Archives for posts with tag: Choctaw

Halito Sisters & Brothers,

I noticed on Facebook many Chahta proudly displaying their ballots for the upcoming elections. It warms my heart just to see that we actually have people who are brave enough and are willing to stand up to a decades old system that is well known for it’s unfriendly (to say the least) attitude for those candidates who are not incumbents. We have come quite a ways since the last election cycle and we have so much farther to go for the sake of our descendants.

While there is no candidate to run against Perry Thompson so I can’t vote for council I have cast my vote for Chief. I paused to think before marking my ballot because I know next to nothing about the challenger. I don’t know about her background and I don’t know where she stands on the issues that have plagued our Chahta government for decades but I marked her name as my choice because I do know a thing or two about our current Miko.

I know that he most likely has good intentions but no business experience outside of the CNO. I know that his efforts toward election reform while historic were very shallow. I know that there is no TERO at the CNO. This means that Choctaw business owners and employees have no recourse in their own tribal nation to take advantage of Choctaw preference. I know that he has never answered the question concerning the campaign fund. I know that he is surrounded by the old guard and that, to me, is what we have had since I was a child riding along with my mother campaigning for Wendell David. That campaigning cost my mother her job at the tribally owned Indian Clinic in Hugo all for the right of Choctaw people to have a vote that actually counted. I know that during this election year I have seen more expensive commercials with Miko’s face in them than any other time that I recently remember. I know that some Chahta’s with large families are now receiving some big promotions. Ironically, these are promotions they should have had long ago.

So tonight I want to really encourage our absentee voters (I count myself among you) to think about the legacy Gary Batton proudly carries into his office, an office that we didn’t elect him into. He carries with him corruption, greed and disregard for the well-being of the Chahta people. He carries with him a legacy of intimidation and force. He carries with him a false sense of importance and that is due to lack of experience in other business arenas. I had hoped that he would carry something else. I had hoped that he would change the system. That he would speak frankly and honestly. That he would announce that any employee using intimidation and threats during the election year would be immediately terminated. I had hoped he wouldn’t participate in the jobs for votes practice. He proved my hopes to be futile. Absentee voters we need YOU to set the stage for real change by voting for the challenger. You can break the strength of the chain that has held us back for decades. The opposition has no secret campaign fund and she doesn’t have the power to intimidate those Chahta who work for the nation. If she doesn’t fulfill the duties of a Chief with integrity and business acumen we will have the choice to vote her out next election cycle. Remember the longer those corrupt old guard people hold top positions in our government the longer it will take for us to rid ourselves of them. This is our chance to send a clear message concerning integrity and answering to the very people leadership is charged with serving.

I would also like for you to view this short documentary concerning the struggle we have dealt with in our corrupt political system. When I first watched it I was shocked. Even though I had known about the intimidation and the strong armed tactics to see even a glimpse of it against one of our elders infuriated me. What you should remember is that this is the legacy that Batton continues to proliferate. The link to the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugc1AoPs_gk

Chi Pisa La Chike,

S. Crowder  (CW)

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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 Brothers & Sisters,

Election reform supported by Miko Batton and recommended by the Election Reform Committee has met a somewhat expected road block:   The Choctaw Council; any change in procedure must be approved by a percentage of the council without this approval the proposed changes are dead in the water. Our elected Choctaw Council has chosen not to approve key aspects of the proposed changes. The road blocks are coming from every council member except Anthony Dillard. It is my opinion that council members who make up to $151,000 per/year to represent the Chahta citizens should do just that represent the majority of Choctaw citizens. There are however some suggestions that have been approved and they are as follows:

  • The most significant is candidate access to the Biskinik – We will have to wait and see exactly how this is formatted.       I know as a Chahta I want to know the candidates platform and their management experience. I want to know where the campaign finances are coming from and if they support accountability and transparency across the Chahta leadership. If I want to donate to their campaign I want to know how I can do so.
  • A step by step process for receiving absentee votes in the mail.  I do not have the exact procedure but the jist of the process is to insure the integrity of the mailed votes.

