Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Here is former Chief Chad Smith's response to the BIA letter sent out today, dated Sept. 9

Our September 24 election is a matter of Cherokee National pride and honor. My opponent needs to step up the plate and take a position: Does he agree that the Cherokee people have a right to elect a chief according to our own laws and Constitution or will he stand with his non-Cherokee freedmen supporters who are trying to stop this election and cut all funding for services?

The letter from the BIA is clearly an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of the Cherokee Nation. We must assert our sovereignty and follow the mandate of our Supreme Court. Washington D.C. bureaucrats are telling the Cherokee people that they don’t think we should be able to elect our own chief. The BIA wants to decide who our chief is, just like they did 100 years ago, and that’s wrong.

During my tenure as Chief, I fought each and every attack on our sovereignty and will continue to do so during the next term. As Cherokees, we must be united in our battle against these Washington DC bureaucrats instead of casting aspersions for personal gain like my opponent is doing.

Every Cherokee citizen, especially our acting leadership, should defend the Cherokee people’s right to determine their own citizenship and elect their own chief. I challenge my opponent to stand up for the Cherokee Constitution and the people's right to vote instead of his non-Cherokee freedmen supporters who are trying to end all funding for the Cherokee Nation.

(Go Chief!)