In addition to the annual Tribal budget, Citizen Potawatomi voters will cast ballots for three competitive races for Oklahoma’s at-large legislative seats this June. The Hownikan asked the candidates about their backgrounds and reasons for running for Tribal office.

David Barrett (incumbent)

What makes your platform or candidacy differ from your fellow district candidate?

“From longevity of being involved with the seniors, veterans, CPN enterprises, and Potawatomi people, I have gained vast knowledge and experience on how the Tribe works. Listening to people within the Tribe, I understand some of the problems or improvements needed. My sticklers for details (Financial Controller days) should bring comfort to our Nation along with having the reputation of not being a ‘Yes man’ and knowing that questions will be asked from me.”

Candidate closing statement.

“Running for office again is my wish for our Potawatomi people. Our ancestry’s history has proven our people will not give up under adversity. Having a Potawatomi heart, my desire to serve our great Nation and its members is without a doubt the greatest honor that can be granted to me. Over 12 years, it has been and will continue to be a privilege to represent you as a legislator.

“Looking at the past when our forefathers (with all the struggles that they endured) were able to keep the fire burning for us. Therefore it’s like a marathon relay race, now that we are in receipt of that fire, we are (the Keepers of the Fire) Potawatomi and will need to advance it to our next generation. By serving the Nation in different capacities, I feel that I have had a part of continuing our flight for our future generations.

“Representing our great Veterans, I have been truly blessed and honored to be a part of our Nation’s heroes. Being involved in the Citizen Potawatomi Veteran Color Guard allows the entire Nation to see the pride of our veterans when we participate in events over the state by bringing in the colors. Native Americans revere their veterans and likewise so do we.

“Looking out and seeking excellence for our Potawatomi people are always foremost in my mind. I will not take this privilege representing the Potawatomi people and our veterans for granted.

“I would appreciate your vote.

Migwetch (Thank you).”

Norman Brasfield (challenger)

What makes your platform or candidacy differ from your fellow district candidate?

“My platform is one of transparency and member involvement. Simply put, I want Tribal members to be more active and have a voice in Tribal matters. The greatest asset our Tribe has is its members, their participation is invaluable for our future success.”

Candidate closing statement.

“At birth we are gifted with life and allocated a specific amount of time. The clock begins with our first breath and we never see the Creator’s ‘confidential’ balance sheet. Spending this precious gift is an individual choice; I value the expenditure of your limited time as priceless.

“I am running for Tribal legislator in an attempt to give back to the Tribe. It was through Tribal assistance programs that I was able to go to college and gain the education that qualifies for this position.

“My candidacy has taught me that we have no effective way of reaching out to one another. In a world of technology our only medium to spread our agendas has been the Tribal newspaper. If elected one of my objectives will be to expand the communication outlets of the Tribe and work towards bringing members together. There is an idiom that says ‘two heads are better than one’ this essentially means that more can be accomplished by working together than by going it alone. I am sure that we have Tribal members who have great ideas on how to make the Tribe better and more successful. If we all work together we can make the Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation even greater than it is today.

“In parting, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes. ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far go together.’ Please vote for me so that we may go far together.”