OPINION: Tomorrow brings a new day

BY JOE DEERE
Tribal Councilor-elect
07/05/2019 12:30 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Joe Deere
Throughout the 2019 Cherokee Nation political campaign for a new principal chief and a new round of new or returning tribal councilors, there has been a dichotomy apparent. These two factions mirror any duality, like the Hero Twins or opposing teams in a game of stickball (A-ne-jo-di).

Stickball is a Cherokee game that was used to resolve problems or settle disputes between tribes, or factions. Historically, one team was declared the winner, and there was no possibility for filing complaints. This game taught our youth that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose but you honor the outcome.

In 2019, some Cherokee Nation citizens tried to teach a different lesson, one that does not come to us from our legend stories and traditional teachings. This lesson was to bend the rules and to cheat. The lesson included complaining and criticizing. These dishonorable actions did not, in the end, get the desired outcome from the people using those tactics. In fact, the Cherokee Nation can be proud that we followed the constitution that was formed by the intentions of our people. We can be hopeful that our young ones will learn gratitude and respect from our behavior, from both factions, after the election. We need to teach by example that we all have the power to turn a negative into a positive, for ourselves and for others.

As tribal councilor-elect for Dist. 13 of the Cherokee Nation, I plan on working towards creating community within our district and between our district and the tribe as a whole. Community can be defined as a feeling of fellowship that is a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, goals and aspirations. When we form community we will have less factioning of our people. We will grow stronger as a functioning community.

The stickball game is over. Time to pick up our things, sweep the grounds, go home and eat. Tomorrow brings a new day.

Editor’s Note: Joe Deere is the Dist. 13 Tribal Councilor-elect for the 2019-2023 term, which will begin Aug. 14.

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