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January 1997
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
Tribal Council Meeting Minutes

Transcribed by Franklin Mclain
Assistant Editor for the Cherokee Observer

Tribal Council Meeting
January 13, 1997 - 6:00 p.m.


President Eagle called the meeting to order at 6:1 0 p.m.. in the Tribal Council Chambers, W.W. Keeler Complex.


The invocation was given by Councilman Bush.


Roll call was given by Gina Blackfox, Legislative Aide. The following members were present:

  1. Bill John Baker
  2. Mary Cooksey
  3. Harold DeMoss
  4. Paula Holder
  5. Nick Lay
  6. Troy Wayne Poteete
  7. William Smoke
  8. Sam Ed Bush
  9. Don Crittenden
  10. Harley Terrell
  11. Charles Hoskin
  12. Barbara Conness
  13. Barbara Starr-Scott
  14. Dora Mae Watie

A quorum was established to conduct business. Councilman Phillips was attending a seminar.


Councilman Poteete moved to approve an amendment to the December 16 minutes to include the verbatim comments regarding the questions/answers of Mr. Givens. Councilmember Scott seconded the motion. Motion carried. Councilman Baker moved to approve the amended minutes and Councilmember Cooksey seconded. Motion carried.


Chief Byrd reported the month of December was a time to join together and celebrate the holidays. He commended the staff or the work on the angel tree project as well as the food baskets. Cherokee Nation representatives will visit Washington, D.C. this week to continue building contacts. Tribal Council was provided a briefing on the inauguration activities earlier Meetings have also been scheduled for the congressional delegation and tribal leaders to discuss future needs and goals and to receive input which may have an impact on tribes. NCAI and NIGA will hold conferences during this time. Chief Byrd stated during the next year considerable time will be spent reviewing Natural Resources to make sure they are being used to their highest potential. Efforts will be made to organize and plan ahead for the growth of the land base and begin to plan for the future. Other projects are to secure funding for the development and construction of a multi-purpose facility. With the growth of the Cherokee Nation and other organizations the construction of such a facility would meet the ongoing needs in the area The health Department will also be a focus within the coming year. Chief Byrd recently met with the clinical managers to ensure they address some of the immediate concerns. Rick Kelley, is Interim Director and Linda Ford, recently employed by the EMS program has transferred to the Health Department as Deputy Director. There is some discussion regarding the remodeling of the Cherokee Nation Motel The Cherokee Nation Industry is doing quite well, they are anticipating a growth for the company in 1997. Chief Byrd commented there have been several questions concerning the contract which was recently lost due to AMP Inc., streamlining their product lines. Cherokee Nation Distributors has a contract with this company that will be lost within 30-45 days. No employees are anticipated to be laid off and CND will continue to supply the needs of their customers. CND has other contracts with SWB, GTE for future work. They are also seeking new contracts and continue their focus to expand beyond traditional defense contracts with the goal of being prepared to change with the Ames to insure the growth of the company. Cherokee Nation is looking forward to receiving revenues from the motor fuel agreement This issue is currently before tribal courts and with a favorable ruling they anticipate more than 3m in revenues for 1997 alone. The first quarter check should be received in February. The revenues may be used to assist constituents in the areas of education, health care, roads, and law enforcement This is an excellent opportunity for Cherokee Nation to provide additional service in these areas. Chief Byrd commended the Sequoyah High School parents, staff, and students for their school support.


Chief Byrd re-nominated Dwight W. Birdwell to serve as Justice to the Judicial Appeals Tribunal. Councilman Baker moved to affirm the nomination and Councilmember Watie seconded the motion. Roll call was requested by President Eagle.

         *Bill John Baker YEA   *Don Crittenden  YEA
         *Harley Terrell  YEA   *Harold Phillips ABSENT
         *Dora Watie      YEA   *Mary Cooksey    YEA
         *Sam Ed Bush     YEA   *Paula Holder    NAY
         *Troy Poteete    YEA   *Barbara Conness YEA
         *Barbara Scott   YEA   *William Smoke   YEA
         *Harold DeMoss   NAY   *Nick Lay        YEA
         *Charles Hoskin  YEA

The re-affirmation was approved by a vote of twelve (12) yeas; two (2) nays; Paul Thomas, Chief Cherokee Elder, presented gifts to the Justices, Chief; Deputy Chief, and Dennis Wickliffe. Mr. Birdwell expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to continue serving as Justice. Justice Keen performed the swearing in of Mr. Birdwell to serve another six year term.


No special reports given.



In the absence of Joel Thompson, Executive Director, no report was given.


Dennis Wickliffe, Self-Governance Specialist, provided the monthly report on behalf of the Muskogee Area Office. Ms. Ada Deer tendered her resignation on January 9, she has indicated to the Bureau that she will remain as Assistant Secretary until another is named. A new person should be named by April the tribes are encouraged to submit names for her successor. Gary Rogers, Area Accounting officer, has transferred to the office of special trustee, Trust Funds Management effective January 3. He will open an office in the Oklahoma City area. Emmitt Rice, Associate Regional Solicitor, retired as of January 3. He is known for his leadership in tribal government, law enforcement, and court systems.


