2024 NPTEC Candidate – Seat 2: Otta Belle Moody

Éehe, ta’c léeheyn íinim himyúume, lawtíiwama kaa ne’exce’ecem. Íinim weníikt wées Otta Belle Moody. Na’tóot kaa ne’íic hiwsíix Púutimt Wax Páaxat Saxlatamo kaa Hetewíitatonmy Péeleheype. Ne’éel kaa na’qlac hiwsíine Marijayne Garner (Moody) kaa Charles Jackson pelúucpu. Na’qáac híiwes Lois Maude Oatman kaa na’plax hiwsíine Harold Jerome Walker kaa Ronald Oatman. Íin wées Léepweykinix kaa íin tewyekse Teqíkeespe. Íin cepelixnikse yox Nimíipuum xeléelayn Léepweype SRBA’na. íin hiteemece yox Pelúuc Hiteemenweespe. Kuutx Koyama!

Name: Otta Belle Moody

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Parents: Adrian C. Moody, Sr. & Paula Moody

Maternal Grandparents: Lois Maude Oatman & the late Ronald Oatman and the late Harold Jerome Walker

Paternal Grandparents: the late Marijayne Garner (Moody) & the late Charles Jackson of the Palouse Band of Nez Perce

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Tribal Governance and Business Management from the Northwest Indian College (June 2023), currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Washington State University with a projected graduation date of May 2026

Experience: I have 10 years of experience working in the Human Resources field with the Nez Perce Tribal Enterprises and Nimíipuu Health. My skills include recruitment and retention, training and development, policy interpretation and development, database administration and reporting, streamlining business processes using technology, and I specialized in employee benefits administration. I am currently serving as the SRBA Project Coordinator for the Nez Perce Tribe. I accepted this role in October 2020.

What I hope to bring to the NPTEC Table: With the utmost ambition and desire to learn and grow, I will seek knowledge through asking critical questions and applying critical thinking methods in decision making. If elected, I will soak up as much information as possible through playing an active and engaged role on as many subcommittees as possible—an essential requirement for serving at this capacity and a requirement that cannot be taken lightly. Being active on these subcommittees is vital for any elected official. Through active engagement, I will be informed on important matters and in doing so I will be able to make informed decisions that are in the best interest of the people. My vision is to advocate for a system that is built on cohesive team efforts to build stronger foundations for our current and future generations to thrive; a system in which our tribal departments and operations step out of their silos. My plan is to additionally advocate for all tribal members through promoting community engagement activities, training, and development ventures, and maintaining consistent and transparent communication to our membership, for our people to work collectively in our advancement to the future. The responsibility of making decisions should not rely solely on a group of 9, but collaboratively with a present and continuous voice of the people.

What issues are Important to me:

  1. Cultural: Preservation of the Nez Perce Language is imperative for the continuation of our existence; it is what makes us uniquely different from the everyday United States Citizen. Through language, we gain a deeper understanding of who we are, where we come from, how we communicate, and it provides a direct connection to our ancestors and ancestral ways. Just as we place emphasis on being stewards of the land through our gathering and hunting customs, we are also stewards of our language and actions to promote and preserve language should always be at the top of our priority list at the policy level.
  1. Economic: There are so many business ventures that we can pursue that will help us advance as a tribe. Some examples are the external vendors for which we already fund, including business supply stores like staples or quill; specialty services such as mechanics, well drillers, plumbers, and electricians; and various other markets. The amount we spend on supporting businesses outside of the Tribe are indicative of our continuous need and ability to finance those needs through our resources. My goal is to support and advocate for economics that think outside of the box and beyond gaming. Through using data of our expenditures for each external entity, we can redirect that funding to the investment of our own business operations. This is a truer form of autonomy and one that promotes a more self-sustaining nation.
  1. Health: I would like to advocate for the continuation of our forward advancement with our health clinic. We, as a community, are seeing firsthand how a vicious cycle of turnover is being broken and we are gaining a better quality of care through continuity of care. This is largely in part thanks to the change in operational structure. Kudos to Roberta Jose-Bisbee, Dr. Hartwig and their staff for improving our healthcare program.
  1. Environmental: One major issue that is concerning for our tribe is the water. The State of Idaho is no longer approving permits for individual water wells for certain parts of the state. This is because the aquifers are not recharging. This brings forth a concern for us as a people—will our future generations be forced to litigate for water? What steps are we taking now to safeguard this precious resource? Are there methods for which the Tribe could purchase parcels of land back to move from western forms of agriculture to a more traditional form of agriculture so that our water can be restored? This is something that we must be very proactive about as a people, and it is something that I will advocate for whether I am elected or not.

I understand that these elected positions deal with a broad scope of matters while in office, which include judicial and procedural; and therefore, the list is not all-inclusive. They are simply matters that are important to me. If elected, I will serve with the utmost pride and humility. I will work for the people with both feet on the ground. I will maximize my resources to be resourceful for our current and future generations. I am not afraid to ask questions and I am eager to learn. I will ensure that I utilize my strengths in administration and technology. Qe’cíi’yew’yew.