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Chief emphasizes unity to achieve a new vision; regular community meeting a way to achieve this goal.

Scott Csernyik

1/11/2002 12:00:00 AM

Chief Maynard Kahgegab Jr. emphasized Tribal unity to help facilitate a new vision for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.

Kahgegab also pledged a commitment to community during the Jan. 7 State of the Tribe Address attended by 600 Tribal members in the Soaring Eagle Ballroom.

"I'm really grateful to serve as your chief," he told the crowd at the end of his speech. "There are a lot of things that need to be done and it's going to require some patience."

In his address, Kahgegab placed the utmost importance on the membership charting the Tribe's destiny.

"The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal nation is fortunate to have some of the best and brightest associates and advisors in the country to assist us in making sound policy decisions," he explained. "It is the Tribal membership, however, through their elected leaders who will guide us into the future. The new vision builds on our community's foundation of honor, integrity and respect. All Tribal members can share their vision in our steadfast efforts to build a strong, democratic and thriving nation.

"The state of our community is one of change and enhanced strength. This is a new beginning for our community and requires a new vision."

He also emphasized community meetings as a way to foster this unity through communication.

"Tribal community meetings serve as a forum to share ideas and values," he stated. "Where Tribal members come together and provide their elected council an opportunity to hear ideas and values in a democratic format."

Kahgegab reiterated his optimism about conducting community gatherings on a regular basis near the conclusion of his address.

"I look forward to more community meetings next month and the month after that and the month after that and the year after that, and hopefully for years after that," he said.

His words were echoed by Sub-Chief David Otto who told the membership that participation is vital in order for the Tribe to succeed.

"It's a joint effort," he said. "We all need your participation."