Full text of 2nd Chief Roger Barnett’s Inaugural Speech as provided by the Office of 2nd Chief.
January 7, 2012 Inaugural Address
Chief Tiger, representatives of the National Council, distinguished guests, citizens of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, I am humbled and honored to stand before you today. Chief Tiger and I have already begun the work of moving this Nation forward. As this Nation moves forward, there are things that we must do as Creeks.
First, we must remember the past. If we forget the past we will lose our heritage, our culture, our identity. We must educate our children to preserve our language, maintain our Grounds, learn and understand our traditions, study our history, and honor our elders. We must learn what it is that made us the great people that we are today. We must also, learn what mistakes have been made in the past so that we can avoid those same mistakes in the future.
Second, we must live in the present and I mean truly live. Reject the materialism, selfishness, and corruption of the world around us. We are a spiritual, vibrant, and prosperous people. Love and help one another so that we can all enjoy the many great gifts that we have been blessed with. Get involved in your government and your communities. Learn what is happening, talk with your tribal leaders, talk with me, talk with your representatives. Get involved in your Church, help your neighbors, spend time with your family. Rid your lives of those things that are destructive to your life.
Finally, we must plan for the future. I do not want the Creek Nation to be content with mere survival. We should plan to thrive. What will the Muscogee (Creek) Nation look like in 100 years. I want our Nation to be sovereign, strong and self-sufficient. We are laying the foundation for the future of our Nation right now. We must have a vision for what our future Nation will look like. You must have a vision for the Nation that you will leave behind for your children and grandchildren.I have lived here all my life. I know most of you. While I cannot name each of you individually, I would like to thank all of you for your help and support. I would especially like to thank my Mother. I recognize the great responsibility that you have charged me with and I promise to do my best to help Chief Tiger move our great Nation forward.