We have all heard of the sentiment “buy American”.  You know the philosophy that if we buy from retailers and sometimes wholesalers here in America we help to stabilize the U.S. economy and provide Americans with more secure better paying jobs.  So, why the uproar when we want to apply the same philosophy within our own tribal nation?  Who is so offended?  The Chahta’s who are hearing the message aren’t offended.  Those Chahta’s who live and work in our 10 and 1/2 counties don’t seem to be fighting to have MORE Nahollo control.  As a nation of Chahta descendents why would we not want to stabilize our own economy and provide more secure well-paying jobs for the members of our community and for future generations? So you see the ideology is not new it just hasn’t been applied very well to our nation in the past decade or so.

Many readers have voiced their concerns about trying to only hire Chahta people to work at the Chahta Nation of Oklahoma.  I would like to say again, there aren’t enough Chahta’s to fill the positions required to operate an enterprise the size of the Chahta Nation.  Does that mean we don’t do something about that particular truth?  We are a tribal nation of over 200,000 members and we employ some 6000 plus people to work in the various enterprises. What’s wrong with this picture?

Just as some of our commenters have, the various human resources departments would blame the Chahta people! Yes I have to laugh at that. Why laugh? I tell you why, how many of you know about job openings? How many of you have applied at the nation and never hear back from them? How many of you apply only to be turned down? How many of you got your positions within the CNO because you knew someone who told you about it? Obviously in the day and age of almost instant communications the CNO can’t find a way to let the Chahta people know about various job openings? In the day and age of Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Newspapers, Billboards and our own Tribal Paper you can’t get the word out still?

Then they blame our people for not being qualified. Let’s look at an example. A Chahta with an associate degree in say web design is overlooked because a non-Chahta has a bachelor’s degree in web design. The human resources department looks at the paper first, the application and the resume. The associate degree doesn’t carry the weight of that bachelor’s degree (associates = 2 yrs, bachelors = 4 yrs) and so the Chahta applicant is rejected within the HR office and not in the department with the job opening. Then the HR Executive Director just tells Gary Batton “no qualified Choctaws applied”, and he accepts that as truth. Now lets look at that rejected Chahta. Do you think he or she could have been given the opportunity to show his skill? Do you think the resume, years of experience and CHAHTA BLOOD should have been considered? You see when you move toward “Corporate America” where qualifications are the only consideration then you move away from Chahta preference and you don’t exercise our sovereign rights as a tribe.

I know this may sound backward but it’s the only way to put our people first. That is why I have said previously we should “educate up”. We should hire that Chahta with an associate degree. Would we want to hire a Chahta with no web design experience, of course not we still need the job to be done and done well. Bottom line: Chahta should rate higher on the scale than it has in the past. After all, the job of our leaders is to stabilize our tribal economy, provide services, and truly empower our people.