August 2008 Archives

How do we get tribal members to begin to behave more ethically?

Today, I had dinner with a friend and his wife, both tribal members.  He is from another reservation, while she is from Spirit Lake.

Because our (Spirit Lake Consulting Inc.) newest project was recently funded when the topics turned to tribal politics, I took the opportunity to match each issue we discussed to one of the four Dakota values that are the foundation for our Ethics project.

Our Dakota ancestors were wise.  They understood effective leadership, and "getting along" with each other came down to practicing the four values of courage, honesty, perseverance/fortitude, and generosity.    

Each time we talked about an issue, I would apply the appropriate value to it.  Here are a couple examples.  When we talked about important decisions that need to be made, I talked about having the courage to make them.  If we talked about attendance at work, I pointed out it's correlations to honesty.  If we talked about having the courage and honesty to do the right thing, I talked about having the perseverance/fortitude to withstand the stress generated from doing the right thing.

As I said earlier, our ancestors were wise.  By practicing these four values, they established a well organized, lawful society that did not need written rules to keep law and order.  Contrast that with reservations today.  We have numerous laws, yet almost no real law and order.  It is time to go back to practicing and living by the values our ancestors lived by.  This is exactly what the Tribal Leaders Institute intends to teach you to do.  

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.