Good morning Sisters and Brothers,

A colleague of mine was enjoying supper at a casino that wasn’t part of the CNO casinos.  He is, however, a full blood Chahta.  He heard loud yelling and was surprised to see what looked to be a nahullo supervisor yelling at two native workers.  What, you may ask, were these natives doing?  Smoking, standing around talking or perhaps being rude to customers?  No, one was busing tables and the other was gathering what looked to be trash.  The supervisor was yelling at them for not working fast enough.  He was degrading them in front of the restaurant patrons.  Did they respond with anger?  No they acknowledged his rant with barely above a whisper reply.  They put their heads down and continued to work.  My colleague felt the urge to back the ole boy up against the wall but instead paid for his mostly uneaten meal and left.  He said it reminded him of our own people and not in a good way.

So we continue to chant CERO, CERO, CERO.  Would a Choctaw Employee Rights Organization put an end to all abuse?  No not without reporting the abuse, giving statements concerning treatment and separation from the Human Resources office.  Why the separation?  Well you have an Executive Director with an ego too large to concede that she doesn’t know the first thing about TRIBAL human resources and nor does she care to.  You see in the corporate world outside of Indian Country it is all about diversity and inclusion which sounds only right.  However, in Indian Country it’s about tribal preference and opportunity for tribal members most of whom live in the poorest parts of the United States.

Attorney Richard McGee author of the book “A Guide to Tribal Employment” is one of the most distinguished experts in the field of tribal human resources.  Having attended one of his two day seminars this is what I came away with, a tribe should strive to meet or EXCEED federal government EEOC regulations.  I’ll give you an example.  Federal law says you cannot discriminate on the bases of a handicap or you could get into a potential lawsuit that could cost a business or government entity lots of money.  Now a federally recognized tribe can choose to have a handicap policy or not but if they choose to then they should uphold those standards even better than the federal government upholds their handicap law.  So, lets say that the CNO hangs a poster about equal opportunity for handicapped persons but does not have their own policy in place.  Well now they are bound by the federal law governing handicap workers because they have given the impression, by use of the poster, that they follow federal handicap worker legislation.  Before I left the CNO this particular ED turned away from the tribal human resources certifying organization and chose to, at great expense, use other sources of certification common in the corporate world.

I know you caught that – she turned away from tribal laws and regulations to embrace corporate laws and regulations that largely don’t apply to tribes.  In effect not only risking our sovereign status but the sovereign status of all tribes because any tribe that doesn’t protect the sovereign rights granted to them by the US government risks setting PRECEDENCE.  A precedence that could be used in federal courts against all amercian indian tribes.  Don’t you think our highest leaders know this as well?  They do but the concern has turned away from empowerment of our Chahta people to running a corporation, just ask Gary Batton and he will tell you.

So why would we trust the CNO HR Executive Director with our most precious indian preference when she has already chosen corporate america?  Would this be the person who would end the tyranny and humiliation of the Chahta people, the Chahta worker?  She and Batton have already told our council members that the hiring and firing of Chahta employees is not a part of their job description.  Who gives this nahullo so much power?  Gary Batton.  She follows his directives.

Our people continue to be treated with contempt and it’s just so difficult to understand why our leaders don’t do something about it.