Gerald Cantrell, CEO, provided the monthly report on behalf of the Cherokee Nation Enterprises. The month of December was very good for business enterprises. He commented Roland gaming sales for the first quarter increased by 4% in comparison to last year. Attendance increased by 23% for the same period. The month of October showed an increase of 2. 79% in sales, November 7.29%, and December 1.92% in sales with five days of shut down for the holiday and renovation. Smoke shop sales increased for the first quarter, October showed a slight increase of 6.95%, November showed a substantial increase of 20.5/. Catoosa gaming sales increased for the first quarter by 11.93% in comparison to last year. Attendance increased by 66% for the first quarter. The gaming sales decreased at the West Siloam facility during the first quarter by 5.78% in comparison to last year. The attendance increased by 11% from last year. He also provided a financial report from the convenient stores and activity at the gift shops. He also reported on the support services. Currently, CNE provides employment for 554 individuals. Deloitte & Touche have completed their audit and a written report should be received soon.


Bruce Taylor reported there are two separate operations within the company which includes CNI and CND. He provided a brief history on both. The distributorship includes military components, fiber optic cable, and commercial components. They have within the last 45 days added from 1.5 to 3m dollars to the fiber optics through the operation in Tahlequah. They are also bidding a contract with GTE in the fiber optics and within the next two weeks they will be placing proposals to Southwestern Bell for additional business. This is an area that is progressing well. They have approximately $12m in sales and consolidated sales of the total business. They currently have 245 employees at Cherokee Nation Industries.


None pending.


1) Authorizing Community Development to Submit a Grant Application to the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Native American Programs (ANA) for Lead Testing/R# 1-97

Councilman Hoskin presented the resolution authorizing the Community Development Department to submit a grant application in the amount of $50,000 dollars. This is a first year program designed for the DHHS-ANA Indian Environmental Regulations Enhancement Project to test Indian homes for lead based paint to meet established federal guidelines. Councilman Baker moved to approve the resolution and Councilman Smoke seconded. Motion carried.

2) Authorizing the Submission of a Grant Application to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to Develop a Special Project of National Significance (SPNS) Funded Under the Authority of Section 2691 of the Public Health Service R#2-97

Councilmember Conness presented the resolution authorizing the resolution to submit a grant application in the amount of $250,000 dollars to provide an innovative service delivery model that is designed to ensure the ongoing availability of services for Native Americans communities to care for Native Americans with HIV/AIDS diseases. Councilman Poteete moved to approve the resolution and Councilmember Cooksey seconded. Motion carried.

3) A Resolution Authorizing the Submission of a Grant Application to the Indian Health Service, a Tribal Management Grant for Fiscal Year 1997 to Develop Tribal Wide Base Line Measures in Health Care Objectives for Indian People/R#3-97

Councilmember Conness presented the resolution authorizing the Cherokee Nation to submit an application to Indian Health Service to receive funding to develop "Base Line Measures" to be utilized in the development of Cherokee Nation Tribal Specific Health Plan' provide an innovative service delivery model that is designed to ensure the ongoing availability of services for Native American communities. Councilmember Conness moved to approve the resolution and Councilman Bush seconded. Motion carried.

4) A Resolution Authorizing the Submission of a Grant Application to the Avon Breast Health Access Fund for Community-Based Outreach Programs that Provide Medically Under-Served Native American Women with Direct Access to Breast Cancer Education and Screening/R#497

Councilmember Conness presented the resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application in the amount of $10,000-$25,000 dollar range. The Cherokee Nation Women and Children's Health Program will develop culturally sensitive breast educational materials in the Cherokee and English language utilizing photos of Cherokee women. This program will also provide transportation to medical facilities for breast screening services for Native American women residing in the fourteen ( 14) county area. Councilmember Conness moved to approve the resolution and Councilmember Watie seconded. Motion carried.

5) A Resolution Authorizing the Submission of a Grant Application to the Historic Preservation Fund Grants to Indian Tribes, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiian Organizations for a Cherokee Nation Tribal Preservation Program/R#5-97

Councilman Bush presented the resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application in the amount of $50,000 dollars. The grant objective will be to provide an intensive training program for a variety of Cherokee Nation employees to address the Historic Preservation needs of the Cherokee Nation Education and Training will be available for employees in Historic Preservation for the GWY Cultural Center and Education Services. Councilmember Scott moved for the adoption and Councilmember Conness seconded. Motion carried.


With no further business presented, Councilmember Scott motioned for adjournment. The meeting concluded at 7:30 p.m. The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, February 10, 6:00 p m. at the tribal headquarters.

James Garland Eagle

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