BINGER The Caddo Nation remains in a state of purgatory as rival claims to leadership have split the tribe.
Interim Chairman Phillip Smith said a meeting Saturday at the Binger tribal complex saw 41 members of the almost 5,000 member tribe present. Smith said it gave opportunity for him to catch them up with recent events that have led to turmoil.
Smith and Tribal Council members Bonnie Christine Noah, DeLita Butler and Ann Donaghey led a recall effort against Brenda Shemayme Edwards 16 days into her second term as chairperson. She rejected their call for a recall meeting Sept. 7 but it was held anyway. Edwards was recalled by a vote of 36-0. Smith and his group of council members took over the tribal complex and business offices Sept. 24.
"The meeting went well, there were 41 tribal members there and I explained all the events of the past two weeks," Smith said. "They were amazed that Brenda Edwards had stripped seven tribal members of their tribal benefits and that she had cut the electricity to the complex and attempted to turn the phones off."
Smith said he sought relief from Bureau of Indian Affairs Superintendent Robin Phillips.