, Muskogee, OK

Local News

June 13, 2013

Family inspires hopeful to serve

One in a series of Cherokee Nation Tribal Council candidates.

Cherokee Nation Tribal Council District 2 candidate Tamsye Dreadfulwater said her passion for serving the Cherokee people comes from her family.

The daughter of J.B. and Louise Dreadfulwater, she said her family inspired her.

“My father trained me to respect our people and what they need and to listen, not with just my ears, but with my heart,” Dreadfulwater said.

And her many years of employment for the Cherokee Nation is has given her the knowledge and experience needed for the job, she said.

“I was the senior director of finance for the Cherokee Nation for 18 years and three months,” Dreadfulwater said. “I have a lot of experience. While I was there we won the Government Finance Officers Association Award of Excellence in financial reporting, 11 of the 12 years that I was the director.”

Dreadfulwater faces incumbent Joe Byrd in the June 22 election.

She’s worked in various positions within the nation since 1984, and works as an accountant outside.

And she’s running because she can use what she’s learned over the years to the tribe’s best advantage, Dreadfulwater said.

“I know the programs. I know how the funding comes in. I’ve worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, with different tribal entities. I know their financial system,” she said. “And the Tribal Council must address funding, both federal and tribal, and investments, health and human services. They need more financial expertise in developing the budget and adhering to it.”

Dreadfulwater said she wants to see accountability if she is elected.

“And I don’t mean just in funds, but also in actions,” she said. “When people do things, they need to stand up and say they did it, even if it was wrong, because as long as they take accountability for what they did, we can always fix it.”

Dreadfulwater said she plans to make herself accessible to the public as often as possible.

“I’m not going to be hiding and not taking calls,” she said. “And I’ll have office hours on a Saturday or Sunday, so I’ll be accessible to everyone.”

Dreadfulwater said she also plans to represent the best interests of all Cherokees, not just a select few.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or

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