Last month we took to task an Oklahoma tribal official for saying the state’s new Native American liaison should be more loyal to Indians than to the state. Instead, the holder of the post shouldn’t be partial to either the tribes or state government.
We were thus encouraged to read that the first person to hold the job, Jacque Secondine Hensley, believes a liaison “is a person who needs to see both sides.”
The job was created when the Legislature abolished the Indian Affairs Commission last year. Hensley, of Kaw descent, will be paid $55,000 a year.
Among her duties is to work on agreements between the state and the tribes, including tobacco compacts. That’s been a sore point for state officials in connection with the tribe whose chief made the remark about the liaison needing to show bias toward the Indians.