The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its tyrannical government remain a top threat not only to the United States, but the entire globe. Their hostile behavior throughout the past few months has demonstrated their goal of eroding freedom and growing their communist influence.
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has put strains on Cherokee families, the economy in northeast Oklahoma and our local public schools. There is no clear end in sight, but we remain diligent in creating ways to serve our people in spite of these hurdles. With that in mind, we recently launched online applications for Cherokee Nation’s Respond, Recover and Rebuild Education Initiative. Under this program, we have earmarked $40 million for relief to Cherokee students and families.
It’s been a few weeks since the June 23rd primary elections, where Oklahoma voters chose their slate of candidates for local, state and national offices and also approved State Question 802, which expands Medicaid in the state.
Our country has been through a lot throughout the past four months. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and violence and rioting in cities across the country, it has been a trying time for everyone. Through all of this, America’s first responders have risen to the occasion for their communities.
Even through this national health crisis, the business of our tribal nation carries on. We are committed to providing the housing, health care, education and other essential services that our people expect from a responsible, caring government. During the pandemic, we are doing more than ever to help our Cherokee Nation citizens meet basic needs through food distribution and telemedicine. Cherokee Nation is not alone in the endeavor – 37 other federally recognized tribes in Oklahoma are also executing strategic plans to keep their government flexible and responsive.
Even with the passage of State Question 802, many people do not fully understand the Medicaid system. I have focused this column on the information Oklahomans need to help those who might qualify or want further information.
The global pandemic has heightened uncertainty and anxiety across the world. That is certainly the case here in northeast Oklahoma. Our families, neighborhoods and workplaces have been dramatically affected. Another group that has struggled during this pandemic is the community-based organizations that impact Cherokee Nation at the grassroots.
Not many people enjoy going through a major change. In the book of Numbers, the Israelites cried out as they were on the cusp of the promised land, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become booty; would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:2b-3) The scriptures tell us that because they cried out, not believing that God had brought them to the land of promise and would give it to them, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
By the time that you likely read this, the June 30 party primary election will have been decided. Congratulations to the winners of each of those elections! We look forward to working with the outright winners tomorrow, and those who are elected in the November general election.
Did you know on average, an American woman is expected to live five years longer than an American man? Since the 1920s, men’s life expectancy has continued to drop compared to women. During Men’s Health Month, I want to start the conversation on how to change this alarming trend.
The Oologah Lake Leader welcomes local letters to the editor. We accept signed letters of up to 350 words and guest editorials of up to 500 words so long as they do not pose legal or taste problems. Readers may submit one letter per month. Letters are due by 5 p.m. Monday. Please include a daytime telephone number and address for verification. (The telephone number and address will not be printed.)
With the ongoing pandemic and the national emotions over injust policies, there is no way to anticipate how many Oklahomans will vote at the polls on Tuesday, June 30. Rest assured, though, this is a critical election for our state. We encourage every voter to not let this Election Day pass by without your vote.
Will Rogers, “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son,” once said, “This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it.” Even though Rogers said this more than 100 years ago, it remains true to this day.
Across our country, we are having a new dialogue about how we experience race and the painful chapters of United States history, including the American Civil War. Recently, I oversaw the removal of two monuments from the historic Cherokee Nation Capitol Square in Tahlequah. The monuments failed to reflect the Cherokee Nation’s values of freedom and inclusion, and they run contrary to the idea that Cherokees Nation should have control of telling its own story.