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Halito Brothers & Sisters,

There is no doubt that the fight for transparency and free elections is gaining ground and that, in part, is due to Chief Batton. I want to give credit where credit is due. The recent inclusion of short bio’s of the candidates and the incumbents into the Biskinik is a historical event as is the committee on election reform. The option to have candidate information sent to registered voters is also of historical significance. There’s your credit.

Now, let’s look at how far we have to go. The CNO has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a beautiful state of the art website. Why aren’t there candidate/incumbent interviews on it? I am an absentee voter and I would like to get a feel for the candidates running for office that’s hard to do in a short bio. Where were the questions? There are so many how could anyone just simply leave them out? The first one would be, “why do you want to run for a Chahta council seat”? I think that’s a pretty simple question that our tribal newspaper failed to even ask. The crusaders for opposition to the status quo, The Choctaw National party, were the ones to video candidate forums. It’s amazing what can happen when Chahta voters can’t get the information needed from your own tribe. I applaud the efforts of the fledging opposition party.

I also applaud the new candidates running for council seats and am especially happy to see Ohoyo Chahta running for Chief and District 11 Council. I am, however very disappointed that Perry Thompson (District 8), Thomas Williston (District 1), Kenneth Bryant (District 3) and Ron Perry (District 5) have gone unopposed. Tell me Okla Chahta what message does this send to have these candidates unopposed since they are the very men who have continuously slapped down releasing the voters registration list? It’s obvious to me we need to remove the residency requirements for candidates from the Choctaw Constitution.

I am saddened to see huge amounts of money being spent on this campaign by the Chief and incumbent council and no one wants to answer where the campaign monies are coming from (when you vote that should be a major major deciding factor for the Chief’s Office). Even as I write this I think about the man who is to serve 15 years in prison for monies that went through several hands not just his. He shouldn’t be sitting in federal prison alone.

Not to mention using residency requirements to disallow other candidates to run for office especially when it wasn’t an issue when Tony Messenger lived in Durant but had a home in Broken Bow. Now, I like Tony Messenger I believe his heart is in the right place but if you are going to have rules then those rules need to apply to everyone or no one.

Lastly, the election board should be independent of the chief and council offices – period. To have them appointed by our leadership is another shallow attempt at the appearance of propriety and truth. Any board that is appointed by the Chief answers to the Chief, it just makes sense.

Chi Pisa La Chike and don’t forget VOTE VOTE VOTE!

S. Crowder (Choctaw Wright)

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Halito Sisters & Brothers,

Recently, it was brought to my attention that apparently Choctaw Wright was reported for assuming a false identity and Facebook had pulled the page.  Therefore, I want to announce the end of Choctaw Wright.  I had given thought to attempting to retrieve the page, but, as most of you know I have already revealed my true identity. I have decided to write my opinions under my real name of Stephanie Crowder.  For the benefit of our people, I am descended from the Jones, Bacon, Leflore, Crowder and Gardner families.  I will be posting on my personal Facebook account. So, if you “friended” Choctaw Wright, please send a friend request to Stephanie Crowder to receive announcements.

I hope this blog post finds you excited about the coming elections for leadership of the Chahta people. Along those lines, I want all of you to know that I am not supporting any candidate at this time.  I may share candidate notices on my Facebook but it’s only to promote the democratic process.  I believe the Chahta people deserve all of the information regarding each candidate and their platforms. We have a right and an obligation to vote, but, we must have all of the information available to make informed, intelligent decisions on which candidate will best serve the needs of all the members of this great Choctaw Nation. When we take the information we have been provided to the polls, the stronger our election process will becomes.  We also have an obligation to voice our opinions and on this I think we have come so much farther than we were even three years ago.  I would like to think I had a small part in that transition, but, there are many Chahtas’ who have been fighting this fight for a very long time. I am humbled to follow in their paths in the ongoing quest for transparency and integrity in our government.

