News on Wednesday is that the smart folks at HUD can’t figure out what the law is, so they are holding up $33 million of housing funding that was set to hit the Cherokee Nation’s bank account. HUD told the Tulsa World they had “suspended disbursements to the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma while we seek additional guidance on an unclear statute involving the Freedmen. The funding can be restored once this issue is resolved.”
Cherokee Nation Attorney General weighed in with a strongly worded letter, telling HUD that if they don’t understand the law, it doesn’t mean the Cherokees don’t get their money. It might just mean that the folks at HUD are dumb. Channel 6 posted Hammons’ letter, and for us was the part where she said: “If Congress wanted to deny funding to the Cherokee Nation, it would have done so…. Congress made a choice that did not side with a particular party, but instead maintained the status quo until the tribal courts decided the matter.”
So just to be clear to the folks at HUD: Congress could’ve denied funding to the Cherokee people, but they didn’t. So go ahead and make that check payable to Cherokee Nation, Acting Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden (APCSJC), and don’t even think about back dating it.
Speaking of APCSJC, we heard from him on this issue, and both candidates as well, in a Smoot article in the Muskogee Phoenix. Crittenden told us everything’s going to be all right, he’s got it under control, which is good to know.
Baker said it’s all Smith’s fault, saying he could’ve kept congress from choosing sides. Of course, Hammons says that’s what the law says already, and Crittenden apparently thinks so too, because he says the Nation is complying with the law and he’ll get our funding.
Smith challenges Baker to fight for Cherokees-- and that the Freedmen, who publicly support Baker, are the only people actively seeking to cut services to the Cherokee Nation if they can’t win their legal arguments (or the constitutional votes of the Cherokee people).
|Congressman Barney Frank, (D) Mass.|
And of course, this wouldn’t be the Barney Frank edition of the Cherokee Truth if the Massachusetts congressman didn’t weigh in, because, after all, this is a big issue up in Boston. Frank, according to Indian Country Today, told HUD not to part with a penny for the Cherokee Nation.
Of course, Frank is an expert on the legal intricacies of this case because…? If you are not familiar with Frank’s track record, google him up. For instance, last year a tribal leader in California said one of Frank’s proposals was ‘the biggest threat to Indian gaming in 20 years.'
We’ve had a little fun with this, but it’s not really a laughing matter. There’s $33 million that’s supposed to be heading to Tahlequah to pay employees and help Cherokees. As much faith as we have in APCSJC, that’s a whole lot of rental assistance, so we hope that gets worked out soon.