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June 1997
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
Tribal Council Meeting Minutes

Transcribed by Franklin Mclain
Assistant Editor for the Cherokee Observer


Regular Tribal Council Meeting
June 16, 1997 - 6:00 p.m.

CALL TO ORDER:

President Eagle called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Tribal Council Chambers, W.W. Keeler Complex.

INVOCATION:

The invocation was given by Councilman Bush.

ROLL CALL:

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

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

A quorum was established to conduct business Councilman DeMoss was unable to attend.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Councilman Crittenden moved to approve the minutes of March 10 and May 12, 1997. Councilman Terrell seconded the motion. Motion carried.

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS:

Chief Byrd reported on the national issues currently affecting the Cherokee Nation and all Indian tribes as wed. Last week a bid appeared before the House and Means Committee to tax revenue from tribal casinos and other businesses. This would be extremely detrimental to ah tribes throughout the United States. This was a widely debated bill which was finally defeated and he commented that Senator Nickles took a strong stand on the issue of sovereignty of Indian. Chief Byrd along with the Chairman of Executive & Finance recently visited the Office of USDA to discuss several initiatives. The USDA is very Interested in working with Cherokee Nation and may visit the area later in July. The Deputy Chief, Miss Cherokee and several of the congregation from Salem Baptist Church attended a dedication ceremony of Sephus Washburn Park in Russelville, Arkansas. Sephus was a missionary to the Cherokees. This event was very well attended and an unforgettable experience. He announced the completion of the Greasy Road Project in Adair County as well as the Dry Creek Road in Cherokee County. Final inspections were conducted on both projects by Federal Highway and Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Duck Lane Project in Adair County and construction on the Stand Watie Road will begin in sixty days. This past week Chief Byrd and Deputy Chief Eagle attended one of the largest gatherings of Indian people, the Red Earth Festival. Julie Deeringwater, Miss Indian Oklahoma and Miss Cherokee Lindsay Houston also participated in activities. He commended Miss Cherokee for representing the Cherokee Nation. A ground breaking ceremony was held at the Tsa-La-Gi library for the expansion of a new wing. The new wing will hold children specialty collections, and audio visual equipment. Completion time for the expansion is ninety days. An employee appreciation day has been set for Friday, June 20. The purpose of this day is to allow the employees an opportunity to enjoy each others company and to show them their importance to the organization. Chief Byrd has asked staff to begin preparation for networking opportunities with counties for the purpose of getting back in contact by taking programs and services directly to tribal members. He stated staff members will also provide community projects. This group organizing these events will be known as the Cherokee Nation Community Connection. The first meeting will be held at the RedBird Smith Health Center on Tuesday of next week. This group will hold meetings throughout the fourteen counties with Council members being involved.

CONFORMATION OF GAMING COMMISSIONERS:

Chief Byrd nominated Joe Hutchinson of Jay, and Janelle Fulbright of Sallisaw to serve as gaming commissioners. Bill Langley will continue to serve as a member. Background checks have been completed on these individuals. Council member Cooksey made a motion to approve the confirmations. Council member Conness seconded the motion. Motion carried.

CONFIRMATION OF ASSOCIATE DISTRICT JUDGE:

Chief Byrd nominated DeWayne Littlejohn to serve as Associate District Judge of the Cherokee Nation with the term expiring April, 2001. Chief Byrd clarified that according to the codes there may be more than one to serve as judge. Council member Holder inquired as to where funds would be made available for the position. He stated they are looking into that matter and it may not be necessary to even appoint a third judge. Councilman Baker moved for the confirmation and Councilman Bush seconded the motion. Motion carried. Council members Lay, Poteete and Scott abstained.

CONFIRMATION OF CHEROKEE NATION INDUSTRY BOARD:

Chief Byrd nominated Perry Wheeler and Buddy Holt to serve as members of CNI Board. Council members Scott expressed some concerns on the appointment of Buddy Holt. She encouraged Chief Byrd to seek another Cherokee to serve in this position. Councilman Baker moved to approve the confirmation of Buddy Holt to save a thirty-day appointment and Perry Wheeler as full-time member. Council member Scott seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Council member Holder inquired about the reorganization Chief Byrd has initiated. He replied that the reorganization has been assigned to executive directors, Secretary-Treasurer, and Chief of Staff, who will submit their recommendations on the restructuring of some areas. He will provide to the council members the justification for the changes being made. Another concern expressed by Council member Holder was the issue of law enforcement and the distinction between the BIA Law Enforcement service and the security division, the concern being there may be a liability factor if untrained security division are providing services This concluded the State of the Nation

Dr. Sarah Hill of the Atlanta History Center in Georgia was in attendance to provide information concerning a one year living culture history exhibit. She plans to visit with area traditional artists and crafts people about exhibits and demonstrations in Atlanta. Chief Byrd has appointed Dr. Charles Gourd to represent the Cherokee Nation to assist Dr. Hill on this project. The exhibit is expected to open at the Atlanta History Center in the fall of 1999 for one year.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Councilman Hoskin introduced the 1997 tribal interns. The overall goal of the intern program is develop and promote leadership skills which is accomplished through many activities such as learning about tribal government, preserving Cherokee heritage, and learning about the organizational structure of the Cherokee Nation and how it functions. These interns may attend Cherokee Council meetings and other community activities. These interns are under the direction of Karen Rabon and Londa Cox. Each intern gave a brief introduction and stated their placement area.