The big issue and one of the most important parts of election reform is release of the voters list with contact information. The argument is that some voters don’t want their information released to the candidates. Did you know as an American Citizen that all elections have a voters list that is freely released to all candidates? That’s right every election big and small has a voters list that is free to the candidates. I have to shake my head, every election except at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. What they have decided to do is send out an update sheet where you update your information such as address and other contact information which is fine – and your social security number and then they ask if you want your information released.

You know what, I wouldn’t want my social security number released to anyone in this day and age of stolen identities. So why implement this process, is it a tactic used to encourage, even subliminally, a person to not want to release their information? I want the candidates to know my address, my name, my telephone number, my email address and my Choctaw Membership ID they don’t need to know anything else. Did you know that every other tribe has a voters list that is given to candidates? Why do we as the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma have to distinguish ourselves as the only tribe who refuses to release the registered voters list? We already distinguish ourselves as being the only tribe with a non-elected Chief and Assistant Chief? In addition, the voters list and the Biskinik list is used by our leadership for other purposes such as sending the update form and sending absentee ballots. In essence the voter’s list is already being distributed to leadership within the CNO but it remains unavailable to registered candidates. That doesn’t sound quite right.

Every council member who voted not to release the voters list has expressed the need to protect those who don’t want their information released. Okay what about the thousands of voters who realize they have a responsibility once they register to vote to gather all possible relevant information concerning candidates who are running against the all-powerful incumbents? Who is protecting us? Listen sisters and brothers the only council member concerned about our rights as Chahta citizens is Anthony Dillard. The rest are taking a small segment of voters and using that segment to insure their own re-elections. You men have had the upper hand for decades and you’ve used a corrupt and immoral system to better the lives of you and your own. You will be marked for replacement. We will choose, as is our right, to fire you.

This paragraph I have saved for the registered voters and for the Chahta’s who are sure to register for the upcoming election in the summer of 2015. When you register to vote you have a responsibility to open your eyes and ears and listen to those people who wish to run for office. If you are one of the few who do not want to release your contact information then don’t register because you are aiding and abiding the loss of democracy for your own Chahta people. You are assisting these men to increase their own power and instead of listening to us, the Chahta people, they begin to believe they are untouchable and that’s when we see such obvious abuse of power.

Choctaw reform committee and Choctaw Nation leadership don’t ask us to turn in our social security numbers that should already be attached to our tribal membership at the TM office. As a matter of fact, reform the entire list and bring it into the 21st Century before the 22nd Century, this means putting into place procedures for culling those who have passed away and those who have chosen to be part of another tribe. Let us be known as a tribe that saw its shortcomings and lead the way to transparent fair and unbiased elections. And for those Choctaw Councilmen who are so proud of passing some election reform but refuse to release the voters list because change takes time – you have had DECADES if you can’t get it done by now you will never get it done; plain and simple.

The following council members are not only up for re-election in 2015 but voted to not release the voter’s registration list and are marked for removal this election year unfortunately we will need to remove the additional council members next election cycle:

District #1

Thomas Williston, Idabel

District #2

Tony Messenger, Broken Bow ( not seeking re-election at this time)

District #3

Kenny Bryant, Talihina

District #5

Ron Perry, Stigler

District #8

Perry Thompson, Hugo

District #11

Bob Pate, McAlester

My people it is imperative that these men be removed from office. I cannot stress enough the need to show our elected officials what it means to ignore the majority of the very people they represent.

Chi pisa la chike,

CW (S. Crowder)

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

Halito Brothers & Sisters,

This is a time of pivotal change.  It will be written in the history of our tribal nation.  We are about to lose the inherent right of our people to govern ourselves.  I am not talking about tribal self-governance and the relationship we as a sovereign nation have with state and federal governments.  I am talking about within ourselves.  We are about to sign away our rights to leadership that is Chahta.

Who is heading this movement to remove Chahta from our government – Kalyn Free the creator of Choctaws Rising.  Does she do this out of a love for the people?  Does she do it out of some obligation to rid us of corrupt leaders?  Corruption – that’s a heavy word with all kinds of nahullo meanings.  If corruption is defined as greedy and selfish (which by the way is the definition of nahullo) then maybe everyone should be measured with the same veracity.

