannounced, but If you’re willing to get to know me and chat about how we can help one another live and learn so we become more knowledgeable to benefit our children, grands and so on please don’t hesitate. I look forward to positive change also!!

With good old fashioned Native love and respect, MiiGwech!
Tana Robinson, District I Candidate and Inger resident