“I was blessed to have been raised in a family that instilled in me the value of serving others that are in need and from an early age my parents showed me the value of loving your neighbors. I cherish my native heritage and want to do my part in continuing our traditions while helping to improve the lives of all the community members within district five. It is my promise to put our community first and work tirelessly to put infrastructure and policies in place to continue the prosperity of the Cherokee people.”

VISION

The Vision I have is very real for our area, not just a pipe dream that cannot be obtained. The current times we are living in have changed the direction we do things, but they do not have to change who we are as people. In fact, it shows that we are survivors throughout our history. Sequoyah County has a vast history that seems to get overlooked. But it should not be. The history of our forefathers show they settled here. They established the fire in Webbers Falls and later moved it near the area now called Tenkiller Lake. Two ceremonial grounds are still used today. The original courthouse was established here, and Sequoyah brought the Syllabary here.

Many things came from this but, the emphasis on culture and history has moved toward the north. The vision that I have is to bring the light of the fire back so we can honor our history, but also move it in the future to promote the future generation for a sound foundation and an economy that will support more of our younger kids to give them jobs to keep them here and not have to move away from our homes to support themselves.

We have the need of infrastructure: housing, water, sewer, electricity, and roads. We can accomplish this through working together and using the funds that have been made available through the Cares Act Funding by repurposing these instead of focusing on self-serving interests of corporate projects. Let us invest in people that have business plans to employs local citizens with a vested interest in making anchor businesses that pay taxes and help strengthen our families and communities. We have a unique opportunity to grow but first we must remove the stumbling blocks before us. We must change the way we invest our time and our energy that has been focused on keeping things the way they have always been. We must stop allowing the few to control or stop growth.

Today I propose that we allow open conversations and challenge the right to grow. We have ideas and a voice, but we fear the retribution from self-imposed leaders. Money has been allowed to stop growth and not allow it to be used to grow our communities. This has resulted in the wealth of a few. I am not a political man so please do not judge me through the lens of a party affiliation or by my faith alone. I would ask you to look at the projects that have been completed in name of good. Without asking for a pat on the back, I am just asking for you to join me and move away from the negative and run towards the positive.

Richard Tyler

© 2021 Richard Tyler for Cherokee Nation Council

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