Gary Fife/Radio Communications
New State cabinet member; politicians, artwork; omission?; Little League
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Did you miss me at the start of the month?
It was my turn to get the head cold that went around our office and I just didn’t feel like doing much of anything, especially use any cerebral processes. My head was too miserable to write. (Cue the punch lines!)
Mid-February and some of this stuff will be just a touch dated, so please bear with me.
The new Oklahoma Governor, Kevin Stitt, has named his new Secretary of State for Indian Affairs, Lisa Billy, a Chickasaw. This is the same woman most of you have seen on the Chickasaw commercials on TV. She has served in her tribal and the State Legislature, so she’s got some time in politics and as a ranking Republican in the Legislature from 2004 to 2016.
From my observations and reading an old annual report, that post in the Governor’s (Falllin’s) Cabinet shows not much has come from the position. There haven’t been any announcements from the last guy that I’ve seen. His predecessor didn’t do much and according to her Annual Report she only reported accomplishing one thing and that was for her own tribe. She later became Chair for the tribe, according to her Facebook page.
So, with those kinds of records for this Governor’s staff member, I have to be skeptical about anything coming out of this new Secretary. Of course, time will tell. We’ll see.
In other political news, two Native American women won election to the U.S. Congress in the last election. Deb Haalland, a Laguna Pueblo member, from New Mexico and Sharice Davids, a Ho-Chunk, tribal member from Kansas has been sworn in.
Both are from districts with small Native American populations. Their messages make note that they will be serving all constituents, not just Native people. Good Luck to them.
While we’re out in New Mexico, the feds have busted two guys for importing and selling Filipino produced “goods” and selling them as produced by Native Americans.
Up North, Alaska Native artists have been suffering problems with the sale of their artwork on Facebook. The social media outlet says it will not allow the sale of art with animal parts and have blocked these Native websites. Alaska Native artists have used such materials for dozens of decades as an essential part of their economy. In most cases, they are the only people allowed to make these things, and that’s under Federal law.
O.K., now for a downer, and this one may get my tail into hot water.
Have you noticed that the Muscogee (Creek) Attorney General’s Office had filed charges for theft of Nation’s funds, program income or other federal funds against four former and current employees?
I’m sure that the tribal court system will deal with them in their procedures, but the official tribal sources have not said anything but that the Principal Chief will not comment on personnel matters. Does it make you wonder?
O.K., now to wrap this up with a somewhat more pleasant note. The National Congress of American Indians reports that Little League International has decided, “to institute a new official policy in its 2019 Rulebook prohibiting the use of “racially insensitive, derogatory or discriminatory” team names and mascots.”
According to NCAI, that includes “offensive Native “themed” names and mascots that cause significant harm to Native people.
That’s a good place to start, but when I called, the Little League folks said they didn’t want to do an interview.
Hvtvm cerecares—I’ll heal up and see you again and this time at the regular of the first of the month.
(This article is an expression of my own opinions and does not represent Mvskoke Media or the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.