Thursday, May 28, 2015

Candidate Q&A - Will Fourkiller, Principal Chief Candidate

Fourkiller speaking at little Kansas

Message from Will Fourkiller:

I am a man of faith, and my decision to run for chief was after much prayer.  Our Cherokee communities many times revolve around places of worship; where they enjoy fellowship, spiritual revival and often times a good traditional meal.  I propose to institute a faith based grant program to help churches and traditional stomp grounds continue to serve their people to help maintain the culture of the Cherokee churches where our beautiful Cherokee hymns are sung, and traditional culture is practiced.  I believe a community grows stronger when there is an element of spiritual growth involved.  

I want to thank Twila Barnes for allowing me to comment and express my stance on a few important issues that affect Our Nation.  I look forward to meeting as many citizens as possible before the upcoming election.  Feel free to contact me anytime via my website,, on FaceBook at Will Fourkiller for Cherokee Nation Principal Chief, or simply give me a call at 1.918.797.0760 I look forward to hearing from you soon! God Bless!

Vote for Integrity, Honesty, and for the Will of all Cherokee Citizens!   Vote Will Fourkiller on June 27!

Will Fourkiller 

Video Message for At Large Cherokees: 

Questions and Answers:

1.   What do you think is the biggest problem facing the Cherokee Nation today? What will you do to work toward a solution to that problem?
The largest Tribal service being utilized today is our Healthcare system.  Being a Healthcare provider myself I see the improvement of our Health system as the greatest, immediate priority facing our Nation and our people today.  Wait times need to be reduced; people deserve timely diagnosis and treatment; and focus should shift to quality patient oriented healthcare.  Bricks and mortar are great, but its quality patient oriented Healthcare that saves lives.  

We fix the problem by listening to our end user: the patients themselves.  We need to perform exit evaluations to see what is working and what is not working.  We need to set a higher level of accountability and expectations for our providers, and we need to pay our staff enough to attract and retain quality, to add to the quality staff we already have employed.  We also need to start to phase in a consortia type oversight where we can also be evaluated based on the quality of care we are providing  our Cherokee Nation Citizens and those that are not solely Cherokee Nation citizens.  We are a regional Health system which other tribes such as the UKB and Delaware rely on.  We must serve all with dignity or we threaten to backslide to a poor quality of Healthcare which is avoided by sick patients.  People’s lives literally rely on the quality of our Health system and I will institute comprehensive reforms to help our employees and providers thrive in their jobs; ultimately providing the best healthcare possible for our Nation.  

2.   The most utilized service of the Cherokee people is our health care system. Is our current health system administration and structure adequate to meet the needs of the number of people it serves? If not, how will you work to improve it?

Upon my election as Principal Chief, I will institute a comprehensive evaluation of our health system so we can identify specific inefficiencies and immediately move to correct them.  I believe our employees have done a great job working within the structure they were given by previous administrations.  I believe that it is necessary to take off some of the pressure and stress in order to allow them to perform at their top level and provide an overall better experience for our patients.  Inefficiencies can create longer wait times, lost paper work, poor time management, and redundancy; all adding to the pressure employees and patients are under; creating an environment that is not conducive to health and healing.   We need to look at more hires and more incentives to bring in top quality providers, and increase oversight to assure quality. Utilizing the federal healthcare mandate we can develop innovative programs buying certain patients healthcare under it, thereby generating more third party dollars for our healthcare system and ultimately, freeing up IHS monies to be spent on more patients.  Lastly I would initiate strict employee protection directives: our health system must be free of politics. Our patients deserve continuity in their healthcare that cannot be threatened every two and four years. 

3.   Current statistics say we only have 2400 fluent speakers of the Cherokee language. How will you work to revitalize our language? Will you consider utilizing new technologies? If so, how will you use them?

