Another person has been convicted in the widening scandal at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.
And two more Rocky Boy public officials have been charged with felonies.
The scandal has taken its toll on morale at the reservation. Many people are upset that money that was supposed to be directed for pure water, health care and many other necessary services has been diverted to people’s pockets.
The reasons for the thefts are many and complex.
Many folks on and off the reservation are wondering if everyone in Rocky Boy government is dishonest, if the entire operation crooked.
The answer to that question is not complex. It’s rather simple.
One of the defenses offered by former health clinic director Fawn Tadios, who was convicted of embezzlement last week, was that at Rocky Boy, such thefts were commonplace. In other words, it’s OK, everybody does it.
We beg to differ.
All over the reservation are people who day in and day out work hard to provide services to the reservation that is desperately in need of services.
Tribal employees are striving against the odds with insufficient funds to educate young people, fight the drug epidemic and provide health services to infants. These people work out of the limelight, which is just how they like it.
The Chippewa Cree Housing Authority, tasked with the important job of improving the housing stock on the reservation, is revamping its procedures to ensure that all is in order with its finances.
Perhaps the worst effect of the outbreak of scandals is the doubt people have about the hard work of so many lower-level workers in the tribal government. It’s important for people to realize that the everyday work on the reservation is moving forward despite the wrongdoing of some of the reservation leaders.