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SRMT Elders Benefit Working Group, In Step With the 2013 Tribal Procedures Act

Jan 18, 2017

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) follows the 2013 Tribal Procedures Act (TCR 2013-32), which can be found on the Tribe’s website at, in consideration of issues that impact our entire membership community. After the appeal period, the Election Board of the Tribe certified the referendum, on December 13, 2016, concerning a monthly Elders Benefit of $200, proposed by the Seniors Benefit Committee, a group led by Ms. Ruth Bell. The Tribal membership voted in favor, supporting a benefit for our Elders.

A series of informational community meetings were hosted prior to the referendum held on December 3, 2016. During these sessions, the SRMT CFO and Executive Director explained that the proposal from the Seniors Benefit Committee did not include a supporting budgetary plan to determine which programs and services would be impacted by this financial commitment. The estimated annual expense for 2016 would have been $2.4 million for a $200 benefit for 1,007 of Elders, in accordance with the referendum criteria. Based on a calculated percentage for population growth of the aging demographic, it is an estimated budgetary expense of $15.4 million total for the years from 2017 - 2021.

Ultimately, an annual expense of $2.4 million to $3.5 million is a significant budgetary increase to the Tribal General Fund. In the best interest of the community, a working group is being formed to research, assess and propose options to successfully implement a benefit.

The 2013 Tribal Procedures Act sets a framework for community members to have a voice and promote transparency and accountability. In this spirit of transparency, Tribal Council has promoted a callout for an SRMT Elders Benefit Working Group, the first step in setting the wheels in motion, to find a way to provide our Elders with a monthly benefit. It is incumbent upon Tribal Council to ensure that the community understands the essential budgetary processes and the programs that serve our community are minimally impacted. To execute the first planning phase, the call-out for the SRMT Elders Benefit Working Group,, engages a volunteer committee spanning the generations: our Elders, our tribal members between the ages of 30-61 and our youth, 18-29.

Working together, we are confident that we will find realistic and reasonable options that protect the services that benefit our entire membership community. Tribal Council is committed to achieving the central point of the referendum by assisting our Elders in need. Tribal Council encourages tribal members to submit letters of interest for the SRMT Elders Benefit Working Group. The calloutclosing date is Tsiothohrkó:wa/January 27, 2017.

Sken:nen/In Peace,