One thing regarding our existing government that I would like to emphasize and give thanks for, is that we can fight for transparency and democracy without the threat of repercussions from Miko Batton.  I don’t agree with everything he may be instituting, but I am a supporter of the positive changes he is making as Chief.  Chahtas’ especially Chahta employees can now have the freedom to vote for the candidate they choose.  If for some reason, you are pressured or overtly threatened to vote a certain way, please contact me.  We must continue with progressive, positive change while moving forward and stomp out those who would force us back into our dark ages.

As the blog reaches almost 70,000 hits, I want to thank so many people for your continued support. I want to reiterate that as Chahta’s, it is our right as well as our responsibilities to make changes in our government that benefit our members equally.  The blog started out as an angry rant but has now turned into something more positive as well. There are a group of remarkable Chahta Ohoyo’s to thank for this change.  They have encouraged me to turn my personal injustice into a vehicle for change for our people as a whole. I am so invigorated because what began as a small group of Chahta Women has permeated through Chahta families, once again proving the power of good people committed to change.

I am currently gathering a list of questions for all candidates running for office.  If you would like to have a question answered or at least asked please email me at stephaniecrowder@live.com. Or add it here on the CVB blog.

I look forward to receiving your questions and providing new and innovative ways (expect another announcement soon) to connect with our Chahta people.  Chi Hollo Li.

Chi pisa la chike,

CW (S. Crowder)

(Stephanie Crowder has written under the pseudonym Choctaw Wright and Muriel Wright since December 21, 2011)

Halito Sisters & Brothers,

Our Chief is announcing his candidacy by throwing a huge party in McAlester with none other than Neal McCoy as entertainment. Here I sit shaking my head again. Who will be the guest speaker the anti-native Governor Mary Fallon? Who planned this kickoff event? It must be the same old people who seem to always plan them because it’s just like the ones the former chief and the felony chief had to announce their “candidacy”. I am trying so hard to see the silver lining for our current Chief but so far I see a man who cannot get true election reform and who is walking in the same muddy foot prints as those who have come before him. Let me tell you the sad part – this Chief has so much potential. Who in the world is advising him to throw an obviously outrageously expensive party only months after the Merida trial? How much is it costing? Who is paying for it? Who will be working it? Where is the million dollars noted in the federal trial that former Chief Pyle put away for your campaign? Is this where the money is coming from? Will there be transparency concerning how much JUST the kickoff event cost? And I mean down to the last lavish give away.

Can you not see and hear the Chahta people questioning your integrity? Let me tell you what I had hoped you would do and really what I thought you would be advised to do. Announce your candidacy in the most dignified possible way in the same fashion as “town hall” meetings. Invite any opponents or just regular hard working, struggling, Chahta’s to bring you their questions in a public forum and answer them as honestly as you can. Invite the absentee voters to participate by sending in questions by joining a meeting via Skype. Chahta’s are soooo tired of the smoke and mirrors and it’s very disappointing to know you cannot see that. If you must have music then have our Chahta people sing. Our tribe has some of the most beautiful voices out there, turn your candidacy announcement into a CHAHTA celebration. I’m sure Neal McCoy is a swell guy and a fantastic 90’s singer but I don’t associate him with our people. It’s insulting to think that this is part of your strategy for clearing your name? Insulting and very frankly, ineffective. You will have mostly employees there and some Choctaw people there as well but the whisperings will be about the money and you walked right into it. I would take a good long look at who is advising you concerning your strategy and let them know what worked in previous decades will not work the same way now not after all of the corruption. Pandora’s Box has been opened and a new flat screen isn’t going to close it.

This Chief, while not elected by the Chahta people, has so many positives working in his favor such as having managed a multi-billion dollar business. I bet a lot of you don’t know that he has been the one overseeing a business as the CEO for years now. Not just checking on it now and then but down in the trenches making big decisions. Why wouldn’t that be the focus? Why the circus? Tell me, tell us everything that qualifies you to be our Chief because it’s so much more than a title.

