June 23, 2016
Letter to the Editor
RE: The article in the June 17, 2016 – Return of the “Living Legends” Okmulgee Times.
BEGGS, Okla. — As the article stated, Principal Chief A.D. Ellis created the “Living Legends” Ceremony during the 2005 Festival and continued the ceremony through 2011, the final year of his second term as principal chief.
During Chief Ellis’ administration, a representative from each department of the Nation would read recommendations from Creek people concerning their choice of a “Living Legend.” Each department had one vote for the citizen they felt should be honored.
It is good to see the “Living Legends” returning to the Nation. The chief after Chief Ellis dissolved the “Living Legends” Ceremony and replaced it with “The Hall of Fame Gala” where tuxedos, strapless gowns or traditional clothing was required. In 2012 attendance was set at fee of $250 per plate, or for $10,000 you could purchase a table and be given 30 minutes of talk time with the chief and second chief. It didn’t quite seem like the traditional “Mvskoke Way.”
Chief A.D. Ellis
Served eight years representing the Okmulgee District on the National Council and four years as second chief during Chief Beaver’s administration.
Was elected principal chief in 2003 during the primary election (never in the history of MCN elections had or has this been done) and was reelected in 2007 for his second term.
The following are just a few accomplishments during Chief Ellis’ Administration:
Mvskoke Dome (where the “Living Legends” Ceremony was held
College of the Mvskoke Nation
Purchase of the historic Council House in downtown Okmulgee.
Completion of the River Spirit Casino.
Southwest Regional Center
Attorney General building
Minimum wage for tribal employees raised to $10 per hour.
Resurgence of the Festival parade.
Annual Mekkos meetings
Annual church meetings
Creation of the secretary of the Nation position.
Elderly housing built
Transit system created
Housing Authority under the direction of the Tribe not HUD
Interaction with the City of Okmulgee with the help of Mike Flud.
All gaming revenue from all casinos in the boundaries of the Nation returned to the tribal treasury for all citizens.
Maintained a transparent government with any information from his office or the National Council for all citizens to see.
Always had an “Open Door” policy and would see all who asked to see him, without them having to explain why they wanted to see the chief and without going through an entourage of employees.
With much respect, ever failed to send invitations to former Chief Beaver and his wife Mariam to all groundbreakings, grand-opening events, shows at the Event Center and even the birthday celebration that was on the same date. Respect is a lost commodity in the Nation.
He honored elders with a “Birthday Certificate” from the Office of the Principal Chief.
He participated in the JOM Challenge Bowls for the youth.
Truly a chief for all citizens of Mvskoke Nation.
Chief A.D. Ellis – is a Living Legend