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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,

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 morning Sisters and Brothers,

If you have not “friended” Choctaw Wright on Facebook you are missing out on many good conversations discussing the topics posted to this blog.  Here is an example concerning the post “Felons”:

DM:  Most often, CN does not hire Chahta felons. There are non-Chahta felons currently employed for CN. Also, there are numerous employed that were never prosecuted in any court of law that have commited viscious felonies, ranging from grand theft to hate crimes. If you are connected powerfully, you live lawlessly because you are politicaly exempt. This must change.

SS:  It’s not just CN! It’s everywhere . BUT, that person must want to change and make better. I know this, I’m an ex felon , did a six year sentence for gangs and havin a gun on school property in 96, now I work at the (deleted to protect SS) of the Choctaw Nation as a mentor coordinator. So don’t say you can’t work for the nation. O, and I did get a college degree since I been out.

Choctaw Wright:  Stanley, I commend you brother and you are exactly what I am talking about.  Now, I don’t know how long or how you got your position but the official policy is “no hiring felons” and I know many Chahta’s who haven’t been as lucky as you.  You are right, the person must want a good productive life and you are doing such good work – that is why I say you are the example I would give for the argument of getting rid of the policy especially since the policy is followed in some cases and not in others.  As a matter of fact, a person with your background and your experiences is the best one for the position you are in.  Good for you Stan.

DM Yakoke sister for saying what others are too intimidated or scared to say.  And I know you have been in positions across the nation to have seen much.  You are right it’s time for change.  It’s time to give everyone the same opportunities as SS.  It’s time our leaders become pro-Chahta across the board.

Readers, if you can join us on Facebook as a friend of Choctaw Wright that would be great.  If you could tell your friends and family to do the same that would be even better.  We look forward to meeting you via Facebook!

Yakoke,

MW/CW