Calista Corporate Governance Committee Shares Updates and Facts on Discussions
October 9, 2020: Willie Kasayulie, Chair of the Calista Corporation Corporate Governance Committee, shared an update on the process of forming a Regional Tribal Government (RTG) for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region:
“Over the past few weeks, our Governance Committee team held discussions with many Y-K Region Tribal leaders about the effort to form an Interim Regional Tribal Government. These discussions have revealed a great deal of support for the effort, but also underscored several concerns and misunderstandings. It has come to our attention that a formal tribal resolution distributed to Tribes is causing confusion because it contains many factual errors. The Committee wanted to clarify and correct several points, as follows:
•Tribal governments have the sole authority and responsibility to decide whether to form the RTG. A newly formed RTG would not be “under” Calista. Rather the RTG would be a new Tribe created by the authority of the 56 federally recognized Tribes of the Region.
•Calista has no vote in the formation of the RTG. Calista is only providing a forum for the Tribal governments of the Region to make this decision. Whether the RTG is formed or not, Calista’s efforts will end once the Tribal governments make their decision.
•Some Tribes are concerned about the RTG overriding local Tribal governance decisions. The draft RTG constitution prevents this from happening, but additional protections can always be added by the Tribes once the Interim Regional Tribal Council is formed.
•Some Tribes are concerned about whether the RTG will take away Federal funding from the Tribal governments. The answer to that concern is “no.” In fact, the RTG will be able to bring in additional Federal funds to the Region and provide region-wide services, such as public safety, for the first time.
•A few Tribes have expressed interest in revising the draft RTG constitution. Due to COVID-19, it has not been possible to have face-to-face discussion about changes in the draft constitution. Tribes are of course welcome to propose revisions to the draft constitution and include those revisions as part of the voting resolution. For instance, a Tribe could add a statement to its voting resolution to support the formation of the RTG, with a stipulation that the draft constitution will be amended by the Interim RTG Council.
•If Tribes decide to form the RTG, it would be reasonable to develop amendments over a given period of time, then formally approve the RTG constitution once the Interim RTG Council is able to safely meet in person.
•Some Tribes have also expressed interest in having more time to decide whether to form the RTG. Right now, the deadline for deciding is October 31. At this time, only 50% of Tribes in the Region have had a chance to vote so the deadline will be extended to the end of the calendar year, December 31, 2020.
If Tribal leaders or others have any questions about this process, they can contact Calista’s Government Relations Department ([email protected]) or Calista’s Tribal Relations Liaison ([email protected] or fax 907-265-2936).
-Willie Kasayulie, Chair
Calista Corporation Corporate Governance Committee