Tamara Kiogima ndizhinikaaz. Odawa ndaaw. Mkwa ndodem. I was born in Petoskey and was raised by Carol Kiogima. As a child, I grew up learning about our Native culture and traditions. As an adult, I want to make sure these same traditions are preserved and passed on to future generations. It has been quite a journey leading up to this point in my life and I'm looking forward to taking the next step forward.
For the past three years I have been working closely with the Tribal Council as the Legislative Assistant. As a result, I am very familiar with the Legislative Process, including how the Legislative Branch interacts with the Judicial Branch and Executive Branch. I have an Associates Degree in General Studies from North Central Michigan College and am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University Global Campus in Community Health: Health Science with a minor in Psychology. I am also actively involved with the Odawa Economic Development Management, Inc. Board serving in the capacity of Board Secretary.
There are a number of areas which I would like to pursue over the upcoming years:
* Encourage our youth to get involved with the Tribe
* Promote and encourage the youth to find their passion through education
* Help support the Tribe’s Executive efforts in reducing our carbon footprint and protecting the Great Lakes
* Work towards finding alternative and renewable energy sources
* Help find funding for cultural activities, mental and behavioral health, and prevention of diabetes
* Develop economic diversity
I believe it is extremely important for our leadership to lead by example. This includes encouraging community interaction; attending community functions; and most of all, maintaining contact with our youth and elders. Each and every tribal citizen is vital to our long term success.
My goal is to make sure we stay true to our LTBB Constitution when it comes to health, education, and the overall welfare of our Tribal Citizens. I was adopted as a child and I know the importance of Indian Child Welfare. I am very fortunate to know my family and where I came from. I love and appreciate our culture and traditions as they are an important part of what helped shape me into the person I am today. I have a genuine passion for the preservation of our culture, traditions, and language. I truly believe my life is meant to help others and would like to make that dream come true by serving my tribal community.