Halito Chahta Family,

As I drive through Oklahoma Indian Country I can’t help but notice all of the different tribal car tags.  And I can’t help but wonder where are the Choctaw tags?  Why isn’t this money saving right not given to us?  Is it because we are too large a tribe?  Well, that’s a stale argument since the Cherokee and Navajo who were, last I checked, bigger than the CNO, have car tags http://www.nativenewsnetwork.com/cherokee-nation-license-plates-strengthen-sovereignty-across-oklahoma.html.  The Cherokee even see it as an exercise of sovereign rights.

It’s something so simple that would save the average Choctaw tribal member what a few hundred dollars when purchasing a vehicle?  Why would our tribe not participate?  Well why don’t they provide a per/cap?  Why don’t they hold free elections?  Why when someone dares to ask why they are ostracized? 

I think it’s amazing that a growing number of native people, if a member of more than one tribe, will relinquish membership from the tribe that does not offer them a better way of life and retain membership with the tribe that can offer them a better quality of life.  It would be foolish not to do so.

I think the question we should be asking ourselves is where does the money go?  Where are the billions?  If our tribe is not willing to do something as simple as a car tag then what do we have to celebrate?  With the rising cost of living why can’t we get something like a car tag from the tribe who gave almost 16 million in one year to consultants (of course some of that was for African Safari’s – according to the FBI).

With the recent removal of other tribal leaders this past year I can only look to those tribes and say, “you are lucky to have the balance of power where you are allowed to remove leaders who have violated your constitutions, count yourself lucky”.  Our tribe uses federal grant monies and pretends it comes from enterprises while offering to our people bare bones services. 

Meanwhile, we have wealthy nahullo leadership, a 30 plus year regime, a tribal gathering that’s more a carnival, elders who have to raise their own travel money, elders who live in total poverty and… an Oklahoma tag.

 

CW

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