Ms. Free reported this excerpt on her web page Choctaw’s Rising with scathing remarks concerning Chief Batton’s integrity and his moral character.  “I felt guilty about it.” This was Chief Batton’s response when asked why he wrote $27,500 checks to charities. Chief Batton was on the stand today for nearly four hours and testified to the following: (1) Batton went an all expense paid hunting trip to NM paid for by now convicted Brent Parsons of Builder’s Steel. Two of the four on that trip have pled guilty, the third is Merida, and the fourth is Batton. It was “not a business trip.”

Parsons flew a private plane to Hugo to pick up Batton. When asked if there were any other trips, Batton said “No.”; (2) When asked if he had gone to Ft Worth, Batton remembered that he had flown yet again on Brent’s private plane, this time being picked up in Durant, to Cabela’s in Ft Worth to “buy gear” for the NM hunting trip. Brent paid for everything. Batton wasn’t asked about the dinner Batton allegedly bought for the four of them during that trip and whether he used the tribe’s credit card or his own. Perhaps Matt Silverstein can ask the Chief to answer that question? (3) Batton admitted that Parsons paid $50,000 into Pyle’s campaign fund to have a private dinner at a fancy restaurant in Tulsa with Pyle and Batton;…”

In 2004 Kalyn Free made an unsuccessful bid for the United States Congress.  She blames much of this loss on then Chief Greg Pyle who didn’t support her in the democratic primary.  As part of the public record which can be accessed at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqsdocsMUR/28044212013.pdf Kalyn Free was found guilty of violating several federal campaign laws (see page 7 for a listing).  You will also see her signature acknowledging she stole money from her federal campaign for Congress.  http://eqs.fec.gov/eqsdocsMUR/28044211963.pdf

As you can see Ms. Free committed the following federal violations during and after her 2004 campaign:

  1. Accepted a lump sum of $15,000.00 from campaign funds AFTER the loss
  2. Accepted a lump sum of $30,000 from campaign funds AFTER the loss
  3. Set up an accounting system to pay her an advance AFTER the loss
  4. Did not report the monies paid as a debt thereby nullifying the monies as a loan

The above were violations of USC 2 Improper Use of Federal Campaign Dollars for Personal Use.  All told the monies added up to almost $50,000.00 the same amount she is so outraged by in the above reference post on Choctaws Rising.

My question is this why does she want to remove the blood quantum restrictions? She has no interest in running for Chief?  However, she does have interest in acting as the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma legal counsel as she currently does for the Cherokee, or so she says.  As a person who often quotes what the Chahta Chief and Council are being paid I think you will be delighted to know the Cherokee Nation Executive Branch (which is basically the Chief) pays Ms. Free some $275,000 per/year.  Her first year with the Cherokees she made more than half a million dollars in nine months and the Tribal Council voted to forbid any one not Cherokee from being Chief Counsel, this was targeted directly at her.  So she changed her title and moved her invoices over to the Cherokee Nation Businesses where it is not available for public review and denies FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests from the Council.  She’s taken more than a million from the Cherokees in less than four years by instigating the removal of blood quantum and greatly helping Bill John Baker 1/164th Cherokee become the current Cherokee Chief.  Is this what our people want, a Chief that is 1/164th?

I think what really affects me concerning these revelations is how powerfully and with ease she throws stones in her own glass house.  Tell us Ms. Free after breaking federal campaign laws did you give that amount to charity, because Chief Batton broke not one federal campaign law, as a matter of fact, he did not break any law and yet he gave the money to charity.  This Chief as Assistant Chief began the very process that brought the illegal activities to light. You signed the above referenced documents in federal court admitting your guilt and yet you call for campaign reform?  These reforms were discussed and created, written and re-written long before you or I ever started our separate efforts to change the CNO.  Yes the amendments were discussed except for removal of the blood quantum requirement YOU insisted on that little change.

Did you feel bad? Did you track down who donated that money for your own campaign and pay it back to them?  Or did you pay back the Federal Government and call it a day after you were caught?  You demand so many answers from Chief Batton how about providing some answers to your own actions?  At the end of the day Ms. Free I want to know do the Cherokee people welcome you with open arms or do they keep asking themselves how you managed to ingrain yourself into their nation at more than one million dollars a year.

