Hesci Muscogee (Creek) Citizens!
Since an inflammatory story in a recent media outlet and a National Council meeting earlier this week, I have listened with concern to questions raised by members of our Nation. I weighed thoughtfully the feedback of experts in our constitutional law, and I refrained from acting or communicating in haste.
I learned of the article, which I believe was encouraged by a small group of citizens that includes the previous Chief and those who have publicly announced candidacy for the position to which I am currently entrusted, while I was out of town to receive the American Indian Leadership Award at the National Reservation Economic Summit. The fourth nationally recognized award presented to MuscogeE~ (Creek) Nation during my administration.
I have an extensive and diverse record of serving my fellow citizens of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in both an official capacity as an elected official and personally. I take my responsibility to the Nation with due solemnity, am very proud of contributions my office and staff have achieved while serving the citizens of the Nation. I feel both humbled and blessed to serve in a leadership role in improving the quality of life for all MCN citizens.
I can state categorically that I have acted at all times in accordance with our constitution and the best interests of ALL Creek citizens.
Be reminded, that due to the unique history of Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the citizens of tribal towns are also citizens of the MCN. My long record of service to Muscogee (Creek) citizens thus has necessarily overlapped to include those Creeks who also happen to be dual members of our Nation and of tribal towns.
Moreover, many Creek citizens have suffered disproportionately from economic distress and very high unemployment. Having grown up in similar conditions, I feel a call on my heart and have honored a responsibility throughout my career to do all that I could to alleviate these harsh conditions. As a businessman, a councilman and now as your Chief, I am committed to bringing jobs and economic development to our distressed localities for all Creeks and non-Creeks alike. Under my administration, more than 800 new jobs have been created and the Permanent Fund is near $300 million, an increase of approximately 30%.
This is why, while still a private citizen in 2009, I embraced an opportunity to serve in a consulting capacity to an initiative that aspired to improve the economic development and potential for jobs. In so doing, I understand now that my services and intentions may be misinterpreted.
In both 2010 and 2011 there was no legislative action taken by the National Council regarding the Kialegee Tribal Town gaming facility. Ultimately they chose a site in Broken Arrow near our premier gaming facility. I opposed approval of the project. As the seated Principal Chief, I acted in the best interests of the MCN and fully upheld my oath of office.
Throughout my time on the council and between my election and oath of office, the business agreement I held with the Kialegee project group was not a secret. I repeat: not a secret. This item was brought to the attention of the council and was met with no objections at the time. This was a business consulting contract. The absence of any action taken by our Nation's attorney general speaks volumes for the lack of constitutional merits of this topic and the resulting story.
Moving forward I encourage citizens, including National Council members, with questions to reach out to my office staff and I will address any remaining inquiries. I have every confidence that this matter will be resolved when cooler heads prevail, all the facts are brought to light and the untruths or misinterpretations are shown to be what they truly are. My staff and I are eager to move past the unproductive political squabbling and focus on the important business of helping our people.
In closing, I want to personally thank many of you for your words of encouragement and prayers for comfort. That is the Mvskoke Way!