For the past five years, Darcie Big Bear has been dictating and safeguarding the business of the Band through her job as the Legislative Parliamentarian.
Each week, Darcie is responsible for the organization of meeting minutes, official roll calls, new or reviewed statutes, daily agendas, and the recording of all discussions and orders of business that occur within Band Assembly meetings. She schedules meetings, and also keeps the Chief Executive, Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, Administration, and Commissioners updated on meeting agendas and any other info that is pertinent to them or their departments during upcoming Band Assembly sessions. After meetings are completed, Darcie keeps the official records for the Band by proofing and finalizing all meeting records and changes that may occur to Band statutes. Seems like a pretty important job, huh?
It most definitely is!
This position is one that does not move with that changing of the guard that can happen with elected offices, and this is for a specific purpose. It ensures that the person who holds this position is well trained, confidential, and unbiased, and thoroughly understands Robert’s Rules of Order, which are essential to the success of the Band Assembly meetings as they are run through those processes. About Robert’s Rules of Order, Darcie said, "You would not believe how many rules there really are to follow for a proper meeting!" As Parliamentarian, Darcie is essentially the glue that holds the Legislative meetings together. If there is a misstep in process, Darcie is there as the referee, in a sense, to maintain proper order.
"One thing that I have learned is that everyone has different perspectives, outlooks, and goals," said Darcie. "I try learning as much as I can from those around me. In this job, I sometimes have those ’Ahh, I didn’t think of it like that’ moments.”
When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, she stated, ”I enjoy seeing projects being presented and then watching them come to life, like the new District I Community Center, the new Health and Human Services building, and the HAWK project on 169."
The HAWK Project is a project that will add a crosswalk and "HAWK" light that warns vehicles of pedestrians on the connection of the frontage road near the old community center to the entrance road to the Grand Market and Grand Makwa Cinema where people often cross the road on foot. "It takes a lot of different departments doing their part to take these ideas or suggestions and turn them into projects from start to finish."
When asked about the most difficult part of the job, Darcie said, "Remaining neutral in decisive situations or discussions at times is difficult because as a Band member, I do have an opinion, and I care just as much as the governing body about the interests and people of the Mille Lacs Band, but in my position, it is not my place to insert that opinion, so sometimes that gets tough. I have learned through time and experience to trust those making the decisions and to stick to the record, as they have been elected to make those tough calls."
Darcie has worked for the Band for a total of 20 years. Miigwech, Darcie, for your continued incredibly important service to the Band!