Chahta people we have so much to do to make change but signing our Chahta away is not one of them.

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 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

Halito Sisters and Brothers,

It angers me today the thought of once again having the FBI go through our government and weed out our own corrupt leadership. Why can’t we, as Chahta people, do this? Is it naïve of me to think that our people are smart enough, diligent enough and have enough integrity to rid ourselves of the greediness and arrogance on our own?

Let’s go into why we can’t. Our foundation of laws, the Choctaw Constitution has been weak for 181 years. A constitution that served are ancestors in 1831 is not going to serve us well now. A constitution whose amendments have been altered to fit the pockets of leadership willing to swell their own bank accounts at the expense of our children and elders is not going to serve us well now. The lack of compassion to our people who need it most disgusts me.

This new Miko, Gary Batton, is unwilling to give up any of his power. He is unwilling to change the constitution and is very laid back and easy going about it. He may be justifying it to himself as he knows what’s best. Is this the same justification used by Roberts and Pyle? Oh I’m sure it is. How else could any of them sleep at night. He must go. PERIOD. This is our opportunity to make change and he stands in the way. He represents a regime filled with sexual abuse, corruption, greediness, fraud and lies. The worst part is he sees no need for change so what does that say about him? It says everything we need to know.

So what should a Chahta Miko look like? He should be Chahta. He should put our people above the corporation. He should know this is a family business not a corporation. He should give a good deal of his power back to the people. He should be for term limits and balancing the constitution. He should give greater opportunities for representation outside of the Chahta boundaries. He should give a portion of his power back to an uncorrupt council. Where is this man???? OR Where is this woman??? To find this person does it mean we have to drop the residency requirement? Because I’m telling you right now I do not, nor will I ever, support dropping the blood quantum requirement for elected officials. In my mind and in my heart I believe all tribal entities should be operated by tribal members.

We need to find our next Miko my people. We need to find her/him and we need to exercise our right to vote because it’s been taken away from us way too long by the current administration. THE FBI DOES NOT NEED TO CLEAN UP THIS MESS! IT IS OUR MESS AND IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE OUR POWER BACK AND CLEAN IT UP WITHIN OUR OWN FAMILY!

Yakoke,
CW

My Chahta Family,

Today the Choctaw Voting Block has logged in 49,197 views since it’s inception.  I remember Susan Stockton said our little blog wouldn’t last a month and all of this would blow over in a year.  I don’t think the Nahullo’s that run the CNO realize what it means to answer to the people.  I know she certainly doesn’t.

What have we seen since the inception?  Well, we have seen Greg Pyle step down and give the reins to Gary Batton (without our consent or a vote), we have seen the indictments of many high ranking nahullo’s within the CNO be indicted by the FBI and the IRS Criminal Division, we have seen a council candidate win the absentee vote yet lose the election, we have seen groups of Chahta exercising their rights to free speech such as Eaglemanz Blog (Ben Carnes), Choctaws Rising (Kalyn Free) and of course Choctaw Voting Block.

We have seen our people sharing their stories on this blog.  They have spoken about lack of adequate descent housing for our elders, we have heard about YEARS on waiting lists for trailer homes, we have heard about the lack of available dentures, help for orphaned Chahta children, assistance for parents desperate to get their kids back, we have heard about illegal working conditions and discrimination toward Chahta tribal members within our own government, we have heard about degreed Chahta working menial jobs, we have heard about corruption that reaches so far I am ashamed to write about it.  What do you think my people when you see the millionaires who run our nation?  They aren’t millionaires because they are self made businessmen they are millionaires because there were millions coming in by the truck load and it had to go somewhere.  So let’s give the people a little and we will take A LOT – so say the ones in power.  Someday I plan to write about comparable salaries in corporations and see how these ticks compare to, I hate to say it, Corporate America.

The services we do have are shallow and like a dusting of care for appearances sake.  However, you Chahta who are working to help other Chahta just by doing what you do every day with little budget don’t think you aren’t appreciated because you are.  A kind word on a phone can sometimes mean the world to someone who has lost a loved one and needs burial assistance.  Those kind words are what and who we are.  It keeps us banded together despite the corruption and greed that have infiltrated the upper levels of our house.

