In a shocking letter Chief Baker has decided to endorse Governor Mary Fallin for the Department of Interior position which she is rumored to be the top choice for President-elect, Donald Trump.
Chief Baker claims that Mary Fallin is “more than qualified for the job” and “served the people of Oklahoma and respected Oklahoma’s 38 federally recognized Native American tribes.”
However there are many Native and non-Native who would certainly disagree with Chief Baker and many think Mary Fallin and her family have had an active history of ignoring, disrespecting, and belittling Native American people.
A group known as Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry became concerned with Governor and according to EONM, the actions that sparked their concerns included: removing Baby Veronica from her birth parents (Fallin signed an extradition order against baby Veronica’s biological father Dusten Brown), failing to call attention to the killing of a Native teenager in Custer County, and her daughter Christina Fallin’s offensive behavior, wearing Native headdress, and performing a fake war dance during her band’s performance in April.
Including the concerns of the EONM there have been several indicators in the past that Mary Fallin is truly apathetic towards Native people and the issues they face. Though Chief Baker makes claims about her respect towards tribes and how Oklahoma has benefitted, what Chief Baker fails to mention is that Governor Fallin has at times failed to select a Tribal Liaison and even seen the end of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission under her watch.
Under Governor Fallin Oklahoma has seen a decline in many things such as economy, public school funding, and a rise in unemployment. Fallin is also on record telling teachers to “step up” due to many schools turning to 4 day weeks due to constant budget cuts. Sadly many of the schools hit hardest from the budget cuts are rural schools which most Cherokee communities rely upon for the education of their children.
We could go on for a long while, but the facts are Governor Fallin has been one of the worst governors in the State of Oklahoma’s history. She has been arguably been the worst for Indian Country, so why is Chief Baker endorsing someone with no qualifications, a history of ignoring Native issues, and generally been a terrible governor? Or maybe the question should be what is Chief Baker getting for endorsing Governor Fallin?
These are the questions we need to be asking Chief Baker and our Tribal Council. Please let them know you disagree and express your concerns about endorsing such a horrible candidate.