Pending nomination, I (David A. Yeagley) will be running for chairman of the Comanche Nation this spring, 2012. The nominations begin at the annual General Council held in April. The tribal elections and assumption of offices are in June. As of today, January 11, 2012, fives months ahead, I announce my intention, and begin my campaign.
I do take the traditional view that a Comanche tribal member does not run for office unless nominated. Last April, however, I noted two different women who nominated themselves for office. This I will not do, but I will campaign now, and assume a nomination this coming April.
I seek a new form of government for the Comanche nation, or, rather, the revival of our old ways, from our history, from our free days, before 1875. I know that from 2006 through 2010, the Comanche spent nearly half a million dollars on a Constitution Revision Committee (chaired by out-of-state attorney Dennis Chappabitty) in an attempt to create a new, more efficient and pertinent government, but the entire project ended in utter failure. The new constitution draft offered to the tribe was not received with interest, and before the project claimed completion, the funding was removed. A new constitution is not the answer, nor an amended constitution. I must say, however, I proposed a new constitution myself in 2006. But for any constitutional changes, the tribe has to agree, and then the United States Government has to approve! This is not sovereignty.
This is the reason that I recommend coming out from under the United States government. This is no time for cultural sentimentality or for idolizing history. We are the Comanche people of today, not yesterday. In fact, I believe that our ways of yesterday are precisely what we need to be successful Comanche people of today. The problem is, the United States government has denied us our former ways. Therefore, I say, sell the tribe to private ownership–in which we devise the business contract, the business “treaty,” ourselves. I am looking for the most viable, efficient, secure, and immediate way of bring our tribe out from under the United States government. It is that simple.
I have many other ideas, but none of them could really come to pass successfully without independence from the government.
I would abolish the Comanche Business Committee. It is a harbor of inconsistency and confusion. I would slowly, carefully replace it with a new organization, a new system of governance–one that incorporated our old, free ways.
I would eliminate “Comanche jobs.” These cause nothing but envy and strife. Tribal money needs to be distributed equally among all worthy members. We foolishly boast of 15,000 members–many of whom know and care nothing about being Comanche except for the annual casino check, and there simply are not enough “Comanche jobs” to go around for every Comanche. The honor is too scarce. Less than half of our members live in southwest Oklahoma, and of those, only around 700 vote, and another 700 absentee ballots come in from elsewhere–and we are never sure of their validity or if they are counted. This is truly a pathetic representation of our great people. Our crippling form of government couldn’t accommodate a 7th grade student council.
I would eliminate many Comanche “programs” currently listed on our annual budget items. This money shall go directly to the individual members of the tribe.
I would aim for economic independence. This is the only route to sovereignty. We have no sovereignty now. The United States government rules over us. Every grant, all funds from the government dilute our blood and erode our identity. HUD grants, for example, encourages illegitimate children of non-Comanche fathers. Dependency is destructive.
I would appoint a variety of Comanches to oversee the things that are important to our tribe. What we have now manifests a basic shape of our values, but it need major overhauling. We need more agreement on what we really value. I will put together a governing committee now, and develop ideas before April, 2012. Major changes take time, and they have to be accomplished gradually, in increments. This must be planned.
I would protect what’s left of our blood lines. There are acceptable ways of doing this. If we don’t begin to do it now, there will one day be no point in claiming to be Comanche.
These are only a few of my ideas. Severing ties from the United States government is the most important purpose to accomplish at this time.
My qualifications for this ambition to be chairman of the Comanche Nation?
I have no experience in any Comanche tribal position.
I have no experience in managing Comanche people or business.
I have no experience in Comanche finances.
I have no experience in Comanche tribal government.
These conditions make me eminently qualified. I cannot be accused of any collaboration, conspiracy, or double-dealing. I have no baggage, no history, and no real political relations. I’m clean as a eagle bone whistle.
I have a few degrees, but none of them have anything to do with politics or business. I have no pre-fab liberal university ideas. I have experience as a writer, but I’ve never written for an Indian paper. I have media experience, but I’ve never worked for an Indian news company, radio or paper.
I am the fifth generation direct descendent of Quin-ne kish-su-it, Bad Eagle (1839-1909) a band headman of the Quahadi Comanche.
I’m ready to raid. Keemah, hites!
Dr. David A. Yeagley, descendent of Bad Eagle.
Bad Eagle Foundation (501c3)
Oklahoma City, OK 73147