Be your own man don’t isolate yourself with the old guard. When I see that over the top party (and I’ve seen it in the past – was made to blow up balloons for it) I think of my grandmother and my room at her house. I would be lying in my bed and if it was windy outside my hair would blow in the wind as if the window was open. Why can’t we use all of these political dollars to insure safe and secure housing for our elders? Why does it take millions of dollars to run as a candidate for Choctaw Chief? Where did this go wrong? We have to look at this my Chahta family for what it is. We have to hold the amount of money it takes to throw this celebration in one hand and our elders’ needs in the other and see which is heaviest. My guess would be it’s about the same except the money hand benefits our people the least and our elders are still struggling. It’s a shame. The hunting trips, the fake boobs, the extravagant cars and the elitist parties while our elders do the best they can. I am beginning to wonder if we will ever be given the chance to make it right.

Chi pisa la chike,

CW (S. Crowder)

(S. Crowder has written under the pseudonym Choctaw Wright and Muriel Wright since December 21, 2011)

Halito Sisters & Brothers,

I have received word just today that Chahta employees can no longer run for an elected office unless they resign their positions. Good thing Tony Messenger, Greg Pyle, Gary Batton, you were assigned your positions before this new rule was enacted. Whew…really dodged a bullet on that one. What happened did Birdie get too many votes? Was this rule brought before the council or introduced by the council? If it was, man that got passed fast. I thought things took a few decades longer than that. Were the people consulted about this new rule at all? I didn’t think so.

You may sense a little anger and frustration and believe me you do. I have heard from other Chahta employees about past voters registration list usage. Yes, my Chahta family the sacred voter’s registration list has been shared in the following ways:

“We were given pages of voters with all of their contact information. We were dropped off in a different county and went door to door. We would call and offer to pick up their vote. We would call continuously if they were undecided about who to vote for. Everyone saw that list and working to get the vote was not a choice it was a command”.

So let me get this straight. Thousands of employees are forced to work the elections? Yes, I believe it because I’ve seen it. Yakoke for contacting me and telling me about your experience. This concerned Chahta wasn’t the only one who contacted me. Please read further:

“I’m tired of this. I’m just not going to do it anymore and I have done it. I have let them (CNO) tell me what to do and when; whether it was my time or theirs. I have let them tell me who to vote for and when to work at fundraisers. My children are grown and live on their own. I don’t have to let them take away my rights ever again and if I get fired at least I have only myself to worry about supporting”.

Is this where we are Chief? Is this where we are Councilmen? Did Tony Messenger not say he didn’t like people ignoring the election reform progress and choose to attack them on releasing the voter’s list? He said he felt like it was the Middle East or something. How do you think we the Chahta people feel Tony? I agree with you it DOES feel like the Middle East or something. We have no rights and it’s still condoned to intimidate and threaten candidates. Is this the century where we will still take away people’s livelihoods for exercising their right to vote? I agree Tony after all this time it’s still like some violent dictatorship. Why don’t we use this expedited Council process to pass a regulation about intimidating and threatening candidates? Why not say if you do this you get fired because that’s not what democracy is all about. Could that be passed as quickly as employees can no longer run without resigning their positions?

Okay, now tell me what Indian nation doesn’t allow their candidates to campaign at their community centers but does allow the nahullo political candidates who are running for senate or whatever office campaign at their community centers – that’s right the CHOCTAW NATION of OKLAHOMA. Our own candidates cannot campaign at our own community centers but the Boren family can. Tell me this is something that went before the council? Did they vote on this too? Once again if they did that was passed quickly? If not who made that rule? Please someone let me know because this is Tiananmen Square China not the 10 ½ counties of the Choctaw Nation.

