Wuneekeesuq Nutawâm (Greetings to my Tribal Community),
Our Finance Department and Tribal Council look forward to presenting an annual budget to you at the February 12, 2012, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe General Membership meeting. This will be an excellent, positive opportunity for you to hear, understand, and ask questions regarding the implementation of the annual tribal budget, which is the first of its kind. The positive energy to provide an annual budget to the tribal membership was all due to many hours, days, nights, and weeks of focused expertise to deliver and make it a reality for you, our Tribal Nation! In addition, you will have an opportunity to vote to accept the annual budget as a whole.
Coming from a structured management and financial systems environment, I know how important it is to have a best-in-class finance department to serve our Tribe. I commend Treasurer Mark Harding for his leadership in ensuring our finance department supported the vision and mission of excellence and for making sure our comprehensive annual budget became a reality.
I want to give a very warm thank you to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Finance Department under the leadership of Finance Director Marjorie Seagraves, and recognize Marjorie for her excellent work ethic, professionalism, and for Marjorie’s outstanding finance management expertise. The Finance Department has worked tirelessly to implement the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s first financial management system, Sage, which is responsible for managing all of the Tribal Department grants, funding awards and appropriations, spending, payroll, revenue from investor loan allocations, checks and balances. This has helped us provide and perform a good track record of annual audits that our Tribal government has successfully passed over the last three years.
The Tribal Council, under Treasurer Mark Harding’s leadership and recommendation, hired Milton Pratt as the Comptroller working in the Tribe’s finance department. Marjorie weighed in positively on hiring Milton. Milton is now providing consulting services and oversight to the Tribal Finance department. Marjorie and Milton work closely together to provide the best financial capability, reporting, management and excellence to ensure that we can measure and manage our financial intake and spend allocation projections vs. financial actuals. The Tribal Finance department is a well-functioning, efficient department based on all standard workflow management and procedures put in place that never existed before in the history of our Tribal government. In fact, this was a huge, very important task to implement over the past three years and the team got it done! I also want to thank and recognize the Finance Department employees Nancy Joseph, Trish Keliinui, Denise Hathaway, and Thomas Doherty for the focus and commitment towards advancing the Tribal Finance Department. Thank you again! Job well done!
The Tribal Finance department can now effectively and efficiently manage all of our Tribal department grant management, grant cycles, grant spending and investor dollars to provide the best in service delivery to you, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal membership and Tribal Operations workplace.
Our Interim Tribal Administrator Leon Jacobs worked with Marjorie and Milton in a series of Department/Director finance meetings to focus the Tribal department management team on creating their department budgets for fiscal year 2012. The management team provided many hours of diligent work on understanding department budget needs, creating department budgets, and submitting the budgets to Leon, Marjorie, and Milton. The Tribal department budget submissions from all of the department directors were put together to create an annual Tribal Operations budget. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Department budgets factor their grant money allocation towards goals and objectives for growth and best in-class Tribal membership service delivery for Housing, Education, Health, Development, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation, Indian Child Welfare Act, Elder and Youth services. I am proud to tell you that this budget will provide for better program service delivery increases to our tribal membership.
The budget process has been thorough, responsible, and inclusive. In addition to regular Tribal Council budget meetings, Tribal Council recently held two full-day review sessions, along with Directors from each Department giving their input, to go through the entire budget with a fine tooth comb, ensuring a detailed review of the finance plan on your behalf.
In addition, the budget is being printed and will be mailed to you separately for your review. It is also available to review in the Executive Trailer at Tribal headquarters. Please contact Treasurer Mark Harding to schedule an appointment at 508.477.0208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am very proud of the measures that have been put in place to ensure best-in-class financial operations for our Tribe, and I am proud of the budget that has been produced for the fiscal year. I look forward to sharing information with you over the coming weeks about all the important programs and services that we will be maintaining and expanding as a result of this budget’s funding creation and implementation.
Please join me in congratulating our finance team, Tribal Council, and Department Heads on a job well done, and encourage continued cooperation and quality performance as we move forward together in providing the very best to the Mashpee Wampanoag people!
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)