Halito Brothers and Sisters,

Where does the money go?  Anyone who drives by any of the CNO casinos will see that the parking lots are usually full 24/7.  How many millions of dollars are made in any given week?  First of all, we will probably never know because there is no transparency or accountability to the actual members of the Chahta tribe.

When I worked for the nation it was widely said that gambling paid for CNO government payroll or at least a portion of it.  So where would the rest of it go?  Since our own tribe has no transparency lets look at what some of our brethren tribes do with their gaming revenue.

Comanche Tribe = $900 dollars per/year (15,191 members)

Cabazon Band = $10,000 per/mo (32 members)

Eastern Cherokee – $7000 per/year (13,000 members)

Chumash = $30,000 per/mo (approximately 5000 members)

The Choctaw Nation has a population of almost a quarter of a million members there is no way our tribe could ever do a per/cap payment.  However, if you combine federal grant programs (worth millions but yet again no transparency so the actual number is kept under wraps) plus other enterprise revenue such as military contracts why don’t we see more services?

Part of that answer is that our tribe has no blood quantum limit.  A Choctaw tribal member could be 1/1000th and receive the same access to services as a full blood Chahta providing they live within the same area.

Now, if gaming revenue is used to meet payroll then who is getting the good life from their CNO salary?  Is it the administrative assistants, the EVS workers, the travel plaza cashier, the maintenance crews?  These are the majority of the jobs held by Chahta tribal members.  Or is it falling to the Directors, Executive Directors and General Managers?  If we were to look at those in charge, if we were to look at those given positions because of who they know do you think the majority of those high level jobs  would be held  by Chahta citizens?  How many Chahta citizens have had tribal jobs created especially for them?  The CNO spends millions on consultants each year making quite a few old nahollo men wealthy.

No, the CNO can never give each member a per/capita but we could provide a small per/cap to our elders of a certain blood quantum.  Sadly, the amount of elders who would receive the small pension would decrease as time went by.  They would decrease because of death and the lack of tribal members with enough blood quantum to qualify for the pension.

To summarize federal grant monies, enterprise revenue and gaming revenue go into programs being offered by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  The cold hard cash that comes from having a good well paying job goes into the hands of the upper level management of the CNO.  Thank goodness at least some of those positions are being occupied by Chahta citizens, the rest, the majority are being held by nahollo’s.

So you see my Chahta family our trickle down economics mainly trickles down to those who only a few generations ago would have shunned the idea of being associated with our people.

It’s all a matter of who lets them in.