Letter: Cherokee Nation chief's 'grandstanding'
"I read with humorous, yet serious, interest the articles in the Tulsa World on April 3 and May 29 regarding Cherokee Chief Chad Smith’s reaction and comments as to state Rep. Randy Terrill’s efforts to enact a law making “English-only” the official language in Oklahoma. He alleges forced assimilation and punishment in Indian boarding schools for speaking their native language as his reasons against the bill, and says he will fight any attempt to make “English-only” a law. (It is my understanding that Smith himself cannot speak Cherokee fluently.)

Rep. Terrill’s proposal to make English the official language in Oklahoma only makes good sense and has nothing to do with assimilation and, as Terrill emphasized, would not affect the use of American Indian languages. Nowhere do you see instructions written in any Indian language as you now see in Spanish -- i.e., telephone instructions, ATM machines, medications, assembly directions and many other instances. Now, they even give driver’s license exams in Spanish.

Any observant person cannot help but see the problems caused by the influx of illegals and should be deeply concerned. Besides the illegals being in violation of the law for sneaking across the border, they could also be murderers, drug dealers, rapists or terrorists.

I, for one, strongly support Terrill’s efforts to deal with illegal immigrants and pray that Chief Smith would quit grandstanding and support him also."

Get the Story:
Harley Terrell: Smith ‘grandstanding’ (The Tahlequah Daily Press 6/5)

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Oklahoma tribes oppose English-only legislation (4/28)
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Cherokee chief protests English-only hearing (4/3)
New English-only bill exempts Native languages (3/19)
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