Jessup is 27/32 bilingual Cherokee who has over twenty years of business experience with large corporations, including Sun Oil Co., Phillips Petroleum Co., K-Kart, Montgomery Ward and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Jessup feels the only way to self-sufficiency or self goverance is through business and economic development. The Cherokee Nation needs to recognize the needs of the Middle Class Cherokees. He also wishes to develop a system of loaning money to enterprising Cherokees who can afford to pay it back. Re-open restaurants and motels and help re-open Trail of Tears Drama Theater. We must have tribal leaders who have business experience so we can become more self-sufficient and quit relying so much on government funding. "We cannot stand tall and proud as a truly sovereign Nation while we're on our knees begging the government for handouts". He also feels that tribal money should be available for any Cherokee who wants to attend college.
Gary D. Chapman
425 E. Seneca
Tahlequah, OK 74464
Gary has served sixteen years on the Tribal Council so as to implement and carry out the wishes of the Cherokee People. Education has historically been an integral part of the Cherokee Nation and we must see that our people continue to be educated to enable us to compete in the non-Indian world. Our education system is good, but we must keep it in the forefront since the future of the Cherokee Nation depends on the education of our people young and old.
It is my plan to continue providing health care and decent housing for my people, the programs we have now function well. We need to continue to manage them in a business-like manner and guide them so that tribal members get the best service possible. The Cherokee language and culture is vitally important and we must see them preserved for the future of the Cherokee Nation. Our alphabet and language set us apart and kept us intact as a proud people in a time when Indian Culture and Government was being torn down. I plan to work toward implementing a language curriculum for our young people through tribal programs like the Child Development Center/Head Start and the public schools in Northeastern Oklahoma.
Given the current political environment in Washington D.C., the federal government is certain to decrease funding in the future and the Cherokee Nation must operate as a business and properly manage our resources. Toward this goal, I will be able to work with newly-elected Principal Chief, tribal Council Members, past administrations and other people involved with the Cherokee Nation. My successful business experience will enable me to work with private industry to provide quality employment. The Cherokee Nation is big-business and we should be working to provide job opportunities for our people locally without them having to move to other parts of the country in order to make a living for their families.