The Chief and I: Tribal Sovereignty

On a blistering winter night the Chief and I made our way to Lansing, Michigan during a frigid ice storm. The Chief did an excellent job navigating us to our hotel but we had to drive very slow. This gave us an opportunity to get to know each other a little better and talk about dreams and goals in life.

It was strange with us at times because we knew we have become adversaries but we still communicated with each other often.

As I reflect I understand his motivation. I was in control of the casino at the young age of 23. I was too green to understand the politics of everything but soon came to realize relationships are a means to an end in politics. In other words friendships are temporary and have no trust factors. In my opinion of course.

Anyway to make a long story short, the subject of “what we wanted to be” came up. I felt like I was 15 again and talking about being a fireman or police officer.

I told the Chief I wanted to be the Tribal Chairman one day as I had recently became chairman of both the Casino and Housing boards. He looked at be kind of puzzled and chuckled a bit.

I asked him what he wanted to be and the response left me speechless for a good hour. The ride just got longer for me after I heard his reply.

The Chief says to me, while looking straight forward, “I want to be a State Senator in Michigan”. I almost chocked. All I could think was, ” Your the Chief of an Indian tribe than has a special relationship with the Federal Government, isn’t that like taking a step backwards?”

Well we tribal members got a memo from our Chief today supporting Governor Whitmers decree or EO.

I guess Chief has fulfilled his wish to work for the State of Michigan!

I am feeeling a little disgusted today.

My Chief has still not asked me my opinion.

I suffer from anxiety cause by years of child abuse and cruel forms of punishment but that makes me the minority and now I am ostracized from my own community.

Leave a Reply