Published November 4, 2016
During the month of November, it is a time to honor our Veterans and a time of giving thanks, as well as celebrate Native American Heritage Month. All have great significance throughout Indian Country, however, as we not only honor our past, we must look to define our future. Nothing is more important than Election Day – less than a week away!
Like most small business owners, I wake up every day thinking about ways to further my clients’ missions, continuously develop innovative solutions, and meeting payroll. These are critical components of running a small business. However, I founded Tribal Tech with the hope and expectation to do so much more.
After dedicating my years of public service, serving five U.S. Presidents, working throughout Indian Country, I am proud to say my passion and commitment to our issues began with my father, who served as Tribal Chairman of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians. He taught me the values and traditions that continue to guide me today.
Now, more than ever, we must go to the polls and vote for the candidate that understands American Indian and Alaska Native issues, has a proven record of working throughout Indian Country, advances economic opportunity, and demonstrates a clear commitment to serving the best interests of children and families. I want the next President of the United States to reflect the values that I was raised with and have passed on to my daughter, as she is defining her future. These values include integrity, accountability, hard work, as well as compassion, respect, and love for community and family.
I want to see a President who has the same spirit of collaboration and cooperation that helped me create Tribal Tech’s guiding principles of “people, performance and partnership”, which embody an environment where our employees can flourish and our clients benefit from our capabilities, championing efforts to combat bullying, youth suicide, substance abuse and many other behavioral health concerns. I want to see a President who will listen and hear our Native youth as they continue to amaze us through the Generation Indigenous initiative – ensuring all young Native people can reach their full potential. Someone to help us get this work done, by reaching across the aisle, for the future of our children.
We must listen to our elders and honor the past, but we must listen to our youth to define our future – supporting Indian Country, supporting candidates who have spent their lives advocating for children, advocating for equality, advocating for interests outside of their own. On November 8th, we owe it to our most precious resource, our youth, to get out and vote – “Every Native Vote Counts”!
Victoria Vasques is President/CEO, Tribal Tech, LLC, an American Indian woman-owned small business, providing training, technical assistance, grants administration and IT services to tribal, federal, state, local and private sector entities. She served in the Carter, Reagan, Bush41, Clinton and Bush43 Administrations.