November 8, 2013
Ads/notices regarding official Membership meetings or any other official tribal business will
- be submitted by Brenda Shemayme Edwards, Chairman of the Caddo Nation
- be posted on our official Caddo Nation Website.
Ads/notices regarding official Elections will
- be submitted by Charlotte Bentley, Chairmain of the Caddo Nation General Election Board
- be posted on our official Caddo Nation Website.
October 2, 2013
Dear Caddo Tribal Members,
The Caddo Nation Tribal Headquarters suffered a break-in on September 24, 2013 at approximately 7:40 p.m. This break-in was orchestrated by three newly elected and one existing Tribal Council member:
Philip Smith – Vice Chairman (newly elected July 2013)
DeLita Butler – Treasurer (newly elected July 2013)
Christine Noah – Binger District Representative (newly elected July 2013)
Ann Donaghey – Anadarko District Representative
Also involved are Laura Butler Jarvis, Jennifer Reeder Crump, and Anthony Cotter.
These Tribal Council members not only broke in, but have continued to occupy the Caddo Nation Headquarters, obtained their own security, and have chained the doors from the inside. They have broken into our individual offices in an effort to gain control of our operations and our finances.
This group is claiming that Philip Smith is acting chairman and that he is now in charge. Had this been constitutional, Philip Smith and his supporters would not have had to break in.
This group has publicly wanted me out of office since October 2011. It has been their goal since January of 2012 to retrocede all of our P.L. 93-638 grants. If they could get the programs retroceded, they hoped that would make the Membership want to recall me. Well, the BIA had no issue with the administration of our grants, therefore, had no reason to issue a retrocession. Now what?
They waited until after the July 2013 election to determine their next move. They would be fine as long as all their candidates got elected. Unfortunately for them, I was re-elected. They asked for a recount of the absentee votes, and the count came out the same. They wrote to the BIA stating that the election was illegal, even though most of their candidates won.
Next, they serve me with a petition for my removal and that too fails. Now what??
They go ahead with an illegal meeting and say that I’ve been recalled and Philip Smith is now in charge. That did not work either. Now what???
They break into our offices and say that’s what the Membership wants. According to their law, 36 tribal members at an illegal meeting constitute the Membership.
Because of their illegal actions, disregard for our Caddo Tribal government, and for the safety of our employees, I have closed the complex. Although this group and their supporters proclaim they are carrying out the wishes of the Membership, their actions show otherwise.
In my July 2013 Re-Elect campaign letter, I stated:
“The past two years have been riddled with adversity, and this adversity has been the constant within our tribe for decades. Thwarting the efforts of disgruntled tribal members who crave control and feed off of disruption has been time-consuming, but successful. In my four years as Chairman of the Caddo Nation, I have known no greater enemy to the Caddo Nation than these select few tribal members. I have stood my ground against these enemies, and I have been grateful for the support of our Membership and the Tribal Council members who are currently seated. We have fought off those members that want to retrocede our programs, freeze our bank accounts, and bring disgrace to the Caddo Nation. Together we have prevailed and I hope we can continue to move forward together in the future.”
Never have these words been so true:
“I have known no greater enemy to the Caddo Nation than these select few tribal members.”
I ask the Caddo Nation Membership for their support as I fight for our Nation. The Caddo Nation Secretary Wildena Moffer, and Ft. Cobb District Representative Eloise Harjo, both Caddo elders, have been by my side throughout this ordeal.
Our employees have felt the brunt of this impact. Due to their loyalty to the Caddo Nation, they worry that our tribal members will suffer too. They have been threatened by Philip Smith and his supporters that if they don’t come to work, they will be replaced.
Philip Smith and his supporters do not have control over the Caddo Nation. They do not have control over personnel, they do not have control over the administration of grants, and they do not have control of the finances. They assumed that they could bully the Caddo Nation and we would just allow them to take control. They assumed wrong.
Thank you to the Caddo Nation staff, Councilwomen Ms. Eloise Harjo, and Ms. Wildena Moffer, and to the Caddo Nation members who are in the trenches with us. We will prevail.
Please pray for our people to be protected from the selfish acts of a select few attempting to gain control and money at the expense of our members, especially our elders and children.
God bless the Caddo Nation,
Brenda Shemayme Edwards
Chairman of the Caddo Nation
If you would like to voice your support, please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a timeline of the events that have taken place, supporting documents, and the basis for this group’s actions.