Friday, January 16, 2009

Tribal Members Plan Petition To Rid Tribe Of New Law Restricting Information

By Ken Davison
Feather News

Tribal members are speaking of gathering the necessary 35 signatures on a petition that will force the Tribal government to put the newly-passed freedom of information ordinance out for a referendum, which would allow Tribal members to reject it at the polls.

Due to the restrictions contained in the freedom of information ordinance, it isn't clear if we would be violating the ordinance by merely saying what is contained in our new law (ordinance).

At a time when Tribal members should be informed of what is going on with their government, the passage of the new law does the opposite by restricting the gathering and dissemination of information to Tribal members.

Under Article 12 of the Mohegan Constitution, "the members of The Tribe reserve to themselves the power to propose ordinances and resolutions and to enact or reject the same at the polls independent of the Tribal Council upon petition of thirty-five (35) of the registered voters within seven (7) days of such action."

The freedom of information ordinance was passed by the Tribal Council on Wednesday, leaving only a few days to finish the petition.

The sponsors of the petition ask that we keep their names anonymous at this point but thought it would be helpful if we got the word out to tribal members asking for their help on this petition. If you are a Tribal member but are in a situation where you support a change in the law but feel you shouldn't sign it, you can be a major help by finding other tribal members to sign the petition. Ask around.

If you can help in any way, please contact or leave a comment on Brokenwing's or my website (we won't post it).