My name is Rae Ann Smith and I humbly request your vote to fill the vacant White Earth chair position.

I am the mother of three, a proud grandmother of six. My parents, Dan and Beverly, currently of Strawberry Lake have helped make the White Earth Reservation my home throughout my life - living in the communities of Pine Point, White Earth, Ogema, Waubun, and Mahnomen, where I reside now.

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I have a strong work history within tribal entities, certification as a gaming commissioner through the National Indian Gaming Association, certificates in both compliance and game protection from St. Cloud State University, Risk Manager certification through the National Alliance Program, certificate of completion from Falmouth Institute in the Tribal Gaming Certificate Program with emphasis on casino accounting, auditing, gaming law, managing human resources, workplace safety, and other leadership-based trainings that have exposed me to many key facets of running and working within a healthy, safe, and prospering environment.

Additionally, my undergraduate coursework in business law, business entrepreneurship, economics, public speaking, and tribal law-federal, provide me a strong foundation of both operational and regulatory business understanding.

Equally as important, my work experience with day-to-day government operations and corporate management, as well as in-depth knowledge in governing documents, development and implementation of policies and procedures, along with years of direct liaison responsibilities between Tribal Council and casino executive management make me the prime candidate for the White Earth chair position.

My reason for running is simple: It is time to rebuild our government infrastructure and restore stability to move our Tribe forward. I strongly believe in fostering an environment of all people processes, systems, and policy.

This means initiating a community of respect where all membership and employees have a voice of matter without fear; fairness and consistency in administering policies; and most importantly - a team approach, with open communication and collaboration between elected officials. Not just our own tribal officials but representatives at the federal, state, county, and community levels.

I believe that as we move forward, we must emphasize the concept of looking ahead to what we as a membership can achieve together, rather than what one or a few can do alone.

Our communities as a whole, are suffering. Let's say no more to the divisions that have been created and the silos that stand. Our ancestors endured and overcame many battles, as will we. Together, we can restore the honor, respect, and dignity to White Earth.

Our nation has many assets in regard to its operations, but yet there is much work to be done to ensure the prosperity of our people. To move forward we must develop long term strategic goals that initiate projects with long lasting and positive impacts for the Tribe.

To move forward, we must keep education and constitutional reform top priorities, but also continue to address the obvious issues that remain before us, such as the drug epidemic, alcoholism and abuse, employment barriers, healthcare, housing and our youth and elder services.

Although Secretary-Treasurer Alan Roy has given the official approval to make the Anishinaabeg Today mailing list available at no cost to all certified candidates, it is not my intention to request it. I ask for your support and questions as I visit our communities door-to-door, as an invited guest of public events, and/or through my social media platforms.

Lastly, the membership's voice is held within the electoral process. Please exercise your right to vote Rae Ann Smith on June 4 for tribal chair.