By ef mouss
August 19, 2011
The Creek election forumheld at the Dewar Indian Community Center Friday was attended on the premise that at some point some Chief candidate would speak on Governance. Governance is the act of governing. It relates to decisions that define citizen expectations, the grant of power through a legislative agenda and adoption of law to support life, liberty and economic well-being, and verify executive performance through human capital training, development, and productive and efficient use of human assets. It consists of a process of leadership and how we manage those processes. In this case, these processes are administered by our Creek government’s three separate equal branches of government through a system of checks and balances. This Election is about governance and who the voting citizen chooses to lead their Government. This is not about business. This is about who is the best able to govern those over which this government has authority and control; ie. jurisdiction. I’ve heard recently the statement. “I don’t get into politics”. Mr. and Mrs. Citizen, if you are an enrolled Creek citizen and display a Creek auto tag on your vehicle you are involved, like it or not. So are your grand children. Governance is tied directly to jurisdiction.
So who can provide the best leadership to provide the growth and prosperity we all desire. I recall when Creek people worked the fields together in spring and fall as a communal people; came together to hunt and fish on the rivers and streams all displaying in their actions family and communal values. Creek industry was displayed in the late seventies when Creek masons laid the cornerstone and prayed, constructing the first two story tribal building in the 20th century. And today we employ white contractors to do our construction while Creek tradesmen scratch out a meager living or are unemployed or underemployed. As one candidate expressed, “ Is something wrong with this picture?”
Of all the candidates, which ones have a sense of community. Which ones were involved in putting in hours helping to build their parents or neighbors mutual-help home, constructing the walls and rafters. With a sense of community, Creek people have exhibited a great sense of competency, self-esteem and pride in their local environment. Creek citizens have demonstrated community through physicality, social interaction and economic support; and centralized control is so passe’ and out of touch with contemporary Creek life. Perhaps it is this enpowered community that the Executive Branch and Courts fear.
“Growth and Prosperity for the Nation” is a term measurable through economic terms like gross domestic product (GDP), per capita income and standard of living. The Creek per capita income, according to tribal economic sources in the late 70’s was $1 per capita. The highest per capita was the Cheyenne Arapaho. The leading contributor to Indian household income was local and state governments, local school districts, private business ownership and farming/ranching. None of these income generators were due to the tribal government’s economic governance of its jurisdiction.
The Creeks need a new approach to economic development. When the Creeks do economic development correctly, they will build economic capacity. When the Creeks do industrial development correctly, they will enjoy industrial sector creation, like manufacturing, entertainment, service industry, etc. When we do business development correctly, we will enjoy private business growth. Small business’ create more jobs than large corporations.
Of the three economic models of capitalism, socialism and communism, the tribe has adopted a failing communistic model and must consider a economic model of change which will have a chance for success. The governance model should create an Creek capitalism model which existed at one time; The Creeks were the largest producer and exporter of polo ponies which furnished the wealthy East coast market.
We need a leader who has the vision and leadership skills to lead this Nation of Creek citizens.
Mr. Mouss served with the U.S. Congress’ American Indian Policy Commission; Creek Nation Housing Authority Commissioner; First Election Board for the Creek Nation; Adjct Prof Univ of Okla and Okla St Univ; Tribal Co-chair for PL 93-638 Federal Negotiated Rule-Making Committee; Federal Chair for the Contract Support Work Group; Director for Information Resource Mgmt/IHS/HHS; Chief Self-Determination Services/Interior; Chair Okla and Nat’l Indian Health Board, numerous National Tribal/Federal Taskforces and Work groups, Creek Interpreter-Okfuskee Cty Dist. Court.