I recently read a post about a young man who was angry that his grandfather made too much money on his small retirement income to receive assistance for much needed renovations for his house.  If there are income guidelines then it’s probably federal monies which means it’s not tribal dollars (I am purely guessing here) so where is the tribal money spent?  It’s a big question and could be asked on so many different levels.  Really, forensic audits are needed and I guess that’s where the IRS Criminal Division comes in.

Our people, our children deserve so much better than this.  The things our children could do if given all the opportunities made possible by money.  Our elders could have clean sturdy homes and still live in the mini mother-land.  I say this because in far eastern Chahta country in the beautiful Kiamichi and Ouachita Mountains our people live in some of the poorest conditions in the U.S. all because they don’t want to leave their families who have been there for generations, since removal.  Ben Carnes said it best when he expressed the joy in his heart when he found out, after years of living away from home, that his extended family still had a bit of allotment land.  He now lives there with his family.  We have a connection to our land and our ancestors.  No matter how much the current administration would like to move on and leave the past in the past we are connected because we are Indian people and our people died by the thousands traveling to these Western Choctaw lands. Sometimes, when I go to those areas to walk I imagine our people and how it must have looked to them.  They were sick and starving but they had finally made it.  I don’t know why but I become very emotional because even to just imagine it fills me with sorrow.  Those brothers and sisters who live away from our Western homelands – someday you should come here and walk through the mountains and feel the connection.  I am not talking about Labor Day I am talking about the quiet of our ancestral lands.  You will be touched as well.

I hope the CVB blog will hit 50,000 views because our people need to know what is happening and they need to exercise their rights to make change.  Not in 40 plus years have we, as Chahta people, been so close to revolution.  So you see Miko Batton you could be the one to make change if you so choose.  Wouldn’t that be a powerful legacy to leave your descendants?  Your own family?  You could balance the system, you could make the entire nation transparent, you could take the money out of the elections, you could turn the tribal paper into a true balance of information for our citizens, you could open up our elections and welcome differing points of view, you could purge our government of the ticks and fleas and you could start with term limits.  It is within your power and that is the only way by which to measure whether you are any different than Roberts or Pyle.  This blog may slow but it won’t go away until the Chahta are once again empowered within our own nation.

For my Chahta Family,

CW

Halito Brothers and Sisters,

We all have friends we wouldn’t trade for any price, at least I hope we do.  But what if the price was millions of our Chahta people’s inheritance?  Inheritance in the sense that it is OUR sovereignty that has made many CNO executives wealthy.  Wealth – while so many of our people struggle to pay medical bills, mortgages, car loans (still no tag).  Jason Merida is one such executive and is currently facing charges in a federal court in Muskogee.  http://newsok.com/indictment-of-former-choctaw-nation-official-says-embezzled-funds-went-for-trips-breast-augmentation/article/3945720

How many of you can afford to use grandmothers money to buy yourself or your wife new breasts?  How many of you can afford to go on a big game hunt in New Mexico even after the investigation had found embezzlement a certainty?  Oh the picture to the far left is our Chief.  The man on the far right allegedly stole millions from our people.

ImageImageImage

ANONYMOUS SOURCE:

“Hunting trip with Jason Merida
2010
PUEBLO OF ACOMA
BIG GAME TROPHY HUNT
NEW MEXICO
Had heard he paid for his trip AFTER the investigation began….don’t know why we haven’t read about him in the papers. Can’t rob a bank & give the money back..& say “I didn’t know it was wrong.”
 
So here we are again Chahta people, here we are again.  My hopes for this Chief have never been very high but they are waning even as I type. For those of us who breathed a sigh of relief because he took in Chahta children, better hold your breath again.  For those of us who drank the kool-aid because he plays stickball and signed a petition concerning the oil pipeline – you better look again. 
 
I know I have said this time and time again but until we have a Chief who will change the election process and who will support a balanced constitution we might as well bring in a mafia boss because that’s what we have. 
 
I can’t speak for you but I care enough for you to say, I’m ready to put my signature on a petition.  Are you?
 
With sadness and disgust,
CW