OKMULGEE, Okla. —Well, we are still at it, although things seemed to be turned up a notch or two.
Governor Kevin Stitt is still whining about tribal sovereignty and fears tribes will be turning eastern Oklahoma into a reservation. He needs to remember a thing or two.
One, legally it already is a reservation, and two, he needs to examine why he “fears” it. He has only been causing trouble for himself.
Maybe he should fear the fact that he keeps losing the fights and in the process, creating some really bad feelings. The latest loss has been in the area of education. The Oklahoma Voice reports that the legislature has removed his control over appointments to the Oklahoma Advisory Council on Indian Education. This board has control over the curricula and support that goes to Indian students. This could come into direct conflict with Education Superintendent Ryan Walters. He wants to make major changes to state school curricula in a more conservative direction, perhaps an educational “Taliban.”
Tribal leadership is making their voices heard. In recent publications, Muscogee Principal Chief David Hill used the phrase, “Your remarks represent a new low, even for someone who has developed a pattern of baseless hostility towards tribes in Oklahoma and require correction for the public record.”
Cherokee Principal Chief Chuck Hoskins made a response to an address by the Governor to the Regional Chamber of Commerce. Chief Hoskins said “…the Governor showed blatant hostility toward tribal sovereignty.”
And… to keep things rolling… both tribal leaders have expressed strong disappointment in Stitt’s recent appointment of Wes Nofire as his latest Oklahoma Tribal Liaison. Nofire has been a public opponent of tribal sovereignty. The Oklahoma Tribal Liaison position has never been effective. Of the three appointments Stitt made, two never produced anything, and the third resigned.
Now for something else, CBS Sports and other outlets report that the Native American Guardians’ Association is pushing an effort and petitioning to change the name of the Washington football team (once known as the R-Skins) from its current name, the Commanders, to the old name. That name had been called offensive by many national Native groups and tribal members. The current owners of the sports franchise say the team will not be switching back to the R-Skins.
In a news article by the international news organization, CNN they studied a report by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, which stated Native children have been sent to over 500 boarding schools in the United States. The Native group states that is more than the U.S. Department of the Interior reported in 2022. Their list includes both schools that are currently open and some that have been closed. According to CNN, the department report stated 19 schools had accounted for more that 500 Native children who died while in those institutions.
Fox News reported a Native American gun shop owner said his sales of firearms to Native women is growing. Joe Talachy (Pojoaque Pueblo), owner of Indigenous Arms in New Mexico said a motto he credits for the increased sales is “No one is coming to save you.” He also teaches gun safety classes, and added that attendance has grown.
The big Hollywood movie about the Osage oil land murders has finally announced a local date for its showing. “Killers of the Flower Moon” will screen at Tulsa’s Circle Cinema starting Oct. 20 and will run for six days.
Primary election time is in the past. Now, we’ll find out who will be battling for control of Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Wondering what our Poet Laureate (emeritus) Joy Harjo has been up to since retiring from her national role? Not sure, but probably her usual role as a symbol of Mvskoke pride and accomplishment, but also sharing her talent and skills with our younger generations. Harjo was the featured speaker and reader at the recent “Joy of Reading” Indigenous Readers Event mid-September. It was aimed at students in Pre-k to the 12th grade. Nice to hear of such events.
Getting ready for the coming Fall (Rvfo Hakke) and Winter (Rvfo)? Maybe they will be unusual seasons and be colder or wetter? Maybe the Governor will back off and hell will freeze over?
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation or Mvskoke Media.