Good Afternoon Sisters and Brothers,

I, like most of you, am a descendent of some very strong Chahta women.  So I sometimes scratch my head at how much abuse our Chahta sisters have had to endure at the hands of our own leaders over the years.

It isn’t just Chahta men that abuse their power by any means, all you have to do is look at Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy to see that abuse of power can sometimes be a common theme for men who have been regarded as brilliant political figures.  I am sure men aren’t the only ones who have abused their power it’s just that it’s an anomaly when you hear about a woman abusing her professional position in such a way.

It is way idealistic to think we can start a new era of Chahta politics.  However, if we don’t change politics as usual within our tribe what will become of our daughters?  Will they have the opportunity to realize their full potential within their own Chahta nation or will they have to dodge the advances of their supervisor?  Will they be sexually assaulted within the halls and offices of our CNO government or will they be given the opportunity to lead their own people?

At one time, before adopting European traditions and moires, we were a matriarchal society.  Our Chahta women were considered land stewards long before it was even legal within the larger society to do so.

As Chahta women today we find ourselves raising families, kids and grand kids.  We find ourselves struggling to have  quality life.  As one fast friend related to me in Broken Bow (at the first public CVB meeting) – “I have a degree.  I never thought I would be cleaning toilets for my own tribe”.

I wanted to give Ms. L. hope.  I wanted to tell her that we will make a difference for not only the women of our tribe but for all members of our tribe but I didn’t want to give her false hope.

For all of you who live outside of the 10 1/2 counties you are the absentee vote and you are a powerful voting block by sheer numbers and what is done with your ballots after you mail them (we don’t know).  Absentee voters you need to come home and talk to your people face to face and hear the stories for yourselves.  You need to speak with family still here before you cast your vote in any election and if you can’t do that then please don’t vote uninformed.  Believe me what you get from the Biskinik is a long written commercial for the current administration.  Any newspaper that doesn’t provide a full picture is not a newspaper but a brochure.

I will close with just one rule of thumb that should be a cornerstone of ethics.  Ready?  If you supervise a group of people, for heaven’s sake, don’t choose your next dating partner from that group. And don’t have extramarital relations for years with someone you directly supervise.

Chahta Ohoyo’s isn’t it time to cleanse our leadership?  Is it so impossible to think that we can vote in leaders who are ethical?  Leaders who will look at our daughters for their business talents and abilities instead of their physical appearance?  We can improve the playing field for our daughters and if we don’t then who will?