KCAW: Leaders of Sitka Tribe get an earful at eight hour meeting
"Late last month, George Paul was removed from the nine-member Tribal Council of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. The backlash against that removal has caused division among the eight remaining members of the council, who got an earful from tribal citizens on Wednesday night, at a meeting that lasted nearly eight hours.

At issue during the meeting was what to do about the vacancy left by Paul’s removal. Half the Tribal Council wanted a special election to fill the slot. The other half said the vacancy already had been filled, by the selection of former Tribal Council member Mike Baines during a telephone poll.

But the poll was held before new members of the council were sworn in.

“To me, and maybe to other people, it looks like people perhaps might be manipulating these phone polls for their best interest," said Tanya Bonorden, one of the newly elected council members.

Bonorden is not the only one unhappy with Paul’s removal or its aftermath. Tribal citizens expressed dismay to the council about the removal, and the process of selecting Baines.

“Phone polls are for emergent items, and this was hardly emergent," said Richard Wein. "This was something the Greeks have a word for. It was called ‘hubris,’ and that means outrageous arrogance.”"

Get the Story:
Tribal Council at impasse over special election (KCAW 12/10)

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