Good afternoon Brothers and Sisters,

I apologize for not keeping in touch with you in the last couple of weeks!

I had the privilege of visiting with an old friend of mine recently.  Somehow the topic turned to Labor Day Festival and she related to me a conversation she had previously with employees who work the festival (non-Chahta employees).  By the way, she has no idea I write this blog.

The employees were telling in a very humurous way stories about us.  To say the least they weren’t flattering to our people.  I had to bite my tongue because my friend was only relaying the story and asked me if Labor Day Festival was really that wild.  I simply replied that I was always too busy looking at the extraordinary art and catching up with people I had grown up with.

These are the people who operate our programs.  They look at us and they feel the need to feel superior and to pigeon hole us into a certain type of people but the logic is faulty.  It’s like saying that one Chahta is a physician so they must all be physicians.  All races have their shining members of society and their not so shiny members because we are all human.

People often say I am against Non-Chahta’s or Nahullo’s.  This isn’t true I just believe that Chahta people should administer the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  It seems whenever the nahullo gets involved they want our people to stand in line and receive handouts.  It is my belief that EVERY Chahta should have a chance to work and thrive at their nation so that perhaps when they sit down with a group to share a bottle of wine and good conversation they won’t degrade their own people.

There is a Chahta man amongst us with an extraordinary story of evolution and language revolution.  He is truly a visionary and a natural born leader.  Recently, he was featured in a story about his new yet traditional take on the teaching of our Chahta language.  However, the publication contacted our own Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma for their input since this man is not a CNO employee (he teaches for free).  What the publication was told amounted to something like this:  “Well you know he’s a felon”?

Yes he is and he is a warrior and an outspoken champion of our people.  His growth and evolution could and should be held as a beacon of hope for those of our people who find themselves in similar circumstances instead of being dismissed for a terrible misjudgement. 

Here is his story in his own words.

“This is a story about a chahta who served his country honorably for 10 years as an infantry soldier, served in 3 combat tour and two combat campaigns. A true fighting warrior for the country and his people. He was honored by his tribe numerous times for his service. While he was overseas in Iraq 2003-06 he recieved numerous awards of honor from the chief himself including one of the first tribal medal of honors. These were sent to him while he was still serving a term under heavy fire and combat. Courtesy of Greg Pyle. When he returned home he was awarded numerous citations from the Dept. of the Army including numerous Army commendation medals and the distinguished Meritorious Service Medal for acts of valor under fire. Upon returning home and ending his term of service he recieved his SECOND honorable discharge from the Military. He decided it was time to take his boots off and go to school for communications and meanwhile work on his music that he loved. He learned 3 foreign languages while he was in the Army. French, German, and Arabic. He already knew Spanish. He quit speaking Chahta by the time he was ten. He was now 32. Things went according to plan with the schooling ,however, things broke down between he an his wife and they soon divorced. He continued to pursue his schooling for the next couple of years meanwhile finding time to be a father to his severely handicapped son. On August 23 2008 9p.m., while he was having a cookout with his sister he received a phone call showing it to be his ex-wife. He answered the phone and a man immediately begins barking ” Is this YAWN-ISH?”  I answer “yes, who is this?”. He says” I’m the guy (word removed) your ex- wife and when you come to pick up your kid this weekend you got an ass-kicking coming”. I reply with ” Well, we might as well get it over tonight because your going to see me every weekend”.  So it was arranged to meet up the road from my ex-wifes house and I was on my way despite my sisters urgings to let it go. When I got there my ex wife had already driven him there and they were both wasted. He got out of the car and I walked towards him to box when he reaches into his waistband and pulls a sawed of shotgun and points it directly in my face and says “What now Bitch?. I go to slap the weapon out of my face and as soon as I feel the metal in my hand I grab on and pull. The weapon came out of his hand. I had the weapon. He immediately put his hands up and says, “Oh shit!” Without even thinking I sank the barrels into his chest and pulled the triggers. My ex wife left him laying there and I was left to administer first aid and keep him alive which I did because I was no stranger to this type of situation. However when it was all said and done the judge sentenced me to two years in prison because when I had  positive control of the weapon I could have stopped it right there. 3 seconds and a bad decision changed the entire trajectory of my life. However I started the first native language program in the prison system and graduated 28 inmates through the Choctaw Nation Language Dept.When I was released in november 2010 the CNO asked me to be certified because they were proud of my achievments. They reinstated me into the Color Guard because I am still a veteran for life and the United States will always honor my service of 10 active duty years and combat tours. However when I began the Chahta Anumpa Preservation Society the tribe used that five letter word against me FELON. But my fight is not with the people but for the  people. Much respect. Yannash Ushi Scott, Former Staff Sergeant for the United States Army Infantry. Warrior for the people.”

So, you see my sisters and brothers a ten year soldier was drawn upon and the warrior did as he had been trained to do.  Yes it was a mistake, a horrible mistake and he paid the penalty even making his time in prison count for something – he made it productive.  This man’s son has severe autism and Mr. Scott recently ran some 30 miles to not only raise money for his own Chahta Anumpa Preservation Society but for autism as well. 

He has paid his debt to society but apparantly not to the CNO who tried to dismantle his language organization and even fired a CNO employee for assisting him in filmed Chahta conversation.  Those of you who struggle to overcome your mistakes look to this man and know you can overcome.

Be safe this weekend my beloved people!