What does it mean to you to be a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation?
“My citizenship is very special to me. It is simultaneously a link to the past and a glimpse of possibilities of the future. We are all family, connected by a common past experience. We are over thirty thousand in membership – and growing. I am excited to collaborate with my growing District 8 membership in a range of efforts to further revive our culture and ensure we have something tangible to share with future generations.”
In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge facing the tribe?
“The greatest challenge facing the Nation is without hesitation tribal sovereignty. The City of Shawnee’s attempt to assert themselves over us regarding tax collection on our land is just the latest attempt of a third party trying to take what the Potawatomi people have built. It happened in Indiana, Kansas and Indian Country.”
Looking back at your time in office, what are you most proud of?
“I am the most proud of the community that has been built in District 8. People feel more connected now than in the past and there is a sense that information is flowing better than before. I can only take part of the credit as people are reaching out to each other in gatherings and on the internet. Talented people living in the district have offered their gifts and taught others what they know. It’s been great to see members getting to know each other.”
If you win the election, what are your plans for the upcoming session?
“My goal in the upcoming session is to provide the Nation with every resource needed to prevail in the tax battle with the City of Shawnee. This would include the necessary funding to do whatever is needed in the upcoming budget. This is not an issue that will be decided in 2015 and then go away. This attack on the Nation could have generational impact, therefore, the significance of the outcome cannot be overstated.”