Joe Martin: No paternalism in tribal government
"Tribal government needs to abandon the practice of paternalism.

Tribal members, not tribal government, are the best ones to make certain decisions that affect them individually, but that’s a concept tribal government continuously fails to grasp.

We saw a proposal from Wolfetown Rep. Susan Toineeta which would make serving alcohol illegal (currently only the sale of alcohol is banned on tribal land). That didn’t work during Prohibition, and it won’t work now. Most recently Principal Chief Michell Hicks vetoed a referendum to allow the sale of alcohol in the casino, based upon his own personal disapproval of alcohol use.

Where does it end?

To these elected officials: Why stop there? How many children are born out of wedlock? How many tribal members have diabetes complicated by poor diet and lifestyles? How many tribal members smoke, dip or chew? How many of them have gotten cancer because of tobacco use or poor lifestyle choices? How many blow their per capita on frivolous items?"

Get the Story:
Joe Martin: We don’t need government to make our choices (The Asheville Citizen-Times 9/18)

Related Stories:
Joe Martin: Open discussion at Eastern Cherokee (8/14)
Joe Martin: Unity elusive at Eastern Cherokee (6/12)
Opinion: Eastern Cherokees should vote on WalMart (5/29)
Opinion: Cherokee community deserves a voice (5/15)
Joe Martin: Tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians (5/1)

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