Monday, September 5, 2011

19 Days until the New Election-Missing Anything?

The Cherokee National Holiday has come and gone and with all the differences between this year’s holiday and the usual ones, there is one thing that the media has picked up on:  The Cherokee Nation’s annual report was not distributed at this year's Holiday festivities.

The Tahlequah Daily Press and the Muskogee Phoenix both had stories on the lack of the report, which has become a staple of the Holiday over the years.  It usually includes things like contact numbers for programs and council reps, budget information and of course some feel good stories about the Nation. We do know what the annual reports look like for the past ten years or so, because they are posted on-line.  You should check them out if you haven’t because, again, there is a lot of truth and public information out there and it can dispel a lot of rumors.  The Cherokee Truth, if you will.

But back to the point: APCSJC has issued an order saying that the reports are NOT to go out this year at the Holiday, because, well, Crittenden is the Chief and he says so.  Crittenden points out that the report contains messages from Smith and Grayson (we’ll have to take his word for it) and they aren’t chiefs right now. All true. 

But in 2007, no one complained when outgoing council members like Taylor Keen and Phyllis Yargee, among others, were featured in the report.  Also, all the numbers in the reports are retrospective, from the year before. So, the information for this year's annual report to the people is from the year when Smith and Grayson were in office.

Acting Speaker of the Council Cara Cowan Watts (ASCCCW) isn’t happy about it though. She told the Muskogee Phoenix:  “The Cherokee Nation Annual Report has traditionally been passed out at Cherokee National Holiday for at least the past eight years.  By not following through with the report at Cherokee National Holiday, I believe Acting Chief Crittenden is violating the spirit of the Tribal Freedom of Information Act.”

Smith doesn’t like it either, saying “It’s understandable they feel like Bill John Baker and his friends are trying to keep information from the Cherokee people.”
Crittenden says he thinks the information is good ‘for the history books’ and that its up to the guy who gets elected September 24 to make the decision on what to do with the reports.  Until then, it looks like the Cherokee Nation has spent a bunch of money to NOT inform its citizens about what is going on.

We’d like to see a copy, just to see what the fuss is about and see if we can tell why APCSJC wants to keep a lid on it.  And to let everyone else see what the fuss is about.  If anyone comes across a copy, please let us know. As always, our email is

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