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May 12, 1997
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
Tribal Council Meeting Minutes

Transcribed by Franklin Mclain
Assistant Editor for the Cherokee Observer


Regular Tribal Council Meeting
May 12,1997 - 6:00 p.m.

CALL TO ORDER:

President Eagle called the meeting to order at 6:20 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. Sam Ed Bush
  3. Mary Cooksey
  4. Don Crittenden
  5. Harold DeMoss
  6. Harley Terrell
  7. Paula Holder
  8. Charles Hoskin
  9. Nick Lay
  10. Barbara Conness
  11. Troy Wayne Poteete
  12. Barbara Starr-Scott
  13. William Smoke
  14. Dora Mae Watie

    A quorum was established to conduct business.

    APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

    The minutes of April 14 Council meeting were approved as presented. Councilman Phillips made a motion to approve and Council member Scott seconded. Motion carried

    Councilman Phillips made a motion to amend the agenda to consider the business items placed on the April and May agendas, the resolution concerning the legislative aide, the State of the Nation Address, board appointments, and the monthly reports. Council member Scott seconded the motion. Motion carried.

    NEW BUSINESS:

    1) A Resolution Authorizing Community Development to Submit a Proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region Val, Indian Environmental General Assistance Program for the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council (ITEC) Consortium/R#18-97

    Councilman Hoskin presented the resolution authorizing the submission of a proposal to the U. S. EPA The funds will be used to continue development of the Cherokee Nation/ITEC Indian General Assistance Program. Bud Squirrel reported this is an ongoing program.

    Presently, the Cherokee Nation administers the environmental program for thirty Oklahoma tribes. Funds must be requested on an annual basis with no matching funds required The amount of the grant is $280,000 dollars. Council member Scott moved for the adoption of the resolution. Councilman Lay seconded the motion. Motion carried

    2) A Resolution Authorizing the Education and Human Services Division to Develop and Submit a Summer Plan to the Department of Labor for Continued Provision of JTPA Title II-B Services - The Summer Youth Employment Program/R#19-97

    Councilman Hoskin presented the resolution authorizing the submission of an application for the summer youth employment program. The grant amount requested is $1,155,565 dollars with no matching funds required. Councilman Poteete moved for the adoption and Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Motion carried.

    3) A Resolution Authorizing the Education and Human Services Division to Develop and Submit a Comprehensive Annual Plan to the Department of Labor for Continued Provision of JTPA Title IV-A Services/R#20-97

    Councilman Hoskin presented the resolution authorizing the submission of an application for continued provision of JTPA services. The grant amount requested is $1,361,883 dollars with no matching funds required Councilman Lay moved for the adoption and Council member Conness seconded the motion Motion carried.

    4) A Resolution Authorizing the Submission of an Application of a Title IX Indian Education Formula Grant Application to the United States Department of Education for Sequoyah High School/R#21-97

    Council member Holder presented the resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application. The grant amount requested is based on the student count 506 forms. Councilman DeMoss moved for the adoption of the resolution and Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Motion carried.

    5) A Resolution Supporting the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail/R#22-97

    Councilman Bush presented the resolution supporting the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. On February 19, 1997, the Language and Culture Council Committee requested a resolution be developed in support of the proposed funding for the Trail of Tears Interpretative Centers. Approximately 1.2 million dollars has been placed in the President's budget and maintaining support for the President's budget is the focus of the resolution. A letter writing campaign to garner support from the legislature will be conducted and held in concert with passage of this resolution.

    Councilman Bush moved for the adoption of the resolution and Council member Watie seconded the motion, Motion carried

    6) A Resolution Supporting an Application to the Office of Administration for Native Americans for a Thirty- Six Month Language Grant/R#23-97

    Councilman Bush presented the resolution supporting an application to the Office of Administration for Native Americans. The GWY Cultural Center is applying for a three year grant for a Language Program. The focus of the program will be to develop computer technology for the Cherokee language curriculum. The application will request Funds to pay for half the salary of the Linguist Manager, a computer consultant and one full time clerical staff member.

    Councilman Bush moved for the adoption of the resolution and Council member Cooksey seconded the motion. Motion carried.

