Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tribal Summit and Native Vote

Today our ODP Communications Director Jason McCarty and I attended a Tribal Summit at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Mound Auditorium in Okmulgee. The morning agenda was dedicated to candidates for statewide and legislative offices. Democratic candidates and/or elected officials I heard or saw today included State Treasurer Scott Meacham, Pete Regan, Cody Graves, John Mark Young, Diane Barker Harrold, Wade Rousselot, Kathy Thompson.

I saw representatives for Jeff McMahan and Kim Holland.

Kalyn Free spoke briefly about her work with INDN's List to recruit and support Native American candidates for state and federal office.

I spoke about the longstanding relationship between the Democratic Party and tribal nations and our strong support for tribal sovereignty and cultural traditions of Oklahoma's 39 tribal governments. I also announced that a new Federation of Oklahoma Indian Democrats will submit a constitution and by-laws at our next central committee meeting to initiate the process of expanding and formalizing the Native American voice and vote in our party. This effort has been lead by Kalyn Free (Choctaw) and Margo Gray (Osage). Sue Johnson (Creek) currently serves on the central committee as an affirmative action member and Kalyn serves as a DNC member at-large. Once approved by the committee the elected president of the Federation would serve as an ex-officio member of the committee. I look forward to working with these women and their tribes and others who will participate in this effort as we move forward together to expand the Native Vote in Oklahoma and to elect Democrats!

Thanks to Muscogee Nation Speaker of the House George Tiger for the invitation to participate today.

1 comment:

Lisa Pryor said...

Thanks also to the ladies who prepared a wonderful noon meal for all of the participants. I especially enjoyed the hominy stew, called "soffke", the wild onions, and the grape dumplings.