My beliefs and more importantly, what are yours?

In my life – that I live out loud – partially through my blog; I sometimes talk about how the Alaska Tribal Health System changed my life. I knew I wanted to be involved with something I believed in and wanted to make a difference.

Making a difference to me, does NOT mean:

*creating a change that was unnecessary.

*creating a crisis and/or falsifying a distrust in a selfish struggle for power, glory, or ego.

Making a difference to me means being a part of something, within my culture, that aligns with the way I grew up and was raised.

For me that was and is Self-Governance.

In my career, I grew up in the Alaska Tribal Health System Self-Governance Movement.

To me, It is still the best and most effective governance model of decision-making that I have ever experienced on a large scale. This is full-consensus facilitation that brings decision-making about $400+ million annually among large consortiums and individual tribal compactors WITHOUT ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER. It is spectacular.

The beauty of the Indian Self-Determination Education and Assistance Act in Title V – Permanent Self Governance is that both Alaska Native Consortiums and Individual Tribes (i.e. compactors) are authorized to prioritize and reallocate the federal funds received through the annual negotiations with the federal government at the local and/or regional level.

The mutual understanding and respect is honored as the local governance bodies are the closest to the people, and make those decisions – as opposed to a government body that never set foot in remote Alaska villages. (This is a very basic umbrella statement that has many other details included in the negotiated rule-making regulations for compliance, reporting, and accountability).

For me, as an Alaska Native woman, who grew up trapping and gold mining with my family; I demand the utmost independance, freedom, and privacy guaranteed as a United States Citizen.

As such, when reflecting on my beliefs and where my loyalties lean; please read the following three quotes that are of interest to me.

What do each of these separate quotes make you feel? What is your opinion of each of these statements? Do you fully agree, partially agree, partially disagree, or completely disagree? What emotions do these individual statements make you feel, if anything – or even nothing and why?


“We affirm – as did the Declaration of Independance: that all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.


“America is an idea—one that has endured and evolved through war and depression, prevailed over fascism and communism, and radiated hope to far distant corners of the earth”.


“Americans believe that:

Diversity is our greatest strength.

Protest is among the highest forms of patriotism.

Our fates and fortunes are bound to rise and fall together.

Even when we fall short of our highest ideals, we never stop trying to build a more perfect union”.

Published by Trudy Sobocienski

My blog, "Beyond Leadership" is a creative place to share my personal feelings and thoughts while working in leadership roles for a variety of Alaska Native organizations, both for and not-for profit entities. An incredible leader and mentor of mine once asked while we were in Washington, DC, "What happened to you between the ages of 7-10 that motivated you to serve in a native leadership capacity". I was struck by that poignant thought and as such, include actual entries from my mother and my diaries beginning in the early 1970's. I enjoy sharing these excerpts because it captures the parallels she and I were experiencing throughout life, from two separate worldviews. Hers as a young mother of four and mine as her eldest child. I have never came across a book on leadership that lays bare a leaders personal feelings, thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams they were experiencing. So for me, my goal is two-fold: 1. Share the incredible life my parents created for my siblings and I growing up in remote Alaska; and, 2) Sharing my humanity, through my personal diaries and journals, while serving as the youngest-ever President/CEO for the Alaska Native Health Board. There are passages that will include significant policy issues I was working on throughout my career and travels. There are many more passages that do not. I cannot speak for my mom's passages, because I am reading them as I share them here, with you; with her permission of course.

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