MONTHLY REPORTS:

HOUSING AUTHORITY: JOEL THOMPSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Joel Thompson, Executive Director, reported Housing Authority recently hosted the 3rd Annual National Drug Elimination and Crime Prevention Conference held in Tulsa. Approximately 80 percent of participants were youth. The application for the construction of new development units has been submitted to HUD. Under the current NOFA, Housing Authority would be eligible to receive fifty units of new construction. He stated the Loyal Shawnee have organized a Housing Authority and have designed the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation as their tribally designated housing entity under NAHASDA as well as the grant recipient Because they will be a new housing authority, they automatically receive a perfect score in their application and qualify, if approved, for fifteen units of new construction. Housing Authority would develop the units and manage them as well. The negotiated rule making process has been completed under NAHASDA and are now in the 45 day comment period. At the completion of the comment period, the committee will reconvene in Colorado Springs to consider the comments to incorporate them in the final regs. Under the new formula the block grants do have some overlapping jurisdictions. Within our tribal jurisdictional service area, the overlapping has been identified in the 1990 census with the Delawares and Keetoowahs. Under the negotiated rules, it requires that the tribes negotiate an agreement and if no agreement is reached the secretary would make the decision prior to submission of the housing plan which is due by November 3.

BIA/SELF GOVERNANCE: DENNIS WICKLIFFE, SELF GOVERNANCE SPECIALIST

Dennis Wickliffe reported the Self-Governance negotiations will be held this week with seven tribes participating for FY 1998 The consultation meeting on tribal shares has been scheduled for July 21 in Tempe, AZ. The area directors and superintendents within a five state area will meet to prepare for a two day meeting concerning tribal shares. The intent of the meeting is to present a common tribal share process to be used throughout the bureau. Council member Watie inquired about the status of the CDIB regulations. A resolution was approved at the last Inter-Tribal Council meeting. He will provide an update on this information by the next scheduled council meeting. Council member Holder inquired if the BIA had requested an opinion from the Solicitor's office concerning whether the BIA law enforcement will carry out all laws and court decisions. He commented there is a letter to the effect whether BIA will carry out the federal law and the tribal law is under advisement at this time. The advice from the Solicitor's office on the issue of carrying out the tribal law and federal law is under advisement at this time and he could not offer a comment.

CHEROKEE NATION ENTERPRISES: JERRY HOLDERBY, CEO

Mr. Holderby provided an update on the April figures for the operations within the industries. During the month of April the total revenue for the company was down by $488,000 dollars compared to March figures. The net profit was down from March by $76,752.00 dollars. The net income increased at the Roland facility and West Siloam had a loss. The Restaurant has extended their hours to late evenings and the grit shops will hold special sales during the holidays. Council member Holder inquired about the inventory at the gift shops. He responded they are still negotiating the purchase of inventory. There was some discussion on the $200,000 dollar dividend. The funds are in a bank in Muskogee, Territorial National Bank. The CNE board had some question on the transaction. Mr. Holderby presented the June dividend to the tribe. Council member Conness inquired as to how the other buildings on the CNE property are being utilized. He responded by stating the warehouses are vacant but they are in the process of using it for storage.

CHEROKEE NATION INDUSTRIES: HIRAM MCFARLAND, CEO

Mr. McFarland expressed his appreciation for the letter of support submitted from the Council, Chief, and Deputy Chief, Hiram provided an update on the financial status of the industry. This year will conclude with approximately 23 million in sales and they are projecting the same for the coming year. Currently, they are producing ahead of schedule m the cable end of business. A detailed report of the financial status will be provided to the Executive & Finance Committee. The CNI operation in Tahlequah is expected to bring between six and seven million dollars this year. They are in the third week of 100% per cent on time delivery. An audit has been completed with positive results. He reported there are 209 employed and restructuring has occurred over the previous two months. Councilman Hoskin commended the management and board members. They are currently working on a contract with the Corps of Engineers which will allow CNI in providing software, and function as a help desk to the corps. They are also working with GSA in Region 7 on a similar contract such as selling computers, installation, and software.

ACTION OF UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

None pending.

NEW BUSINESS:

1) A Resolution Authorizing the Child Care and Development Department to Prepare and Submit an Application to the Department of Health and Human Services for Continued Funding of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Fund/R#40-97

Councilman Phillips moved to approve the resolution authorizing submission of a child care block grant application in the amount of $5,200,000.00 dollars to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of child care These funds are used to provide grants, contracts and certificates for child care services for low income families, monitor child care providers, and operate the Child Care Resource Center. The Child Development Centers in Tahlequah and Stilwell are funded through the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Motion carried.