Cherokee language and culture is what defines us as a people.  The continuation of both should be of utmost importance as we move forward as a Nation.  As Chief, I would continue the work on developing a Cherokee Charter School system which seems to have come to a halt.  I would reach out to the local School systems and develop innovative programs where we can broadcast Cherokee language education throughout the 14 counties, but also worldwide wherever there is interest.  The tools are there; new media, teleconference, distance education, we just need to develop programing which can utilize them.  I believe we can also build partnerships in higher education and begin to develop a Cherokee Nation Tribal College system.  My goal is that within the Cherokee Nation, a child will be able to be taught Cherokee language and cultural curricula from the child development centers until they graduate college!

4.   Currently, while new construction of homes is going well, due to the difficulty of getting contractors to bid on the Emergency and Rehab housing jobs, some people often have to wait 9 months to a year for desperately needed repairs. What will you do to try to shorten the wait time for these citizens who need emergency or rehab fixes to their homes? 

We must first ensure that all monies ear-marked for housing gets to our housing programs. Housing needs to start developing their own internal crews to be able to go out and address most of the rehab and repair without the trouble of bidding and re-bidding.  Not only would we employ more Cherokees, but by having internal work crews, this will allow some relief to the wait, and streamline the bid process. It will also allow TERO and other qualified crews to come in and fix more houses, because the process will be more efficient, and we will be able to work on more houses.  The housing authority also must take advantage of all federal funding in order to develop new housing models to provide new housing.  There are times that   rehab costs more than new housing.  We must provide the most cost effective and efficient solution for the situation.  

5.   Many citizens of the Cherokee Nation have friends and family who are members of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Will you work to improve our government to government relationship with them? If so, how?

I will reach out to the UKB and see where we can develop a mutually beneficial relationship.  We can collaborate on healthcare, education and human services.  As I represent our Cherokee people in the State House, I have seen that two governments have much more to gain by working together than by being adversarial.  I believe that we can and must work together with our family at the UKB; we are all Cherokees. 

6.   How will you connect economic growth, cultural enrichment, and ecological sustainability to prepare the Cherokee Nation for a brighter future?

I will instill our cultural values into our National consciousness, connecting economic development with our culture and ensuring ecological sustainability by doing one simple thing: I will hire Cherokees into our top level management positions.  As Tribal policy and economic growth is developed and implemented by our Cherokee people, it will naturally begin to reflect our cultural values.  I will create mentorship opportunities to develop leadership in our communities and better prepare our citizens to manage and take control of our nations assets.  Outside interest have distorted the nations policy, I would bring that policy making back into the Cherokee Nation; so that it is driven by Cherokees with our cultural values. 

7.   The number of people falsely claiming Cherokee ancestry is growing every day. Not only do they create a revisionist history of the Cherokee Nation, they are also a direct threat to our sovereignty. How do you feel the Cherokee Nation should address the issue of: 
A.  Fraudulent Cherokee tribes?
B.  State recognized tribes who claim to be Cherokee?
C.  High profile fraudulent Cherokees, such as MA Senator, Elizabeth Warren?

We need to develop a tribal task force in order to educate the masses and lobby against fraudulent factions of people claiming to be a tribal nation.  Education is the key; developing outreach on a national level to tell our story of who we are and who we are not

Unfortunately, anyone can make up a club and call themselves Cherokees.  As Chief, I will educate state legislators and the public that these are not legitimate tribal entities.  We must stave off state recognition so that fraudulent tribes are not allowed to access limited federal funds, and defraud other individuals wanting to do business with legitimate tribal people.

State recognized Cherokee tribes have no claim to be a legitimate Tribal entity.  Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band, and Eastern Band are the trinity tribes that sprung from the historical Cherokee Nation in our homelands.  State recognition allows those State ‘tribes’ to access limited federal dollars allocated for legitimate Indian people.  The Nation must lobby State and National congressional leadership to put a stop to the abuse in federal spending which allows these fraudulent clubs to spread disinformation. 

Many high profile individuals from politicians to musicians to artists and academics all claim they have Cherokee lineage.  I believe that once individuals begin to exploit that belief, and use it to take away positions, funding, and artistic space meant for a legitimate Cherokee Indian, they have crossed the line, and should be called out on it and held accountable for it.  We cannot confront fraudulent tribes, and then let fake individuals go without question.

copyright 2015, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

1 comment:

  1. THIS is the man we need for Principle Chief of The Cherokee!


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