    7) A Resolution Authorizing Approval of a Temporary Construction Easement Bar Pit on the Rocky Ford Coop Road Project/R#24-97

    Councilman Crittenden presented the resolution authorizing temporary construction easement. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Muskogee Area Office, in cooperation with the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners provided matching Funds to the County for construction of a road commencing a the Cherokee/Delaware county line, south to Rocky Ford intersection with Moody-Oaks road. The county has received its matching monies for construction and has awarded contracts. The contractor on this project, Frix and Foster, has requested the use of tribal property for stock piling top soil and brush for burning and have further requested to purchase 30 thousand cubic yards of fill material to be used in road construction. The construction company has agreed to pay $.25 per cubic yard for material utilized Councilman Crittenden moved for the adoption of the resolution and Council member Scott seconded the motion. Motion carried.

    8) A Resolution Authorizing Equal Legal Advice to Tribal Council Members as Amended tR#2597

    Councilman Poteete stated there has been some discussion on how to organize for the Council to control their own spending on attorney fees when legislation is being drafted or for attorney opinions. This resolution was developed and brought before the Rules Committee. There was some concern to protect the right of a Council person to get legal advice at a nominal amount through the budget cycle without having to get approval from the entire Council. This legislation was amended to provide for each Council person to incur up to $5,000 dollars in legal debt.

    Councilman Poteete moved for the adoption of the resolution and Councilman Lay seconded the motion. Motion carried

    9) A Resolution Establishing Procedures for Procurement of Attorney Fees/R#26-97

    Councilman Baker presented the resolution establishing procedures for procurement of attorney fees. The Council has appropriated monies specifically to provide access to legal counsel and they desire that procedures be established that ensure proper accounting of tribal Funds for use of legal services by the Council. The resolution directs the Deputy Chief to establish procedures for payment of these funds and directs that the procurement of legal services for the Council shall be by written contract, defining the scope of work, hourly fees, estimate of costs of the total project contracted by the Council. The engagement of legal representation of a particular attorney requires a Kitten prior request for legal counsel, states the nature and purpose of the request, requires simple majority of the council to authorize legal contracts, and they may be polled by a legislative aide.

    Councilman Baker moved for the passage of the resolution. Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Councilman Poteete made a motion to table the resolution because it is the exact same language passed earlier. Council member Scott seconded the motion to table. Councilman Phillips inquired if this particular legislation included the $5,000 dollars. He later made a motion to amend the motion by Councilman Baker to include $5,000 limit or minimum without prior approval by the Council.

    Action to table the legislation was defeated. Councilman Baker moved for passage of the resolution. Councilman Phillips seconded the motion with an amendment to include the $5,000 limit or minimum without prior approval by the Council. The resolution was approved to include the amendment.

    10) An Act Revising Title 26 ("Elections") of the Cherokee Nation Code Annotated LA#7-97

    Councilmen Poteete presented the election codes which have been revised in its entirety. The codes were sent back to committee for further discussion in March. He stated the major provisions adopts our code to accounting machines and includes campaign disclosures Councilman Baker moved for the adoption of the legislation and Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Roll call as following:

           *Bill John Baker     Yea   *Don Crittenden  Yea
           *Harley Terrell      Yea   *Harold Phillips Yea
           *Dora Watie          Yea   *Mary Cooksey    Yea
           *Sam Ed Bush         Yea   *Paula Holder    Yea
           *Troy Poteete        Yea   *Barbara Conness Yea
           *Barbara Starr Scott Yea   *William Smoke   Yea
           *Harold DeMoss       Yea   *Nick Lay        Nay
           *Charles Hoskin      Nay
The legislation was approved by a vote of thirteen (13) yeas; two (2) nays;

11) A Resolution of Expression of the Will of the Council of the Cherokee Nation with Regard to the Current Dispute Between the Executive & Judicial Branches of the Cherokee Nation/R#27-97

Councilman Baker moved to approve the resolution expressing the declaration of the Will of the Council of the Cherokee Nation on a given matter. It is the Will of the Council that the separation of powers provided in the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation be respected and abided by the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches of government of the Cherokee Nation, that the Executive Branch cause the laws of the Cherokee Nation be faithfully executed and conduct the communication and business of the Cherokee Nation, that the Judicial Branch provide a speedy and certain remedy to the members of the Cherokee Nation pursuant to the procedure provided by the Council which shall insure that any litigant receives due process of law together with prompt and speedy relief, all without neglect of duty Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Motion carried.

