Halito Brothers and Sisters,

 

I wanted to share with you comments over the past few weeks sent to me.  You can read them on the blog but I wanted to put them into one post so you can see how similar they are in addressing the problem of our CNO hiring and keeping Chahta people.  These stories don’t even take into account those told to me in person.  Please share with your family and Chahta friends.  Tell them what is happening here so we can put a stop to it.

 

Yakoke

CW

 

 

“I am 1/2 choctaw and cannot even get an interview with them. Yes I did work for them for almost 8 years and was called in one day and was told….”this has nothing to do with you and you have done nothing wrong” BUT we are moving you ohh yeah and dropping your wages at 50%. I thought I would try but I was so disgusted and mad and finacially could not do it. Now after 2 years I still cannot get an interview with them.”

Barbara

 

“Well, you know it is said that they also have snipers “to protect the chief”, right? Perhaps they’re building an army to protect themselves from the enemy, but for them, I don’t think the enemy is out there, but more like the enemy is within the Choctaw Nation.”

Tvli

 

 

“Is yes we are starting to get them more and more every year white and black. Real Natives can’t into the Dr. For all these mixed kids and adults it should go to the Real Choctaw people old ones young ones real natives , we need higher paying jobs , recruit natives college kids for jobs the high paying white people got, we getting overun by the system.”

 M.A.

 

“I’m a concerned Choctaw and I applaud your efforts for change. I’ve written on the Choctaw Nation government and the concerns I have about it. I’d like to share some of my writings and ideas with the organization. Is there an email I can send to?”

 Choctaw for Change

 

I ran across you blog a couple day ago. Last night I sat down and read every word that was written. There is so much truth in there so I have forward the link to some friends to read.
I do belive that ALOT of stuff needs to change in Choctaw Nation/Choctaw Casinos. I worked for Choctaw Casinos for almost 8 years and feel I was done wrong, my stress level was so high at one point that I thought i was having a heart attack and went to the emergency room. There I was told it was stress not my heart. They scheduled me to come in every morning to do a blood test and urine sample and I would leave there and go to work. I was called in because they said I was missing to much work but my hours were always well above 40 per week.
I was considered to be EXEMPT but aparrently that means nothing but you work over 40 hours they only pay you for 40 hours and if you work 35 hours they only pay you 35 hours or take sick leave. I went and talked to two councilmen, HR at the nation, and sent Janie Dillard and Greg Pyle letters to try and save my job but NO RESPONSE. It has been over 2 years now and I will not work for the Casinos (under Janie Dillard and Tammye Gwin) I am 1/2 choctaw and can’t even get an interview through the Nation for jobs that I am very vell qualified for/and have preformed before for them, but when I call to follow up on my application they already filled it with a previous employee that has done simular related jobs for them…..then that pisses me off even more.

Someone needs to look into the hiring practices.

BW

 

You know how they’re acting? They’re acting as if this is a regular company they can take over; take over the leadership and oust the rest. Now, they’re just acting like they normally do, the ones I blame are the Choctaws in power who have brought them in and allow it.

Being mostly Choctaw, I definitely appear it, and being labeled “Indian” also had people try to pigeonhole me into a specific area of training. With school, I always had teachers discourage me from math, science, etc. and try to relegate me to art classes. This seemed to be a common stereotype when I was in school. I know I’m not the only person to be subjected to such stereotypes, else the stereotype would not continue to exist. So, how in the world can anyone of Choctaw heritage, especially one connected to the tribe enough to become part of the tribe leadership, allow such stereotyping to become part of its internal practice? That’s what I see when they are allowed to say such things as no Choctaws being professionally skilled, be it IT, accounting or anything else.

Is This My Tribe?

 

I just wanted to respond, and meant to do this much earlier. I went to school in the Ada area, both high school and college. I worked for the Chickasaw Nation a couple of times in their summer JTPA program. And I had an interview with the Chickasaws for an IT position, but was offered a job here in Hugo before they made a decision.

As for turning in applications, I did everything I could to try and meet the HR people, but was turned away every time. Again, I had applied for everything from IT to the custodial jobs at the Grant casino. Each attempt to see the HR director, I was put off and told to return some other time, so it’s not as if I merely turned in applications and tried no harder.

The job that I took is with one of the other big employers in the area. I currently support the entire organization of 300+ people. I enjoy my job, and the people I work with are dedicated to what they do and it’s been a privilege to work with them. That is what I was hoping to be able to say about the Choctaw Nation when I moved back. I was hoping to not only hold a job with them, but also give something back, if nothing else in the form of doing the best job I could for them.

I hope this Choctaw Voting Block gets somewhere. The tribe needs to belong to the tribe members again, not some usurping nahullos who have entrenched themselves in our tribe’s hierarchy.

KW

 

I just wanted to leave you a short post about me. I’m 3/4 Choctaw by blood, my mother being full and my father half. I live in Choctaw County. I lived away for a number of years, but moved back home a couple of years ago. Upon arriving back, I immediately applied for work with the Choctaw Nation.

