Harmony Tribe Governance
Harmony Tribe (HT) has always been innovative in its governance. Fifteen years ago individuals met and made decisions by informal consensus. They formed into committees as the tasks grew in proportion to the scope of the festival. Those people who worked on SHF were called Members, and the group, a Council. The original vision of Harmony Tribe included " exploring tribal council process" in producing our festival. As our organization expanded and incorporated as a non profit, we became more structured upon a corporate model. While still informally calling our leadership a 'Council', it became a Board Of Directors of from five to thirteen people depending on the year.
Harmony Tribe has survived through many difficult times, economically and internally as an organization. With the help of a Restorative Justice Circle at SHF 2011, HT has returned to a value based governance system of transparency and openness. We have found the empowerment of authority in directors has disturbed the basic idea that made HT so successful. Those who do the work make the decisions, essentially we embrace direct democracy. Building a festival and a tribal community is a service and a gift. We have returned to a Council Governance system, empowering Members to take on the individual tasks of our mission, and work together within committees. We have established a values based system of consensus decision making, in harmony with the talents and enthusiasm that our tribal community experience generates. Harmony Tribe believes this will help our organization find success and be spiritually empowering to its Members.
We have left behind our past practice of allowing any member to vote at Council Meetings. It is contrary to non profit incorporation, and confuses decision making by including members without the commitment or accountability of Council Membership. Besides our Three Elected Officers, we can have up to 24 Council Members at Large. If you are willing to build the Tribe and produce SHF, become a Member and join our Harmony Tribe Council!
Members make the difference!
Our new bylaws and policies provide for three levels of membership:
- Paid Member: Has paid dues, and has signed process covenant. Members receive the basic benefits of Membership and is a supporter.
- Voting Member: A Paid Member who has joined before May first and completed 10 hours of volunteer contribution before the end of SHF. A Voting Member can then vote in the Annual Meeting and elections next year, 2012. voting membership is not determined until after SHF.
- Council Member at Large: . A Paid Member who wishes to be involved in Harmony Tribe Governance, and vote as part of the Council throughout the year. To become a Council Member at Large you must attend at least two council meetings, and join a committee or take on an approved task, and request to be added to the Council. The council can have up to 24 Council Members at Large. Paid members can attend and speak at Council Meetings, but will no longer be able to vote at Harmony Tribe Council Meetings.
Harmony Tribe Members have access to members areas of our forum, our archive of historical Harmony Tribe information, and the current years Council Meeting minutes.
Harmony Tribe Governance Documents.
Task Based Structure - Get involved!
At our Members Annual Meeting near Samhain, we elect three officers; Steward, Bursar, and Scribe. These officers hold the responsibility for the basic requirements of a non profit corporation;
- To ensure meetings and our decisions adhere to state law, our bylaws, and policies and procedures.
- To ensure our funds are accounted for, documented, and secure.
- To ensure our records, minutes, and filing requirements are met.
They are in service to the Council in these respects, and hold no other authority. The Harmony Tribe Council makes all major decisions, and confirms most committee decisions. Most work is done within committees. Committees can make most decisions, and financial ones if within a budget. They have an elected chair. Currently Committees that Members can be involved with are:
- Administrative Committee - Including officers and other members, they are empowered to act between Council Meetings if nescessary.
- Organizational Committee - Group that helps refine the Harmony Tribe 52 Week Task Plan, Policies and Procedures (PPD, and suggest bylaw changes.
- Event Committee - Group that works to produce events like the HT Yule and Sacred Harvest Festival (may have subcommittees).
- Membership Committee - Group that ensures Members are informed, involved, and seeks new HT Members and welcomes them.
- Marketing Committee - Group that produces promotional and informational literature and distributes information online and physically.
Officers, Members, and Committees find guidance from a developing 52 week task plan, and hold each other lovingly accountable for meeting those task goals.