Muscogee Government & Politics

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Tiger’s 2012 Inaugural Address

Full text as provided by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Inauguration 2012 Press Kit

January 7, 2012 Inaugural Address

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Phillip Tiger

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Phillip Tiger


TRIBAL CITIZENS, National Council, Employees,Federal and State officials, Tribal Leaders and honored guests, WELCOME!!

Before I begin my Inaugural address I want to honor and respect the teachings of our elders by recognizing them for their impact on this country and Muscogee Nation.

(“Mr. Washburn, Mrs.Holder, Thank you for your guidance, wisdom, and direction that allows our Yuchi tribal members to make the Muscogee Nation even greater.”)

You honor me with your presence on this Morning of a monumental day. We are gathered here to witness the changing of the guard for the Great Muscogee Nation.

I have spoken many times about the promising future of the Muscogee Nation. We are on the cusp of being an ever great Nation but that future will only be realized through unity, endurance and ultimately, CHANGE.

Not change for change’s sake, but change to preserve the highest priorities of the Muscogee Nation and its citizens: better health care, educational opportunities for our youth, jobs, housing, and to bring this Nation back to the prominence it once held as a leader and innovator among all sovereign tribal nations. This is the task at hand and we must work together as citizens and governmental officials, and all branches of our government, to achieve this change. In light of the present economic and political climate for Indian Nations- we can do no less.

At this time, I would like to express my gratitude to all of the tribal citizens who have shared my Vision for a better Muscogee Nation through CHANGE and I would not be here now, representing the Tribe as Principal Chief, without your sacrifice and support. Thank You.

I pledge to everyone here today and to all citizens, to uphold your trust and your confidence in me to move our Nation forward into the future each citizen deserves.

The road to change is not easy- but historically, we have always triumphed and will continue to do so through the strength of our determination and through working together. We no doubt will have to take some strong steps and make some hard decisions, but we will ensure our Tribe has a bright and progressive future- a credit to the elders who envisioned, laid the foundation and
sacrificed to achieve it and to the youth who will one day hold the leadership reins.

Honoring elders

Principal Chief George Tiger pays tribute by honoring Muscogee elders Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Coon(standing). Yuchi elders Mr. Washburn and Mrs. Holder (sitting front right) were also honored at the inaugural event.

The time for complacency and status quo is gone. TO GIVE ANYTHING LESS THAN OUR BEST will not do. Change is happening … and I pledge to you that though there may be hard challenges- we will overcome any obstacle to our Nation’s progress through perseverance and a shared vision that has helped us, as a People, endure and triumph. We must stand shoulder to shoulder to ensure opportunity for all, but likewise demand responsibility from all. A hallmark of a sovereign
nation is accountability and transparency to its citizens. My commitment to you is, we will be transparent and accountable to you- the tribal citizens.
I will briefly present some of the most pressing issues that I will be addressing as Principal Chief beginning with:

JUDICIAL BRANCH:

This week, I signed legislation that allowing me to appoint a Special Judge. This provides for a Transition process to a new three court structure, and amendment of NCA-10-189 to include language to name the 3 inferior courts District Court-Criminal Division, District Court-Civil Division, District Court-Family Division. Also appointments to the Supreme Court and conduct a financial audit of the Judiciary as well as conduct a review of Supreme Court Rulings and District Court Ruling regarding their legality. The feasibility of a Legal Review Commission to address the Nation’s current legal codes will be explored as will the issue of At-Large Council Representation. This week I started the nomination process an appointment for the Attorney General. Our citizens deserve a fair and equitable judicial system!!

HEALTH:

I will appoint a new advisory board; Health administrator; evaluate and update the current management and accounting systems, and update the Health Improvement Plan.

HOUSING:

I will appoint a new Director who will have a priority to update and streamline application guidelines and develop an Action Plan to expedite housing services. All citizens who qualify deserve decent housing in the most expedient manner.

COMMUNITIES:

I will spearhead a review of the following community issues: Community Charters, the Dept of Community Development, Community Gaming and Lawsuits, Tobacco Compacts, Financial Controls and Reporting, the status of Escrowed Monies, Revenue Allocation Plan, Title 11 Facilities Use Agreements and conduct Community Meetings. The backbone of any government is strong communities. My priority is to enhance and strengthen our communities and allow them to dictate their own destiny with their input. Who best know about their communities than the communities.

CONTROLLER’S OFFICE and TRANSPARENCY:

I will work toward implementation of a Customer Service Oriented approach for the Controller’s office as well as reviewing past management decisions and will decentralize the office and give greater authority to program managers. I will also review the Training needs of staff in the Controller’s office as well as review of budget processes, indirect cost rates, goal setting, policies concerning outside auditors, banking procedures, and possibly the creation of an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and a Reorganization of the Office of Controller.

ENTERPRISES/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:

I will be making GOAB appointments, as well as reviewing the feasibility of a three member Gaming Commission; Creation of a Small Business Dev. Center, and possible reorganization of Gaming and non-gaming enterprises into corporate charters. I will be reviewing the Permanent Fund, new business ventures and will evaluate all business models (Trade and Commerce).

I will also be considering temporary appointments, all appointments to positions, boards and commissions, upgrading the Tribal Integrated Technology (IT) system; the Employee Protection Act, I will implement a TRIBAL EMPLOYEE RIGHTS OFFICE, that will allow our tribal citizens an opportunity of doing business with their own tribe in a fair and equitable manner, the tribal organization chart and review of tribal poltcies as well as the Wage and Salary Board. Other initiatives of my Administration will be legal counsel for the Executive Office, identify needed legislation and review of existing Executive Orders. Finally, I will be assessing the role of the Second Chief and will be working toward a Tiger Administration Vision Statement that will be presented to the National Council during the State of the Nation Address.

LOCAL, STATE AND NATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS:

I am pleased to see our friends from the local, state and federal governments with us today. I want to make as a priority the opportunity to form partnerships that would as in the words of a great philosopher who is with us today, Coach Barry Switzer, “a win, win baby”. We share a community and a state that is strong with resources. Tribal governments ask for INCLUSION AND NOT EXCLUSION. It is no longer “us versus you”. It’s about living and helping one another in the communities we live in. Remember we’re OKLAHOMANS too!! What’s good for Oklahoma’s Tribal Nations is good for Oklahoma!!

In closing, and as we enjoy the activities and fellowship of this historic Inauguration Day, let us reflect on the task ahead of us- we have heard the call to unify and move the Muscogee Nation forward. To my colleagues on the National Council it is the privilege and responsibility for each of us to heed that call and with the Creator’s help, we will bring about the changes that will make us the strong and enduring Nation that we were destined to be. There is a Mvskoke saying that goes: keep on going, regardless, keep on going. That has served as a rallying cry for the Mvskoke people for hundreds of years. Today as we look to the future let’s remember this rallying cry. God Bless the United States of America, God Bless the state of Oklahoma and God Bless the great Muscogee
Creek Nation!!!!

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