Creek Election “Ho Hum”
by ef mouss
The Creek Election forum held at the Checotah Indian Community Center Monday evening was as exciting as an unemployment line. The Principal Chief candidates espoused their credentials with rhetoric uncharacteristic of noted Creek orators of old.
Missing were the icy tones of Claude Cox’s request for appropriations before Congressional Committees, the booming voice of Speaker Glenn Moore’s testimony before the American Indian Policy Review Commission and Bill Fife’s sharp defense of National Indian Legislation before Congressional leadership.
The Creek Nation’s election forum took on an atmosphere of a whipped dog. Nowhere was that Creek “fire-in-the-belly speech.” As they say “cream rises to the top.” Perhaps that leadership blood of past Chiefs shown through in two candidates. The remainder appeared to be after the gaming spoils of one of the poorer tribes.
The hot topic was the ‘taking’ of community gaming and per capita payments. Perhaps no one at the forum was old enough to remember the last Creek per capita payment and the Loyal Creek payment.
With Creek unemployment and underemployment, the highest in the Country, only two candidates had a vision for the future and were inclusive enough with foresight to share their thoughts. The remainder were vague and appeared to be mainstreet white politicians. As one Creek man sitting in a wheel chair lamented, ”are they republicans?”
If leadership is in the genes, the grandson and the son of former Creek chiefs displayed leadership traits worthy of your vote.
Mr. Mouss served with the U.S. Congress’ American Indian Policy Commission; Creek Nation Housing Authority Commissioner; First Election Board for the Creek Nation; Adjunct Professor at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University; Federal/Tribal Co-chair for PL 93-638 Negotiated Rule-Making Committee; Federal Chair for the Contract Support Work Group; Deputy Associate Director for Information Resource Management/IHS/HHS; Chief Self-Determination Services/BIA/Interior; Chair Okla and Nat’l Indian Health Board and numerous National Tribal/Federal Taskforces and Work groups.