I congratulate and I challenge this Chief on election reform but it’s a long way from being done and the time is approaching to elect new officials. Come out with it! Tell the truth and be proud of it. The Chahta our TIRED of the tyranny and the threats and intimidation. It’s time to make the changes necessary and if we don’t watch out brothers and sisters the reform will be delayed and pushed back until the elections have come and gone. Now is the time to show them who they are charged to represent and reclaim your right for free and unbiased elections. Register to vote, encourage people to run let’s get rid of this council and get a council that can get things done who are honorable and have the welfare of the Chahta people uppermost in their mind and not their enormous rates of pay.

Chi pisa la chike,

CW (S. Crowder)

(S. Crowder has written under the pseudonym Choctaw Wright and Muriel Wright since December 21, 2011)

Halito Sisters & Brothers,

There has been much said about the last blog post entitled BLANK and I felt the need to respond.  Many people have asked me what changed my opinion about Miko Batton.  After reading the testimony from the Merida trial I remembered when I was employed with the CNO Federal Agencies visiting the complex which is not unusual but someone said “Assistant had an audit and they found something, heads are gonna roll”.

That was toward the end of my tenure in 2011 and the timeline fits.  In addition, MIKO Batton has made strides toward distinguishing his time as Chief versus the former Roberts/Pyle regime.  He has begun an office of accountability (I don’t know the official title), he has set in place consequences for not hiring qualified Chahta people when they apply, and he has met with former chief candidate and longtime Chahta election reformist attorney Doug Dry and requested he be a part of an election reform committee.  These changes have been unheard of for forty some odd years.  Is there much more reform that needs to take place, absolutely and I am sure I will be writing about it because the Chahta people have a right to know from someone whose only motive is the betterment of the Chahta people.

I have read that I am a traitor to the reform movement for writing what I have written in the last two blog posts and I say this to you and yours:  No one will tell me what to write and the fact that you want to control it makes you no different than the current administration holding hostage the tribal paper, which by the way Miko has promised to open to candidates running for Choctaw leadership positions.

In my first few blog posts I made a list of what I wanted to see change within the CNO:

  • “Current Choctaw Nation Employees” published 1/7/2012 TERO or Choctaw Employee Rights Organization – Chief Batton has implemented an employee rights department and has encouraged strongly the rights of Choctaw employees
  • “Choctaw Registered Voter Contact Information” published 2/28/2012 – Calls for the release of the voter list which is being discussed through Chief’s Election Reform Committee
  • “An Unelected Chief” published 4/8/2012 – A call to be able to vote for our own Chief – the current Chief willing to campaign in a fair and unbiased election is a true sign of giving power back to the people

So call me what you want I will write from the perspective of a Chahta woman only wanting the best for my family and I will not dismiss the very real progress made by the current Chief.  Honestly, I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime so I apologize to Chief Batton for underestimating him.

As for mudslinging I wrote the truth with evidence and I asked questions concerning the hypocrisy of a self-proclaimed leader of the reform movement who had admitted in court breaking federal campaign laws in her own campaign.  So if you call that mudslinging after what was written, pictures that were posted and jokes that were published concerning the trial then once again turn that microscope on yourself because ethics don’t apply only when you want them to.

As for the current administration the time for secrecy has passed.  Another tribal leader used to publish “The Report to The People” which was a glossy papered report of the budget with a narrative explaining the reasoning behind the expenses and mailed to every member who received the tribal newspaper.  This is transparency.

We as Chahta deserve to know the governing of our people through our tribal paper because that is the most used media outlet read by Choctaw people.  We are not children who need to be sheltered from the truth we are professional hard working people who want to know our tribe is in good hands.

I, for one, am excited by the progress made by our new Chief and look forward to even further reform.

Yakoke

CW

Good evening Brothers and Sisters,

The following is a guest editorial:

“These past days and weeks of the Merida Trial have been some of the darker days we

have faced as a Nation. The Choctaw People have witnessed mockery, public debasement, and

dramatization of the trial on Social Media. At a time when we needed to join together as a

Nation, instead we experienced the opposite: gossip, calls for changes to election requirements

for personal gain and more.

