How many of our Sisters and Brothers live outside of the CNO boundaries?  Probably way more than we think.  It would be nice if the tribe would publish that information along with all the other demographics concerning the Chahta people.  Remember when I asked for a list of the registered voters?  It was a pie in the sky dream.  The tribe would pick up and move back to Mississippi before they would release that information.

I have been told about absentee ballots requested and absentee ballots never showing up.  What if the absentee ballot was published in the Biskinik?  That way you just cut it out and send it in?  If the CNO has already done this at one time or another then good for you.  I look forward to seeing it again next election cycle.

Those living outside of our boundaries get very little assistance.  Most, if not all, assistance is given through federal grant programs like assistance purchasing a home, college scholarship assistance and certification/licensing grants.  All good programs.

Programs and a sense of community need to be nurtured outside of our boundaries.  If we knew where the largest groups of Chahta live perhaps we could have community centers and health care centers in their cluster.  I think we all struggle with the rising cost of health care, housing, education and transportation so the Choctaw Voting Block party has put this on their agenda.  How can we better serve Chahta’s outside of the 10 1/2 counties?  First of all, they need better representation because a council member who lives in McAlester, for example, may not be up to speed on the challenges facing a Chahta who lives in say, Tempe, Arizona.  Also, those Chahta’s living outside of the U.S. border would need to be considered and many of our brothers and sisters serve in the military and need representation within our tribe.

Perhaps, to better represent them they need their own elected officials.  The United States could be sectioned and elected representatives from each section could have input into the direction of the tribe.  They would be better represented in the areas mentioned above and they could manage the task of gathering information, receiving information and communicating that information back to the Chief and Council.

See my people, there is so much more we can do to empower Chahta’s.  The Nahollo’s aren’t superior to us.  For them to come into our nation and back our people into a corner is unacceptable.  Will we ever be totally 100% Chahta managed?  No, we don’t have enough qualified people living in the area to accomplish that but can we hire that Nahollo or non Chahta with the express understanding that they will mentor a Chahta for a year or two then leave?  Yes, it’s called succession planning.

If we let things continue as they are then the next generation will suffer the same oppression and we will be strangers in our own house.  It’s like buying a home, paying the bills, filling the frig and keeping it clean only to have non Chahta’s sleeping in all the bedrooms, leaving all the lights on, eating all the food and leaving the dirty laundry for you to pick up, all while paying them to stay there.  It’s got to end.

MW/CW

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