|Larry E. Hawk's motto.|
The Cherokee Phoenix is writing a story that quite a few people have been slow to pick up on: Larry E. Hawk from the BIA (Bossing Indians Around) is not a friend of the Cherokee Nation.
Will Chavez writes a good story and it seems pretty clear: The BIA wants to have its cake and eat it too. Larry E. Hawk sent the Nation a letter a few weeks ago, saying the BIA doesn’t recognize our 1999 Constitution or our 2010 election laws. Only he sent it to then acting principal chief S. Joe Crittenden (APCSJC), who was elected under the 2010 election laws. If they didn’t recognize those laws, then why would they recognize APCSJC and send him a letter? Turns out, they only want to not recognize the Cherokee Nation’s Constitution on days when they feel like it. In this case, Mr. E. Hawk wanted to make sure non-Indians (freedmen) got to vote, so on that day, he decided the Cherokee Nation’s 1999 Constitution wasn’t in effect.
However, as Chavez pointed out, since the Constitution was implemented, the BIA has recognized us (almost) every single day of every single year. They recognize our council members and our courts. They give us buckets of money, which is pretty bad policy if, according to Mr. Larry E. Hawk, we are not operating under a valid Constitution. So the Cherokee Nation is faced with two options: Either the BIA is incompetent and has been giving the Cherokee a bunch of money when it shouldn’t, or the BIA is just trying to boss us around, even though they don’t have the right to tell us what our Constitution is or says, because, what the heck, it worked with APCSJC.
So what does Baker think? He tells the Cherokee Phoenix he’ll stand up for our sovereignty, as long as it doesn’t cost us federal funding. “What I won’t do is risk $500 million dollars in federal funding for our 300-plus thousand Cherokee citizens.” Which is right in line with what S. John Crittenbaker have done already, for only $30 million in HUD funds.
Baker says he’s ‘weighing the pros and cons of the BIA’s stance,’ though we’re not sure what the pros are, unless having someone telling the Cherokee Nation what to do is a pro because then we wouldn’t have to make any pesky decisions ourselves, we can just rely on the smart and trustworthy folks at the BIA to do it for us. After all, having the federal government make decisions for us seems to have worked out really well so far. Weren't they the ones who arranged for us to relocate here in the first place?
In the meantime, Larry E. Hawk was at Baker’s inauguration and told us all this: “I pledge to hold the Cherokee Nation’s sovereignty in high regard.” We at the Cherokee Truth would hate to see what would happen to us if he started holding Cherokee Nation’s sovereignty in low regard.