Halito Brothers and Sisters,

Many people think I am anti- Gary Batton.  I did harbor bad feelings for him after begging for his assistance in providing an investigation into my firing because he was unresponsive.  I found out later he was unresponsive and downright dishonest responding to other Chahta’s who had lost their jobs as well.

Since then the resentment toward him has dissipated and what has taken it’s place is a larger purpose for OUR people.  I am still astonished that Batton would surround himself with Nahollo’s then only take their word concerning injustices to our people within the CNO.  I have thought about this extensively and I have come up with what I think may be the answer.  What I believe is purely speculation.  I put it out there to you as more of a conversation piece because I would really like to hear whether you feel I am on the right track or if you have insights of your own you would like to share.

#1  Why does Batton surround himself with Nahollo’s?

From what I understand he grew up Choctaw and has worked for the Choctaw Nation most of his life.  First, I think he inherited most of the Nahollo’s that make up the body of  Executive Directors.  As we have discussed before chief placed many of the ED’s into place so those appointments are essentially his and it is no secret he places more faith in Nahollo work than that of Chahtas.  Doesn’t mean he doesn’t love the people-its more like the people need to be taken care of vs. true empowerment.

Back to Batton, having said all this Batton has placed Nahollo’s in high positions of power when given the opportunity and spent close to a million dollars going to Nahollo consultants to give the ED’s leadership training and to provide him one on one business and leadership coaching.

What’s wrong with this you say?  Those Nahollo’s have no idea what it means to have a mix of businesses, tribal members and politics within Indian Nations.  So if he has embraced their business philosophies then he has pulled further away from true Chahta empowerment and has decided to lean more towards seeing the Nation as “Corporate America”.  I am almost certain this may be the case because of what Susan Stockton once said, we are moving toward Corporate America and the biggest obstacle we have are CDIB holders.  Why would what she say give us insight into Gary Batton’s thought process?  She is his HR Executive Director and he meets with her very regularly at least once a week if not more.  He has been told of her alleged unethical behavior and continues to stand by her.  She is non-Chahta.

Second, we are in a time of enormous change within the CNO.  Chief is stepping down and Batton will then hold the title of Chief even though for all intents and purposes he is already the decision maker.  He must preserve his position by eliminating Chahta threats to his administration.  It’s like one of our brothers being told at the Casino as a warning “don’t think outside the box and don’t get too creative if you want to last”.

Finally, he has worked for the Nation most of his life and perhaps he needs to work outside of the nation within the Corporate America environment he is so fond of.  Let him experience what it means to not have that “family business” feel that our people have come to love and currently miss about our nation.  Maybe that is where his insecurities lie.  Maybe he thinks he may not be qualified so he tries to make up for it by surrounding himself with Nahollo’s who can’t vote or run for office therefore giving him a sense of security knowing they will not be a threat to his position as Chief.

It astounds me.  I just sit back and shake my head when I think about it.  That a man who wants to be Chief of the Choctaw Nation would sit back and watch as Chahta after Chahta experience the things we have talked about in this blog and yet do nothing still.  Forget the moral obligations the office of Chief carries with it, and think how blind a person must be to let abuse happen to his people and still yet want to be their leader, their Chief, their champion.  Is this the guy we want for Chief?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and as always know that I will respect your anonymity.