Archives for posts with tag: McAlester

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)

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