Tribal Elders

It was great to see Alphonse Halfmoon, Bill Burke, Carl Sampson, and Viola Wocatsie, and many other elders today. The tribal senior citizens gathered to eat an early Christmas dinner at the longhouse. Tamástslikt catered the turkey dinner for 300 with all the fixings, including huckleberry pie. They made it look easy. Huckleberries, “the little sisters”, are precious this time of year and such a treat.

Jess Nowland, Tamástslikt’s facility engineer apprentice, emceed the event, and invited the whole world to his impending matrimony to Trinette this coming Saturday at noon, same place. That signifies one less single young man on the loose. It’s commendable that there is a couple who is willing to take the plunge over the precipice. We are keeping our fingers crossed for these courageous young people and their two children. May it be for a lifetime.

Jess is an example of the “grow your own” philosophy of developing professionals from among the ranks of our own people. Mike Cooper, facility engineer, is mentoring Jess to take on more duties in the complexities of facility management. When Mike hires an outside contractor, an employee will apprentice with the contractor to participate in solving the problem. That employee becomes more and more of an asset to Tamástslikt. Jess was able to learn about digital multimedia by working with Chris Saito, the developer who gave us the Coyote Theater. Jess also worked extensively with the systems expert who helped tame Tamástslikt’s whopping utility rates to an extraordinary degree. This is a great model of preparing one’s successor with lots of qualification and experience for the job should the mentor retire. It’s the kind of investment the Tribes should make in their future workforce.

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