LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Wants decorum enforced in Council Chambers

by Jun 23, 2023OPINIONS0 comments

Submitted by Slick Saunooke, Birdtown Community

Editor’s Note: Mr. Saunooke brought the following letter to the One Feather and requested that it be published.    

Open letter to Richard French, Tribal Council Chairman. Dated June 22, 2023.


Dear Richard:

I am writing to say I am discouraged and disappointed by the behavior of some Tribal Council members when Tribal Council is in session. I’m asking you to address this when the bad behavior is shown, especially when Council is on-air.

Some Tribal Council members are disrespectful when others, especially (the) Chief and Vice Chief, talk to Tribal Council. This behavior is childish and insulting, and we see it all the time. The world sees it all the time when the cameras are rolling. When certain people are at the podium, some Tribal Council members will roll their eyes, make hand gestures, shake their heads, smirk, mutter under their breath, and put on a show of disrespect. This is communication and is just as loud as talking. Tribal Council members might not like or agree with the Chief or Vice Chief, but they should respect their positions.

Section 117-16.1 of the Cherokee (Code) says, “All comment and debate shall reflect the highest and traditional standards of decorum and respectfulness expected of and modeled to our future generations of Cherokee leaders.” The law also says, “Any person providing comment or debate to Tribal Council must conduct himself or herself in such a manner as to bring honor and dignity to the Council chambers.”

Please enforce these rules of decorum in the Chambers.

The second issue I want to bring up is the discussion in Tribal Council about doing a forensic audit of Qualla Enterprises. Some Council members don’t want to do it. Until a forensic audit is performed, the people won’t be satisfied. If Tribal Council members want to fund this project with gaming money, it could cause our gaming license to be pulled. This would (affect) 16,000 (plus) enrolled members’ per capita and the Tribe as a whole.

Sincerely yours.