12) An Act Amending Title 19, 21 of the Cherokee Nation Code Annotated/LA#8-97

Councilman Poteete presented the legislation amending Title 19 22 concerning Council stipend. Council members shall not receive a salary for conducting the official duties of their of Vice.. Council members shall receive a Council stipend in the amount of $600.00 per month, plus a Committee stipend in the amount of $800.00 dollars per month. In addition to the stipends authorized by 21 of this Title, any Council member traveling 50 miles or more round trip to attend regular Council session or official Cherokee tribal meetings called by the Council or Administration shall receive reimbursement for actual expenses for mileage, meals, and lodging. Proper receipts must be documented and submitted to the Accounting Department. Roll call as following:

          *Bill John Baker     Nay    *Don Crittenden   Yea 
          *Harley Terrell      Nay    *Harold Phillips  Yea 
          *Dora Watie          Nay    *Mary Cooksey     Nay  
          *Sam Ed Bush         Nay    *Paula Holder     Yea 
          *Troy Poteete        Yea    *Barbara Conness  Yea  
          *Barbara Starr Scott Yea    *William Smoke    Yea 
          *Harold DeMoss       Nay    *Nick Lay         Yea
          *Charles Hoskin      Nay
The legislation was approved by a vote of eight (8) yeas, seven (7) nays,

Councilman Poteete moved for a 10 minute recess.
Councilman Smoke seconded. Motion carried.

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS:

Chief Byrd reported they have visited tribal facilities within the fourteen counties. Most recently he visited the clinics and field offices in Stilwell and Jay areas as well as visiting with CNI employees. All hourly employees recently received a .25 cent salary increase. He provided an update on the Delaware separation issue and the Arkansas River bed issue. He is anticipating a favorable ruling in the Arkansas River bed case and he commented the court action would proceed very soon thereafter. This would entail negotiations, quite title actions and other legal matters.

In October 1996, the Tribal Council approved legislation establishing an employee appeals board designed to review employee termination appeals. Chief Byrd presented his nominations for the three member board

CONFIRMATION OF EMPLOYEE TERMINATION APPEALS BOARD MEMBERS:

In October of 1996, the Tribal Council approved legislation establishing an employee appeals board designed to review employee termination appeals. Chief Byrd presented his nomination for the three member board. Councilman Baker moved for confirmation of Robert Huffman, Suzanne Bussey, Janie Simms Hipp to serve on the employee termination appeals board. Ervin Rock, Director of Human Resources, provided information on the function of this board when hearing employee appeals. Council member Cooksey seconded the motion. Motion carried. Councilman Poteete abstained.

CONFIRMATION OF CHEROKEE NATION ENTERPRISE BOARD MEMBERS:

Chief Byrd reported the Judicial Appeals Tribunal issued a decision vacating the CNE board which resulted in leaving the tribes largest corporation under the direction of the court. He nominated Bobby Mayfield, David Thornton, Marlene Stites, Harold Ray Hart, Jr., and Bob Berry to serve as CNE Board members. Council member Scott requested a 60 day appointment until a background check has been completed on these individuals. Councilman Baker moved for the confirmation and Councilman Hoskin seconded. The nominations were confirmed pending the completion of background checks. Motion carried. Councilman Poteete opposed and Councilman Lay abstained.

Due to the lengthy agenda, Councilman Phillips moved to suspend the reading of the monthly reports. Council member Scott seconded the motion. Motion carried.

13) A Resolution Authorizing the Food Distribution Program to Prepare and Submit an Application for Funding to the United States Department of Agriculture/R#28-97

Councilman Phillips presented the resolution authorizing the food distribution program to prepare and submit an application for funding to the USDA. The amount of the grant is $1,391,276 dollars. Councilman Hoskin moved for approval and Councilman Bush seconded the motion. Motion carried.

14) A Resolution Authorizing the Children, Youth, and Family Services Department to Prepare and Submit an Application for Funding of a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Program through the State of Oklahoma District Attorney's Council/R#29-97

Councilman Phillips moved to approve the resolution authorizing the submission of an application Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Motion carried.

15) A Resolution Authorizing the Community Development to Submit a Proposal to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the FY 97 Emergency Shelter Grant Program/R#30-97

Councilman Phillips moved to approve the resolution authorizing the community development to submit a proposal to HUD for an emergency shelter grant program The amount requested is $20,000 dollars. The grant will be used to provide emergency housing for burn outs, or other homeless emergencies and to prevent homelessness. Fifty percent match will be met through in kind or other housing program funds. Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Motion carried.

