Letter from Mike Dart

Local newspapers declined to publish this letter, even though every word of it is true.

Dear Cherokee Citizens:

I’m writing as a citizen of the Cherokee Nation deeply concerned about the future of the Cherokee Nation and its people.

Every day, I see our Elders living in homes with holes in the floors and roof, septic backing up into the bathtubs, pools of sewage in the parking lot and no reliable running water. These are our Elders living in squalor, many on fixed incomes and suffering serious health problems. And when a Native American Nation puts its Elders in danger by putting them on the back burner, something is terribly wrong.

Cherokee Nation is raking in hundreds of millions from its casinos. But out of these millions, only 10% [note: the amount is actually 30%] goes to our people, and too much of the rest goes to California hog fries and golf games, fancy dinners and corporate jets. And when a Chief with the blessing of Team Cherokee spends tribal money on California hog fries while our full blood Elders live in dangerous squalor, something is terribly wrong.

I’ve heard Smith and Grayson brag about the $9 million gym at Sequoyah High School. But they don’t tell you how much of that $9 million is cost overrun. I’ve also heard them brag about their legal “successes” against smaller tribes, like the United Keetoowah Band, who they claim “threaten” Cherokee Nation sovereignty. But many of us have dual membership, and family and friends in the UKB. So why is it a “success” to spend tribal funds to bully fellow Cherokees while letting Elders suffer and live in squalor?

If we as a Nation are going to survive, we have to honor and respect our Elders and fellow Cherokees.


%d bloggers like this: