When I decided to run for Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, my goal was to return the Tribe to the Cherokee people as well as continue my personal service to our shared community.
The Cherokee people deserve genuine leadership focused on our Tribal sovereignty and Cherokee families. The current administration is distracted by spending Tribal money to enrich his personal friends at the same time intimidating employees and vendors wanting to participate in the election process and ignoring our Tribal citizen’s basic needs such as Tribal citizenship papers, health care and housing.
In less than four years, the Cherokee Nation has lost our national leadership role in transparency, language preservation, culture, housing, business and basic government services. Cherokee voters need to be aware of the reality in Tahlequah and vote for individuals based on qualifications and not on personality, personal gain or empty campaign promises.
After much prayer, discussion with my family and a thorough review of the circumstances, I have come to a heart wrenching business decision. The best way for me to serve the Cherokee people and meet my original goal of an improved Cherokee Nation is to work with others who share my vision.
Historically, we as Cherokees have inherently valued working together for the good of the community as a whole. Gadugi (Working together) sustained us through our most difficult times as a Nation and enabled us to prosper in the face of adversity.
With these values in mind, I announce today I will not seek the office of Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. My personal vote and endorsement goes to a proven Cherokee leader who I have worked with for more than a decade through good and bad: Chad Smith.
Many of you know Chief Chad Smith and I share common policy perspectives such as defending our children and families by fully implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act, aggressively addressing the revitalization of our language and culture, providing a safe workplace for employees free of harassment and threats and addressing the educational needs of the Youth.
I have asked Chief Smith to take up the challenge of helping every Cherokee family achieve home ownership, educating our youth and adults for the workforce of tomorrow, ensuring no Cherokee ever dies of cancer because a phone call or email was not returned and guaranteeing our children and grandchildren’s Tribal Citizenship applications should take no longer than six months.
I am asking each of you to stand up for Cherokee families by electing Chad Smith Principal Chief on June 27.
To my supporters and donors, you have my heartfelt thanks. Your generosity and kindness means more to me and my family than you may possibly ever know. Serving the Cherokee people and especially our Cherokee youth has been a significant part of my life’s work, which I will continue as I did before elected office.
Cara Cowan Watts
Chad Smith Campaign
P.O. Box 64
Park Hill, OK. 74451
Copyright © 2015 Cara Cowan Watts for Chief 2015, All rights reserved.