 

            This decades long lack of unity will potentially be the issue that rips apart the fabric

sacrificially woven by our ancestors.

 

            Chief Batton, you did not deserve the disrespect that was shown to you by various

 individuals and organizations. As struggling simple people, most of us do not have good

feelings about this money changing hands. A simple press conference would have prevented

much of the confusion swirling in the minds of many. It is possible this was contrary to what

was recommended by legal counsel. Even an acknowledgement of a press conference to come

after the trial would have been sufficient. The silence has been deafening. We respectfully ask

that you address your people.

 

The lessons learned from this are;

No one is infallible

There must be accountability

Checks and balances are absolutely necessary

Financial transparency is a must

Annual audits of all Tribal accounts by an independent firm are nonnegotiable

Audits of personal accounts of Chief, Assistant Chief and Council should perhaps be considered

 

            As Choctaws we must remain true to our traditions and conduct ourselves in a manner

that brings honor to our Tribe, our ancestors, our families, and ourselves always-even during

difficult times, if not especially.

Vlichi”

I would like to invite other’s who would like to express their opinion to contact me.  If the message isn’t vulgar or demeaning I will gladly post it for you whether you agree with my opinions or not.  As Chahta’s we need at least one place where we can be heard as we speak our truth.

Yakoke,

CW

Halito Sisters & Brothers,

These are sad days for us.  Here we are knowing more than we probably wanted to know about our government.  Once again our leadership is in Federal Court and again the Chahta people are the ones to pay with our dignity and our programs.   Concerned citizens have been giving reports via web pages and Facebook.  YOU need to discern from a variety of reports and perspectives of what has been going on during the trial of Jason Merida.  The media has let our people down on this coverage so has the Biskinik but we knew that would happen.

I applaud those Chahta citizens who have taken off from work and covered this trial for our people.  They can’t silence all of us.  However, the tone of some of the reports does not communicate what an unfortunate time this is for all Chahta.  I find myself analyzing Miko Batton and I find myself dismissing former Chief Pyle.  Former Chief Pyle and his family have and should spend their remaining days together in peace no matter his sins.  Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease and its effects according to those I have been communicating with, were evident in our former Chief as he took the witness stand.  I send his family my prayers.

Our current Chief and former Chief gave monies from “campaign contributions” to various charities and educational institutions.  We are left to wonder, did they donate that money AFTER the investigation?  And, whose monies were they donating?  Were the funds given directly to them so therefore they made a personal donation?  If that were the case why were they given a personal donation in the first place from major players in the construction industry in correlation with Tribal affairs and businesses?  Or was it monies donated to the Chahta people and when the waters started to boil it was decided to quickly donate the monies without the consent or knowledge of the very people they serve?  Did the IRS have any say in the matter? Either way the situation was unethical to say the least and since the verdict we know they were definitely criminal.

There is no denying Jason Merida could not have committed the crimes he was found guilty of without considerable support from people very high in our government structure.  Now whether that support was just turning a blind eye or partaking in the embezzlement or setting up as “business as usual” it is up to YOU to decide but one thing is perfectly clear we have been dealing with this for forty some odd years. It is clearly time for change.

So my question for Miko is this, how much more illegal, unethical, abuse of power, embezzlement and criminal behavior are we going to endure before there is legislative change?  Must we always look to the Federal Government to clean our house?  Do you know there are people tasked to go onto Social Media to try to shut down the very people reporting from the court house?  What other types of governments do this?!  China!  Iraq! North Korea!  You see Chief what happens when they cannot rely on their own tribal paper to write the truth they have to go find it themselves and report back to their families and friends.  Free us from the suppression of our Choctaw constitutional right to free speech and our first amendment rights to free speech.