I applied to the Grant Casino, to the local Nation office, and the Durant office. I applied for different positions, from custodian (environmental services I believe they call it) to IT. I have spent almost my entire working life in IT, and like to think I’m pretty good at it. I hold IT certifications that are used around the world. I never received a call back, much less an interview, not even for the custodian job. While I don’t feel I’m owed a job, I thought that I at least had a fair chance to at least compete for one, especially being qualified and Choctaw. I thought wrong. I also recently found out that the Nation employs an H1b visa employee in their IT department. Not only do they not hire tribe members who are qualified, they hire people from other countries instead.

Besides looking for work, I also encountered the Choctaw Nation’s health care system. When I arrived, I was surprised to find out that the Nation’s health care system is still as badly operated as it was when I moved away. I had the opportunity to visit another tribe’s clinics and hospitals for care while living back east. This tribe was the remnant that refused to be moved to Oklahoma, like the Mississippi Choctaws. This particular tribe took over control of their health care system from the federal government as soon as they could, and they changed away from the government’s way of doing business. They hired a hospital administrator to operate like a business. They hired highly qualified doctors and the tribal government listened to any and all complaints, and acted on them. Their hospital was as professional as any for-profit hospital, and the majority of staff is tribal members.

The first doctor I saw here, I never saw again. I refused, and sent in a complaint to Talihina. Not having been here in years, I did not have a recent file. But this doctor assumed that my health problems were due to not taking my regular medications. Upon assuming this, he decided not to fill a very important one, one that is not supposed to be stopped abruptly, else one’s blood pressure would spike. I never heard a word from Talihina regarding my complaint. I then visited Talihina, hoping to find better care there and encountered a doctor with a manner worse than the one in the Hugo clinic. People were treated like cattle, ordered around and talked down to.

Between my experiences and those I’ve heard from others, I really don’t understand how our tribe got to this point. The tribal government, from my point of view, appears to treat the tribal members as an unfortunate expense and something to be hidden from view. It appears the more Choctaw one is, the lower their status in the eyes of the tribal government. I have had people try to make me feel like a second class citizen before, as there are still people in this country who do not realize that an American Indian can be talented in things other than art. But what do you do when it’s your own tribe that tries to do this?

Is This my Tribe?

 

I remember seeing people with jet-black hair dye when the Choctaw Circus came here to California handing out membership cards with the only requirement was to send in thru the mail supposed documentation. Then, the prospective voter is promptly directed to a line with a photo camera which will be used to construct membership cards on the spot.
The instant indians are courted with food (out of our mouths, real Choctaws, who go hungry) and are given cheap gifts, stuffed animals, etc.
This simple ploy of something for something , for votes is employed. Then, that absurd looking chief,(HA) paints a picture with words , promising homes, education, and the illusion of money, and riches. Non Indian Californians see the wealthy California tribes prosperity and the chief gives them the opportunity to join in on rewards, carefully choreographed with the smile and “vote for me , I will make you rich”

I saw all this and challenge anyone who dissagrees my observations.”

 

The reason for landslide elections is the voting ballots are sent to the instant Indians. At election time, the Choctaw circus travels about and hands out membership cards to anyone who wants one, without any official verification whatsoever. I seen this happen here in California. I sent each councilman my observations, but no response. The new Indians are courted with promises of homes,and prosperity, and a choreographed reminder to remember to vote…
Meanwhile, the true Indians are outnumbered and had been taken advantage of..”

Choctaw James

I agree 100%. Mr. Batton is trying to turn our tribe and our nation into corporate, if he is allowed to do that our tribe will lose its sovereignity forever, can never go back.”

LB

Well my Sister (who will remain anonymous) says, Choctaws cant vote anyone in until the office is open. Am I the only one who sees a pattern here?”

AA

“Bad Ducks!! When will the Choctaw people speak up? This current Administration needs an overhaul!!”

AA

“The only employees that are getting a decent raise are the higher up, the ones that already make 20 plus an hour”

L.

“Keep up the good work. I know it will seem hard at first. But there is no success without struggle. There are still Chahta’s who require a little more than a food basket and 20 dollars free game play at the casino from our tribal leaders. I’ll be watching you atvsha! Chi pisa la chike. Yakoke!”

 Y.

 

“I worked at the casino in Durant and i have heard many times that the choctaws are not smart enough to run the casino. I too have been released because of lies being told. I then was told if i were to just admit it i would return to work. When i did i was called at home and never was allowed to get my personal belongings. Then i was told not to even bother tryiing to get my unemployment because it would be denide. All of this was done by nonchoctaws. I was lied too. We do need a new chief and assistant chief. Our children cant even get the help they need for college. Why is our choctaw funds being spent on nonchoctaw children in the schools. Even agriculture money raised in booster clubs in FFA for children showing livestock is not shared if you are Choctaw. The booster club says that choctaw will pay the choctaw childrens premium sale money. so again the money that choctaw children help raise is only for the white kids. The biggest problem is that we stand back and let it happen.”

 Keith

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