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Elder distinction shouldn’t be based on income

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I received my letter from DHRD Elder Services Program May 4, 2023. Long awaited with great anticipation almost a feeling of excitement opening up the letter. Finally after working 47 years of my life I will finally be recognized by my Tribe and its Council for all my hard work and dedication to myself, my employer, wife, kids and grandkids.

Just as I was looking forward to start collecting my social security benefits, the letter’s 27 words bring down the house of cards: “Sorry, over income. Application denied.”

I supposed the definition of elder doesn’t come with long hard work it comes with the amount of income, kinda like “no gas, no squeegee,” “more money, no elder.”

So what I get out of this is you make a decent living all your life, you will not become an elder in the eyes of the CSKT DHRD Elder Program?

Two huge definitions in the tribal laws. No need to apologize, I understand. Wish I would have had a little clue 47 years ago about working hard.

It’s all good. My family is still my family and all are very proud of my hard work and dedication to myself and my family.

Mark William Thompson

St. Ignatius


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