There is something very important I want all Chahta to consider if Miko and Council are removed by the Federal Government then we are at the mercy of that same government until we could change our constitution and re-structure our entire election process.  Assistant Chief Austin would be the third Chief put into office without a vote of the people.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs would occupy us and create a plan for us that we should be creating ourselves.  This would happen AGAIN, how demeaning for us to once again be forced to rely on the Feds to clean our house as if we were children.

Please hear me out on what I am about to say, we could work with our current Chief to change our system.  Batton has met with attorney and Choctaw citizen Doug Dry who has been fighting for free and unbiased elections for decades. No one has been willing to do this since Mr. Dry ran for Chief in the 90’s and blacklisted from the tribe so for Chief Batton to sit with him for two hours really says something about our leader.  A trusted source informed me that he has also demanded a new call to truly support preserving our traditions and he has terminated one of the major sources of anti-Choctaw personnel policies.  If we as Choctaw people were to work with Batton then we as a united people right our own government through compromise and issue voting.

Chief Batton the citizens of the Choctaw Nation know too much not to hear from you. They will draw their own conclusions and you nor I can blame them.  I ask you out of support and good faith to address our tribal nation.  What a historic event it would be for ANY government leader to stand in front of his people and say “I’m going to speak honestly so we can heal”.

I know many are saying it’s time to rid the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma of all current leadership but our constitution is too weak but Miko could strengthen through reform. He could call for a new order, new elections, freedom of information, balance the constitution and right the rift that separates us.

He may be the Chief who will put his own personal embarrassment aside to empower our people and to change our tribe for the better.  What we need from him is to open our paper to all opinions and platforms.  We need him to balance the power of the political system which means lessening his own power.  Our leadership should support and make into Choctaw law transparency.  Our people should be able to access the budgets and know where every dollar is spent.  Any contractor doing business with the CNO should have to follow TERO guidelines which would drastically lessen the opportunity for unethical behavior.  He should apologize for taking the money.  I want to hear him speak plainly and openly.  If he would then we might stand a chance of taking care of our own business.  It may be too late.

Years ago I was angry and I spoke my mind, but I haven’t felt anger since the trial started.  I kept waiting for it but I only felt intense sadness.  I saw the cartoonish memes and the disrespectful behavior toward all those involved and it was like an earthquake.  Our people are splintering in the middle and ready to do whatever it takes to remove our top leadership and in their haste may sign away our right to have Choctaw people lead our tribe.  Choctaws Rising is not Choctaw Voting Block we respectfully distanced ourselves from them after Tushka Homma and although we tried to work with them and I even announced the petition I don’t support that anymore.  I will not support removing the blood quantum requirement for Council and Chief.  It chips away at our fabric as Chahta people and insults those of a higher blood quantum by insinuating we are not intelligent enough to operate our own tribe.  In addition my motives have always been transparent in the fact that I don’t expect gain from my writings.  I expect Chahta to participate freely in their government and for our leadership to welcome and encourage the participation.

As the opposition we need to concede on issues as well without letting our leadership fall back into the same old corrupt government.  We need to stop disrespecting the OFFICE of Chief (and I freely admit to this particular offense) but on the other hand we need leaders who deserve our respect.  If we aren’t careful we will lose Choctaw people running the Choctaw Nation.  Are we prepared to sign Choctaws Rising’s petition to remove the ¼ blood quantum requirement for leadership?  If we lose it we have lost it forever and the days of our Chief and Council being elected from our own Choctaw families is lost to us.

One last thing please keep in mind I write under the name Choctaw Wright and I haven’t written anything concerning the trial those who are quoting almost verbatim past blog posts and taking those words as their own are not speaking as me.  I speak now as I always have from my love for my Chahta family – we must work together and if Miko Batton is willing to compromise on election reform and implement internal controls then I say let’s support him and rebuild our own house.

Chi Pisa La Chike,

CW

Good Evening Sisters and Brothers,

I’ve heard many native people say our history, the old wounds and tyranny should be left in the past and that today is a new day. They want to concentrate on progress and prosperity after all it didn’t happen to we modern day American Indians. I beg to differ, baby Veronica was taken away from her biological native father almost a year ago crippling the Indian Child Welfare Act . This was done in 2013 not the 1930’s.

