What does it mean to have honor? It means to be true to your word. It is long past time we acknowledge our state and nation's history of breaking our word. Acknowledge the way we went back on it so quickly, violating the treaties this nation has made with our tribal nations. The destructive policies whose effects still echo in every corridor of this state. We must be honest with ourselves and others about all of the actions and failures to act, committed by our government, and those within it.
You would think in 2022, we would no longer let fear-mongering take root and fester and divide us. But there are those who are so eager to make a name for themselves, so greedy for attention, and so hungry for power that they will trample on the freedoms of their neighbors, their communities, and even the Council one has been lucky enough to represent. And they do this by vowing to find a way to allow the government to escape its obligations, responsibilities, and duties to uphold the treaties made.
When those sacred bonds of trust were first broken, it affected everyone who would ever live in eastern Oklahoma. And now our lives are so intertwined that any drop of hate ripples beyond the individual and impacts us all. Likewise, actions of unity and collaboration, fostering goodwill, and strengthening trust by being true to our word–also spreads. And uplifts us all.
If our word is our bond then we cannot--must not allow the ambitions of weak men to attempt to dilute the sovereignty of our tribal nations or dismantle their reservations. The strength of the nations has brought healthcare, economic development, good jobs, a vibrant and rich culture, and numerous other blessings to everyone in CD2.
If we are to be worthy to lead, we must be committed to doing all within our power to heal and grow the relations between our state and the tribes. We must honor and respect tribal self-determination. We must listen intently. Especially on matters affecting tribal interests. We must be willing to find a middle ground. We must be willing to foster a genuine and faithful connection and work in partnership to ensure the freedoms of all Oklahomans. We must be true to our vows and keep our word to restore honor to this state and ensure a brighter future for our families and our communities.