Editor’s Note – Responses from legislative candidates appear exactly as they were submitted without editing for content or style.
District 10 Candidates
At this time there are a lot of topics that should be mentioned. Let’s start with
the 208 million dollars of American Rescue Plan Act funds that we will have to
spend or be returned. The tribe has plans for all 100% of the ARPA funds along with
other tribal monies to start these projects in Shawnee which consists of a new casino,
gas station and convenient store travel plaza, and a hotel.
Also based on the Tribal population of 36,315 members (enrolled by February 1, 2021 as set by U.S Treasury), the tribe still have approximately 6 to 7 million dollars to disperse out of the $50,841.00.
With our roads monies we will be able to widen Hardesty road which has been so badly needed for some time.
Sovereign Pipe Technology is a Poly pipe operation that we have (1) one line in operation with another (3) three lines hopefully in the near future. This is the
type of business that we will need to increase our revenue streams to generate more cash flows.
We are looking forward to getting our Columbarium ready to store and display urns for our membership later this summer or early fall. Vice Chairman Capps and I have visited numerous times about establishing a Veteran Memorial on Tribal Trust land, still a work-in-progress.
The issue of voting comes up all the time and how to get more membership participation. To have a say in our tribe, you need to exercise your precious vote and get involved.
It has been a great privilege and a continued hope to address any topic that you (our membership) have sent my way. Listening to your needs will not fall on deaf ears, as I have experienced in the past that some will like the solution to their requests while
others the request is not doable at the time.
Many of you have reached out and offered to support my campaign, I thank you and ask only for your vote and bring your family to vote as well. At Festival, we reunite with friends and family, we sing, drum, dance, play games. eat brats n burgers…and VOTE.
Our elected leadership has written about our lack of participation. Apathy runs rampant. We have done many things right, yet this problem has affected our tribe for years. We can fix it.
I have talked with many younger members; they are very apathetic. They don’t relate to our elected leadership. They communicate via social media. They want jobs that are meaningful. They want to identify and learn to be Potawatomi. They want Culture. They want education. I have heard you.
I have talked with many older tribal members; they feel their voice isn’t being heard. They want change. They want more elder housing and access to assisted living housing. They want to see more Potawatomi employed by our Tribe. They want the next generation to step up, participate, lead and care for them. I have Listened.
I have talked with several veterans; we would like to see our veterans group reorganize and focus more on our cultural identity as Native veterans. I agree.
We want District meetings for Oklahoma members with our Legislators. We want to communicate. We want jobs and We want to see Potawatomi in those jobs. We want more access to Language and Cultural Classes. We want accountability and transparency. We want change in small increments. I want what you want.
I promise, I will bridge the generational gap, be a mentor, be a teacher, be a Leader you relate to and can communicate with, and your voice will be heard.
I will serve you with Love, Respect, Bravery, Truth, Honesty, Humility and Wisdom.
Migwetch, please vote.
District 11 Candidates
This is our final statement to the Tribe concerning our qualifications for District 11
Legislator. I believe it has been a good campaign with no mudslinging or contemptuous
statements. Your job, as voters is to look hard at the two of us. Study our words. Examine our actions. Search our hearts. And then decide which of us you wish
to hold the Office. “Legislator” is hard to define. In the dominate cultures politics, the position is considered one of controversy and violent debate. In our culture the position is one of helping and advocating for our fellow tribal members in their lives, facilitating their interactions with the Tribe. We may review budgets, develop plans, consider enrollments, and allocate some funding, but we do not control the budget. We have nothing to do with the investments made and only in meetings will we decide on the grants applied for and amounts. Truly, the position of Legislator for the Potawatomi Nation is one of caring for and assisting others. Another Legislator once told me that “we” were more like social workers. I can agree with that. Over the last years, with the COVID epidemic, we spent a lot of time deciding on programs and issues dealing with funding for Tribal members and programs. After the recent storms I spent time calling those members I could locate to assure they were well and un-harmed. Last weekend, while on vacation, I helped a family locate a lost family member. To be an effective Legislator, one must be a caring person. Money, although important, does not make this a Tribe. People do. And it is our duty to see to and help those members seeking assistance. So, in closing, let me say again, I care about this Tribe and its people. I would appreciate our vote.
Time goes by so quickly. As I look back, I wonder did I use this time wisely? Did I make a positive impact? Did I change a process or thought that benefits one or another?
I want to start my last Q&A for this election cycle by saying that I truly appreciate the executive branch, the legislative branch, the workforce that runs this Nation, and all the people that have taken time to make an impact. I’ve seen so much passion from so many, and I want to let you know that it matters. As we move forward, just remember that kindness avails. You make a difference. Sometimes we may not see it or realize it, but someone does.
We have been faced with so much over the last few months on a personal level, as family, and as a Nation. I know some are fighting to survive, some are fighting to feed their families, some are fighting to save and rebuild their homes, and some are wondering why. I can tell you we will make it through this together and when
we come through this together, we will be stronger.
I challenge you to focus on the good and prepare for the future. Prepare for the generations to come. Once elected as your District 11 Legislative Representative, I will focus on our future, our survival, our culture, and our economic prosperity.