The United States has a long history of removing Native American children from their native families the Indian Child Welfare Act was supposed to protect us from losing our children…wait let me rephrase that the Indian Child Welfare Act was supposed to give our leadership the legislation to PROTECT our children. Yet in celebration the CNO created a statue to salute the strength of the Choctaw woman. Good concept I could really get on board with that one except then they ask one of the most anti-American Indian governors in history to unveil it. Yakoke to Creator God for the strength of our Chahta people who voiced their opinions on this decision very strongly. In case you missed it Governor Fallin was instrumental in returning Baby Veronica to her adoptive parents Read the rest of this entry »

Good Evening Brothers & Sisters,

Many of you have requested to see the information that will be distributed at this year’s Labor Day Festival. We have been granted a space after explaining that our right to have a space is protected in our current constitution. Our intent is to peacefully distribute information. We don’t want to be arrested or harassed and we plan on occupying our 10 X 10 space and going no further. You my family must come to us. We will be by the amphitheater.
I apologize for getting you this information so late but we have been debating the issue of removing the blood quantum limits for elected officials. I will not ever support such a move but I agree with all of the other proposed amendments so what you see below is true compromise. We must not let this one issue (designed by the federal government to eventually separate us) curtail our efforts at regaining are inherent freedoms. I believe this issue is one for the people and not for a few lone voices.
Below is the brochure in a plain text form. The petition is as we speak (per/say) is receiving last minute polishing and editing before going to the printer. The proposed amendments will be there for all to see at Labor Day. If we gather enough signatures (we need approximately 7000) we will be able to vote for each amendment separately. They are not rolled into one big bill like you would see in Washington. I encourage you to speak with a Cherokee Citizen to find out how they feel they are being represented since the removal of the blood quantum restriction for their elected officials. I know I will.

CW

Did You Know?
A non-Indian Tribal Attorney has represented both the Chief and the Council for nearly 40 years? In 1991 his “salary” was raised to more than $30,000 every month. Just since 1991, that is well over $8 MILLION Dollars. It is believed that this lawyer has been paid over $30 MILLION while the Choctaws have suffered. This non-Indian attorney controlled Hollis Roberts and Greg Pyle and many believe he controls Gary Batton.

Your Tribal Councilor makes as much as $175,000 per year?

The Chief sets his own salary and the salaries of high-ranking employees and you can never see the tribal budgets?

For the last 40 years, all our chiefs, except one, was “chosen” and not elected by the people?

Chief David Gardner, who died in office in 1978, was the last chief elected by the people? He was the last chief to serve who was not first appointed as Assistant Chief.

The Chief appoints the Assistant Chief and can fire him whenever he wants?

We don’t have term limits for our Chief and Council and that most of the current council has served more than 20 years and some more than 30 years?

All 12 members of the Council are men and that’s exactly how they intend to keep it?

The Chief and the Council used this corrupt system and all the power of the tribe to make sure the last three women who ran for Council did not win?

The Tribal Council conducts all its business behind closed doors and Choctaws are not allowed to attend the meetings where legislation, issues and spending are discussed?

Dozens of non-Indians are running the Tribe, drawing enormous salaries and these “bosses” treat tribal employees terribly?

Tribal employees have no employee rights, live in fear for their jobs and know the Chief can fire them at any time without recourse?

Our tribal Constitution was forced on the Choctaw people in 1983 and was created by former Chief Hollis Roberts to give more power to the Chief’s office?

Our previous Constitution, adopted in 1860, had term limits and didn’t have a blood quantum to run for Chief or Council?

About 130,000 or 2/3 of the Choctaws live “at-large” or outside the tribal boundaries?

These at-large Choctaws have no direct representation on the Tribal Council?

78% of Choctaws are less than ¼ blood and they cannot run for office?

