The UKB is trying to put their casino land into trust, and at least one council member thinks new chief Bill John Baker knew about it and didn’t tell the council. According to news reports, the BIA sent a letter to the Cherokee Nation saying the UKB wanted to put their casino in trust, and no one knew about it until Monday night.
That made Jodie Fishinghawk pretty mad, so mad she managed to insult both Smith and Baker in 15 seconds or less. She said, according to the Tahlequah paper, “I expected this sort of secrecy from the Chad Smith administration…Bill John, I did not expect it from you.”
This came up during the debate about the bill that would make the Cherokee Nation fight against anyone, including Baker’s inauguration buddy, UKB Chief George Wickliffe. And that no one knew about it, even though the BIA supposedly sent Baker a letter about it on November 4, and we only have 30 days to say we don’t like it.
Dick Lay, a new council member, told the Cherokee Phoenix that “It stuns me that nobody has come to us before now with this information. I’m just stunned and upset.”
The measure passed, and Baker now has to object to the UKB putting land into trust. We wonder if that means the Baker/Wickliffe honeymoon is over. They are chiefs of different tribes, and sometimes what's good for one might be bad for another one. And no matter how Wickliffe slices it, the UKB isn't the Cherokee Nation, and Baker's job is to stick up for the Cherokee Nation, even if it makes Wickliffe and the UKB mad.