2) A Resolution in Opposition to Proposed Facility Operations and Maintenance Being Place in Tribal Priority Allocation, Displacement Costs Paid Out of ISEP Funds and Change in the Methods of Distributing ISEP Funds Submitted During the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Consultation Meeting/R#41-97

Councilman Crittenden moved to approve the resolution in opposition to proposed facility operations and maintenance being placed in tribal priority allocation. Councilman Bush seconded the motion. Motion carried. Councilmembers Watie, Scott, and Conness were out of the room during presentation of this business item.

3) A Resolution Authorizing a Grant Application for Continuation of Services of the Early Head Start Program/R#42-97

Council member Holder moved to approve a resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application for the continuation of services of the Early Head Start Program. The grant amount requested is $653,430.00 dollars. Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Motion carried. Councilmembers Watie and Conness were out of the room during the presentation of this business item.

4) A Resolution Authorizing a Grant Application for Continuation of Services of the Head Start Program/R#43 -97

Council member Holder moved to approve a resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application for the continuation of services of the Head Start Program. The grant amount requested is $3,147,361.00 dollars. Councilman Smoke seconded the motion. Motion carried. Councilmembers Watie and Conness were out of the room during presentation of this business item.

5) A Resolution Supporting an Application for a Special Projects Grant Under the Library Services for Indian Tribes and Hawaiian Natives Program/R#44-97

Council member Holder moved to approve a resolution supporting an application for a special projects grant. The grant amount requested is $100,000 dollars. Councilman Crittenden seconded the motion. Motion carried. Council member Conness was out of the room during the presentation of this business item.

6) A Resolution Adopting a Flexible Benefits Plan/R#45-97

Councilman Baker moved to approve the resolution adopting a flexible benefits plan (consisting of the flexible benefits plan document, the Adoption Agreement, and component benefit plans and Policies) for the Cherokee Nation effective as of the date specified in the Adoption Agreement. Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Motion carried.

7) A Resolution Authorizing the Continuation of Health Services for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) through the Claremore and Tahlequah Indian Health Service Units/R#46-97

Council member Conness presented the resolution authorizing the Cherokee Nation WIC Program to enter into agreement with Claremore/Tahlequah Indian Health Services units for the cooperative provision of WIC services. Councilman Baker moved to adopt the resolution and Council member Cooksey seconded the motion. Motion carried.

8) A Resolution Authorizing the Continuation of Health Services for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) with the Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa, Oklahoma/R#47-97

Council member Conness moved to approve the resolution authorizing the continuation of health services for the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children with the Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa. Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Motion carried.

9) A Resolution Authorizing the Contractual Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture for the Continuation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)/R#48-97

Council member Conness presented the resolution authorizing the contractual agreement with the USDA for continuation of the special supplemental nutrition program for WIC. Council member Cookey moved for adoption and Councilman Smoke seconded the motion. Motion carried

10) A Resolution Requesting the Permission to Lease Cherokee Nation Tribal Land to Rocky Ford Oaks Association/R#49-97

Councilman Crittenden presented the resolution authorizing the lease to Rocky Ford Oaks Association for a five year term for the sum of $1.00 per acre per year to enable the organization to fulfill their charitable, educational, and humanitarian purposes. Councilman Poteete moved to adopt the resolution and Council member Conness seconded the motion. Motion carried.

11) A Resolution Authorizing the Submission of a Grant Application to the Oklahoma Arts Council for Costs Related to the Cherokee National Holiday Pow Wow/R#50-97

Councilman Baker presented the resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application to the Oklahoma Arts Council. Councilman Poteete moved to approve the resolution. Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Motion carried.

12) A Resolution Authorizing the Submission of a Grant Application to the Green Country Marketing Association for Printing Costs Related to the Cherokee National Holiday Brochurel/#51 -97

Councilman Baker presented the resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application to the Green Country Marketing Association. Councilman Poteete moved for the adoption of the resolution. Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Motion carried.

13) An Act Regarding the Motor Fuel Tax Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1997/LA#10-97

Councilman Baker moved to approve the legislation for the motor fuel tax appropriations. The Council approved appropriations for the Fairview Eucha Road, ($100,000), Breast Cervical Treatment ($50,000), Dentures ($150,000), Eye Glasses ($105,000), Prescription Drugs ($75,000), Higher Education Scholarships ($200,000), Emergency Student Fund ($S0,000), Reserve Balance ($280,000) plus the major reserve of $1,000,000 dollars. Council member Conness seconded the motion. Roll call as following:

The legislation was approved by a vote of fourteen (14) yeas, and none (0) opposing.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Next Tribal Council meeting will be held on July 14, 1997, 6:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business presented, Councilman Bush moved for adjournment.

James "Garland" Eagle
President


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The CHEROKEE OBSERVER
P.O. Box 1301
Jay, OK. 74346-1301
Phone/FAX: (918) 253-8752
cwyob@mailhost.galstar.com
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