The Chief, Assistant Chief and almost every member of the Council does not want to remove the blood quantum and allow any Choctaw to run for office,but they are counting on you to keep them in office to continue this corrupt government?

Of Course You Didn’t Know Because:
Those who do know, can’t tell those who don’t know.

The Chief and Council will not allow Choctaws to freely exercise our Freedom of Speech at Tvshka Homma except in a 10 x 10 square foot stockade. If we step foot outside of this tent and talk to anyone about these issues, we will be arrested and/or ordered to leave our sacred capitol grounds.

The Choctaw Nation does not have a free press and the tribal newspaper, the Biskinik, is simply a propaganda machine for the Chief’s office.

Candidates who run for tribal office cannot buy an ad in the tribal newspaper and the Biskinik will not print any letters to the editor that are critical of the Chief or Council.

The Chief and Council will not give the list of registered voters names and addresses to candidates running for office, so their opponents cannot tell you about their campaign platforms and vision for the tribe.

The Nation has absolutely no campaign fundraising or reporting laws. Companies doing business with the Tribe can give unlimited money to the Chief and Tribal Councilors to keep them in office so the non-Indians can continue cashing huge checks and running our tribe.

There is no Freedom of Information law in the Choctaw Nation. You cannot write the Chief or Council and ask for information and expect a response. They don’t have to and they won’t answer your questions.

What Can You Do?
You can help change all of this by signing the petition to amend our Constitution. Together we will bring great change to the Choctaw Nation, honor our ancestors, elect our own leaders and implement an open and transparent government that serves the Chahtas, not the Nahollos.
Choctaws Rising
choctawsrising.com
info@choctawsrising.com

Good Evening Sisters & Brothers,

Those of you requesting information, demanding change from the current administration and receiving only vague responses from the office of the current Miko I applaud you for attempting to find out for yourselves who this new Chief is working for – you or himself. I don’t have to say it because if you look hard if you request information and even mention transparency and free elections you get silence or the occasional chirping of a cricket for your efforts.

I want to say this to you Chief Batton: When were you elected by the Chahta people? Where will your campaign monies come from? Do you plan on releasing the voters list? Are you for term limits? Do you agree there should be a reasonable impeachment process for those in leadership positions who abuse their power? Will the CNO employees be given “unspoken” directives to work on your campaign? When will you answer to the people concerning all of the above?

In this new Chief I sense an air of entitlement, a “why would I do that” attitude. Why indeed? Miko Batton by setting term limits would be giving up an approximate $275,000.00 dollars in salary plus benefits and complete power over the finances, social services and future of our nation. Think about this Miko you could take that salary for four years and probably invest in something else that would bring you a very good income and STILL give us term limits without doing harm to yourself? How much money do you need?

Don’t get me wrong I don’t begrudge him the money he makes. CEO’s of corporations relative in size to the CNO make much more. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times New GNC Holdings Inc. CEO Michael Archbold’s base salary in 2014 is $950,000 and he’ll receive bonuses this year totaling $545,000 as part of a three-year agreement. In 2011 GNC was valued at 2.07 billion. So yes this is comparable to our very own CNO.

While I don’t begrudge Miko’s salary I have to ask where are all the funds from Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma the Corporation going? We don’t have an elderly pension? We don’t have brick homes? We don’t have car tags? Many of our people are just barely getting by working hard to put kids through college, make a home mortgage, making a car payment – and we can’t even proudly display a Choctaw car tag?

To me, a man making as much money as Gary Batton should put the people above all else because it’s the status of our tribe, which is made up of Chahta people that affords him such a pay day. The very least he could do is assure us of free elections and transparency? Am I the only one who is offended by this? Mr. Batton when a Chahta tribal member requests an audience with you and is willing to wait weeks to get an appointment the least you could do is meet with that tribal member? The least you could do Mr. Batton is let our people vote. You OWE us that.

Yakoke,
CW