Impartiality is key skill for new Indian liaison to Oklahoma governor
“Liaison” is a word of French origin that's thoroughly embedded in a language (English) in which so many words have multiple meanings.
Gov. Mary Fallin's new Native American liaison will have multiple duties. Her primary job should be, as the main dictionary listing for “liaison” has it, to maintain contact between various groups. Although liaison is a term also used in connection with cooking and illicit affairs, it usually refers to the easing of communication.
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A liaison shouldn't favor any particular group. Yet this is the marker that one Indian chief has already laid down for Fallin's appointee, Tulsan Jacque Secondine Hensley. The job of Native American liaison was created when the Legislature last year abolished the decades-old Indian Affairs Commission.
Muscogee Nation Chief A.D. Ellis complained at the time that abolishing the commission would hinder the tribe's supposedly good-faith efforts to negotiate a tobacco compact with the state. This earned a chuckle from those who believe the tribe's negotiations have been less than serious.
George Tiger, who is now the Muscogee's principal chief, said Hensley (of Kaw heritage) was chosen without tribal consultation. He said she should be more loyal to the Indians than to the state. Really?
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