Saturday, April 29, 2017

Shane Jett for Tribal Council - At Large


It is my honor to endorse Shane Jett for Cherokee Tribal Council - At Large. I believe he has the knowledge, experience, and passion to serve and represent the At Large population as well as benefit the Cherokee Nation as a whole.

With the election of the new US President, everyone in Indian Country is unsure of our future. Because of that, I believe it is in our best interest, as a tribe, to become as financially independent as possible. Shane Jett brings a wealth of business experience and knowledge to the table which will help the Cherokee Nation both now and in the years to come.

The At Large Cherokee population is diverse, large, and located throughout the United States. We need a council person who not only understands the diversity of our population, but who also has the energy to reach out and listen to all of the Cherokee Nation citizens he or she represents. I believe Shane Jett has the desire and energy to do that. I have communicated with him many times during the last two years and he's always been prompt in responding to my messages and he has worked tirelessly to help me when I needed it.

Many in the At Large population feel a huge divide between ourselves and those Cherokees who live "at home" in the fourteen county jurisdictional area. Shane Jett has expressed the intent to build a figurative bridge between the two populations of Cherokees in an effort to establish a truly unified Cherokee Nation. As a strong proponent of healing the divisions that exist in our Nation, I believe this is one of the most important things an At Large council person can work toward for us. Shane Jett wants each At Large Cherokee, no matter what they look like, what their blood quantum is, or where they live to know they belong. That shows he understands us and that understanding matters when selecting who will represent us. We need a representative who understands us.

I hope you will join me in supporting Shane Jett for Tribal Council - At Large. Though we have some very good candidates to choose from, in my humble opinion, Shane Jett is clearly the one we need to take our voice to the council table in 2017.

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Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.







copyright 2017, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cherokee Nation At Large Candidate Town Hall hosted by COCA - April 11, 2017

For those of you who were unable to watch the Cherokee Nation At Large Candidate Town Hall hosted by the Central Oklahoma Cherokee Alliance last night, you can watch it in the video below or at the link that follows it.

The Central Oklahoma Cherokee Alliance did an excellent job hosting the forum for our At Large candidates and the candidates who participated did a great job of letting us know where they stand on various issues as well as allowing us to get to know them. This is a must see for all At Large voters.

Left to right, the candidates are: Rocky Miller, Linda Leaf-Bolin, Jay Neugin, Mary Baker Shaw, and Shane Jett.




Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.








copyright 2017, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Cherokee Nation Constitution, Election Law, and Who Can Run for Tribal Council

In 1869, an agreement was made between a group of Shawnees and the Cherokee Nation. Under that agreement, "the said Shawnees shall be incorporated into and ever after remain part of the Cherokee Nation, on equal terms in every respect, and with all the privileges and immunities of native citizens of the said Cherokee Nation;..." [emphasis mine] Years later, those Shawnees and their descendants were included in the Cherokee Nation citizenry and listed on the Final Dawes Rolls as Cherokee by blood.
 
Randy White, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation who descends from Rebecca Rogers, an adopted Shawnee (Dawes Cherokee by blood #27575) and Thomas White, an adopted Shawnee/Delaware (Dawes Cherokee by blood #10293) , filed to run for a seat on the Cherokee Nation tribal council. His eligibility to run for council was then challenged based on the incorrect assumption that our Constitution requires all candidates to be "Cherokee by blood."


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The Constitution does not require candidates to be "Cherokee by blood". Instead, it requires candidates to be a "citizen by blood."


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Section 31.A.1 of Title 26 of the Cherokee Nation Code Annotated also requires a candidate be a "citizen by blood."


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Based on those sections of our Constitution and Election Law (despite the fact neither say one must be "Cherokee by blood" to run for council) along with the nearly eleven year old Lucy Allen case decision, the Election Commission ruled Randy White is not eligible to run for council because he is not "Cherokee by blood."

According to an article in the Cherokee Phoenix, there was a great deal of emphasis put on the decision made in the Lucy Allen case, but there was no mention of another important section of our CURRENT law.

Section 36.2.A of Title 26 of the Cherokee Nation Code Annotated says:
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That section of our law is critical in the evaluation of the term "citizen by blood". It says in order to file to run for office, a person must show proof of "citizenship by INDIAN blood".

The requirements to run for tribal council are plainly stated in the current Election Law. There is no reason to go back to a previous court decision (the Lucy Allen decision) when our current law answers the question posed to the Election Commission. The law says a person must show proof of Indian blood and be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation to run for an elective office.

Randy White followed the law. Nowhere in that law does it say he had to show proof of citizenship by "Cherokee" blood. Instead, it says he had to show proof of citizenship by Indian blood. He did that. I'm no lawyer, but it seems clear that he is eligible to run for tribal council.

If the founders intended for the Constitution to require people to be "Cherokee by blood" in order to run for tribal council, they would have said it. They did not say it. If the tribal council intended for the law to say a candidate had to show proof of citizenship by "Cherokee blood", they would have said it. They did not say it. The simple language of the law says any Indian citizen of the Cherokee Nation can run for tribal council.

Despite the fact most of us are not District 11 voters, are not of Shawnee descent, and do not know Randy White, we should all be concerned about protecting his legal right to run for tribal council. This is about something bigger than one district, a lineage, and who we know. This is about ensuring that we have a fair election that follows our laws and without the perception of impropriety.

Randy White plans to file an appeal on Monday morning. This case will go to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. Hopefully the Court will carefully review the information and make a fair and just decision based on the current laws of the Cherokee Nation.

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.
 







copyright 2017, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB