Halito Brothers & Sisters!

I want to give a yakoke chito to all those who marched in the cold drizzle at Durant’s Idle No More rally.  I want to say yakoke to those who held signs on main street to the cheers and jeers of drivers on the street.  We will take the jeers as well as the cheers because we know in our hearts we are doing what is right.  We know it.  Who would not want to see native people’s rights upheld and their treaties honored?  Who would not stand in support of a Chief who was willing to starve to death for her people?  As mentioned in a previous blog Chief Theresa Spence was fighting for the land rights of her people, the education of her people and the human rights of her people (over 600 disappearances, deaths and rapes of Native Canadian women in the last decade).

We also heard that many CNO employees were told “no go”.  I was disgusted as I look to the northeast and see the Muskogee Creek Chief and 2nd Chief not only send out words of encouragement concerning the Idle No More movement but stand with their tribal brothers and sisters in unity on their capital grounds.  Meanwhile our people live in fear of losing their jobs if they attend.  That’s right OUR people not the non-Chahta’s employed by the CNO but OUR people.

A young man I don’t know very well but whom I liked much (he and his wife) contacted our Chief’s office and was told that while Chief Greg Pyle wasn’t sure where he stood on the Idle No More movement he would not fire anyone who chose to attend a rally.  You have got to be kidding me!  So if you don’t stand for it then you stand FOR broken treaties and the human rights violations of some 600 native women?  There is no gray area here!  No wonder Chahta people are among the most abused and oppressed workforce (and those who would like to work for their own tribe) in the nation!  If our own Chief won’t stand for what’s right then we as a people who are vested in our culture and our right to exist are doomed as constituents of this straw manned nahullo loving government.

I am embarrassed.  I am mainly embarrassed that this wasn’t even a response from Chief Pyle this was from his nahollo gatekeeper the same white woman who has found her family high paying positions and controls who visits, what is said and what the chief sees.  She is basically chief.  Her qualifications at the time of hire?  She was his neighbor.  This is who is unsure of where Chief Pyle stands on the Idle No More Movement.  It is this woman who writes his quotes (except of course for the one I wrote), answers his phone and dares to speak for our Chief.  Who lets her?  Once again, our chief.  Not my chief.  My Chief would have been the organizer of the Durant Idle No More rally.  My Chief would have made a speech and brought hot food and drink.  My Chief would give our tribe a Choctaw Employee Rights Organization.  My Chief would have stood out there with other Chahta men and stopped traffic while the women leading the march across I-75 made their way safely to the other side.  My Chief would have yelled with the rest of us “IDLE NO MORE”!

If you my Chahta sister or brother have not joined your people in the fight to rid ourselves of this illusion of democracy then you haven’t felt the feeling of community and belonging that all of us felt that night at Durant’s INM event.  It was so cold but you know what was colder,  the winter storm our ancestors traveled through to get to Oklahoma.  Now that was cold enough to take out a full fourth of your family, imagine what that must have felt like.  It’s this feeling that prevents us from ever being a money driven corporation.

There is one more thing I want to stress.  There is difference between Nahollo (stingy, greedy) and Tohbi (white).  There were tohbi spouses at our Chahta INM event.  There was a tohbi spouse holding a sign on main street.  She faced the same jeers and cheers that we Chahta did and she did it because she knows what it means to our people, she learns our language and she breaks bread with us.  To her I say, your grace and generosity is inspirational.  Your integrity and your bravery in the face of ridicule is to be admired.

For all my Chahta family know that we marched for all native people this past Saturday but we will never stop marching for you, who are our family until we can rest assured that our nation is once again in Chahta control.

Chi Hollo Li,