Wuneekeesuq Nutawâm (Greetings to my Tribal Community),
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (MWT) accepted the 2012 Annual Budget with a vote of 109 to 59 at the General Membership Meeting on February 12th. Thank you Mashpee Wampanoag citizens, for accepting and approving the budget. The vote was certified by the MWT Election Committee and I thank them for an effective and efficient annual budget voting process. On Friday, February 17th, the Tribal Council also voted 8 to 2 to accept the MWT 2012 Annual Budget and I thank the Council for their dedication to the budget process. Again, congratulations to the entire Tribe!
I want to thank Tribal Members for your commitment and focus at the First Annual Budget meeting. This budget was the very first of its kind in the history of our Tribe. You made history and progress toward the continued development of our Tribal Nation. The Tribal attendance and participation was phenomenal and I appreciate your continued support in advancing the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Nation toward the best-in-service delivery for all Tribal citizens. I also appreciate your patience as you waited in the long lines to vote. We will work to smooth out the rough places so that in the future the process will run without these difficulties.
The Annual Budget includes funding to support Housing, Healthcare, Human Services, ICWA, Natural Resources, Buildings & Grounds, Youth & Elder Services, Cultural & Historic Preservation, Education, a new Community Center Government Building and economic development through a destination resort casino in southeastern Massachusetts.
The Department Directors, Office Manager, Finance Director and Treasurer presented the comprehensive budget to explain their funding needs and mission to advance the Tribe and deliver services to you. Thank you to all of the department directors for your focus, professionalism, diligence and dedication towards making the budget a success.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Finance Department has delivered a best-in-class financial system, processes and procedures to manage Tribal operations, federal and state grant funding, loans, and donations. Our finance department has successfully completed audits over the past three years under this administration and we will provide continuous improvement. Again, I commend the leadership of Treasurer Mark Harding, Comptroller Milton Pratt, Finance Department Staff Denise Hathaway, Thomas Doherty, Nancy Joseph, Councilwoman Trish Keliinui, and Finance Department Director Marjorie Seagraves.
Continuing our commitment to excellent financial management, finance report tracking, projected spending vs. actual spending will be delivered to the Tribal Council and Tribal Citizens to give you a clear picture on how funds are being spent and managed. I will also ask interim Tribal Administrator Leon Jacobs to work with department directors to implement comprehensive reporting on the Tribal operations work and service delivery that is taking place for you. I will continue to give you updates on our destination resort casino efforts and on the new MWT Community Center Government Building.
Our Tribe has an incredibly bright future. We are delivering the most programs and direct services to our citizens in the history of our Tribe. This includes our new healthcare clinic and support services, the most employment in Tribal Operations, first class financial management, new MWT Community Government Center coming soon, a positive public image, a dedication to professionalism and good government, and continued progress toward our destination resort casino economic development plans.
We have Wuneeshkeety “Good Medicine”!
Cedric Cromwell Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)