Poll Still Shows Cherokees Do Not Support Cherokee Chief Joe Byrd

Survey and update provided by:
Barry Landeros-Thomas

This is the most up-to-date information on the opinion survey as of, Monday, October 5, 1998. For those of you that have already completed the survey, thank you very much. For those who have not, please take a moment to voice your opinion (it is completely anonymous and voluntary) at the following:
URL: http://www.orphanage.com/OpinionSurvey.shtml
[**Note: Space and script for online survey, donated by “Orphanage Services!”]


The following survey was initiated by me (Barry Landeros-Thomas), a doctoral student at the Ohio State University. I currently work for the Center for Human Resource Research on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997 cohort). Yes, that is for you Byrdettes out there who would question my qualifications.

After witnessing the blatant attempt at a campaign of misinformation by the Byrd administration, I felt that a poll was needed to find out where the majority of Cherokee stood regarding the Cherokee Nation leadership and subsequent actions that evolved into what has become known as the Cherokee Nation Crisis. This current update is in answer to the recent release of a “poll” of a supposedly Indian focused newspaper which reported Joe Byrd as being one of the most popular Indian current leaders. The results are currently as follows:

Total number of respondents: 2167 (to date)
Total number of Cherokee respondents: 1683
Total number registered to vote in CNO: 1094
(several more indicated that they will be registering soon)
Average age of respondents: 41.07 (min-15 max-88)
Total number of male respondents: 1014 (46.8%)
Total number of female respondents:1153 (53.2%)

1. I support the actions of Principal Chief Joe Byrd.

84.5% DISAGREE 7.2% Unsure 8.3% Agree

2. I believe the termination of the Cherokee Marshals was an appropriate and justified act.

89.7% DISAGREE 6.3% Unsure 4.0% Agree

3. I believe that Principal Chief Joe Byrd should recognize the Judicial Appeals Tribunal’s reinstatement of the Cherokee Marshals.

4.5% Disagree 5.7% Unsure 89.8% AGREE

4. I believe that the impeachment of the Judicial Appeals Tribunal was an appropriate and justified act.

82.9% DISAGREE 14.0% Unsure 3.1% Agree

5. I believe that Principal Chief Joe Byrd should recognize the Judicial Appeals Tribunal as a valid tribal court.

4.3% Disagree 6.0% Unsure 89.7% AGREE

6. I believe the Byrd administration has consistently upheld the Cherokee Constitution.

78.7% DISAGREE 17.1% Unsure 4.2% Agree

7. I believe that it was appropriate and necessary to invite the Bureau of Indian Affairs into the Nation to assume Cherokee law enforcement duties.

90.2% DISAGREE 4.5% Unsure 5.3% Agree

8. I believe that the actions of BIA and other outside law enforcement personnel have been appropriate and justified.

88.0% DISAGREE 6.7% Unsure 5.3% Agree

9. I believe that Chief Joe Byrd’s performance of his official duties has been excellent.

88.2% DISAGREE 8.4% Unsure 3.4% Agree

10. I plan to vote for Joe Byrd in the next election.

90.3% DISAGREE 7.1% Unsure 2.6% Agree

Many thanks to those that have gotten the word out and distributed the surveys at pow-wows and other functions around the country and gotten people to use the on-line version.

The majority of the sample was taken during the holiday in Tahlequah (random opportunity sample at the courthouse and the heritage center–also the Murrell House). Therefore, anyone that was at the holiday had the opportunity to complete a survey (cuts down on selection bias), other respondents range from Oregon and California on the west coast to NY and Baltimore on the east coast.

The survey contained some basic demographic questions (age, sex, tribal affiliation, etc.) along with ten forced choice opinion questions on the crisis–the responses were on a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from Very Strongly Disagree (1) to Very Strongly Agree (7). If you need a more professional description, I can put it in journal “Data and Measures” and “Results” format if requested.

Wado, Barry