16) A Resolution Supporting an Application to be Submitted Under Title VII of a Comprehensive Bilingual Instructional Program/R#3 1-97

Council member Holder moved for the adoption of a resolution supporting an application to be submitted under Title VII for a comprehensive bilingual instructional program. Council member Conness seconded the motion. Motion carried.

17) A Resolution Approving a Proposal for the Choctaw Nation to Contract the Facility Management Program Administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Oklahoma Area Education Office/R#32-97

Councilman Crittenden moved to approve the resolution approving the Choctaw Nation to contract the facility management program administered by the BIA. Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Motion carried.

18) A Resolution Supporting an Application to the Corporation for National and Community Service for a Learn and Serve America Program - Fund for the Advancement of Science Learning/R#33 -97

Council member Holder presented the resolution supporting an application to the Corporation for National and Community Service for a Learn and Serve Program, Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Motion carried

19) A Resolution Requesting the Permission to Lease Cherokee Nation Tribal Land/Delaware County/R#34-97

Councilman Crittenden moved to approve the resolution authorizing the leasing of a tract of land adjoining a tribal members property in Delaware county. Councilman Bush seconded the motion. Motion carried,

20) A Resolution Authorizing the Donation of a 1963 Dodge Truck to the Kenwood Volunteer Fire Association/R#35-97

Councilman Crittenden moved to approve the resolution authorizing the donation of a 1963 Dodge Truck to the Kenwood Volunteer Fire Association. Council member Conness seconded the motion. Motion carried

21) A Resolution Authorizing the Amendment of Resolution 109-90 Conveyance of Mutual Help Home sites/R#36-97

Councilman Crittenden moved to approve the resolution authorizing the amendment of resolution 109-90 of mutual help home sites. Annette Jenkins, Director of Realty Services, stated the home sites are located on tribal trust land. Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Motion carried.

22) A Resolution Requesting the Permission to Permit Cherokee Nation Tribal Land/R#37-97

Councilman Crittenden moved for the approval of the resolution authorizing the permitting of a tract of land located in Red River County Texas. The permit will allow Western Geophysical to conduct a geophysical survey for Apache Corporation. Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Motion carried.

23) A Resolution Authorizing the Bureau of Indian Affairs to Revise and Update the Cherokee Nations Inventory of Roads/R#38-97

Councilman Crittenden moved to approve the resolution authorizing the BIA to revise and update the inventory of roads. Councilman Bush seconded the motion. Motion carried.

24) A Joint Resolution Between Cherokee Nation Housing Authority and the Cherokee Nation Requesting the Housing Authority to Submit an Application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for Financial Assistance to Construct 674 Dwelling Units of Mutual Help Housing/R#

This business item was withdrawn prior to the meeting by Joel Thompson. Council member Scott requested a copy of the recent audit be provided to Council members.

25) An Act Amending the General Fund Budget Act for Fiscal Year 1997/LA#9-97

Councilman DeMoss presented the legislation to amend the budget for fiscal year 1997 concerning interest revenues accrued from self-governance. Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Roll call as following:

         *Bill John Baker        Yea   *Don Crittenden  Yea 
         *Harley Terrell         Yea   *Harold Phillips Yea
         *Dora Watie             Yea   *Mary Cooksey    Yea 
         *Sam Ed Bush            Yea   *Paula Holder    Yea 
         *Troy Poteete           Yea   *Barbara Conness Yea
         *Barbara Starr Scott    Yea   *William Smoke   Yea 
         *Harold DeMoss          Yea   *Nick Lay        Nay
         *Charles Hoskin         Yea
The legislation was approved by a vote of fourteen (14) yeas; one (1) nay: The act repeals and supersedes Legislative Act #3-97.

26) A Resolution Authorizing the Administrative Supervision of Legislative Staff/R#39-97

Councilman Poteete moved to approve the resolution authorizing the administrative supervision of legislative staff. The Council will assume the daily administrative supervision, direction and administrative control over the legislative aide and staff. The Tribal Council Co-Chairs of Executive & Finance shall have full signatory authority for expenditures of the Tribal Council and legislative staff. Council member Holder seconded the motion. Motion carried. Council member Conness abstained and Council member Watie opposed.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Next Tribal Council meeting has been set for June 16, 1997, 6:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business presented, Council member Scott moved for adjournment.

James "Garland" Eagle
President


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