March 1997 Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Tribal Council Meeting Minutes

Tribal Council Meeting
March 10,1997 – 6:00 p.m.


President Eagle called the meeting to order at 6:10 .m. in the Tribal Council Chambers, W.W. Keeler Complex.


The invocation was given by Rev. Bridge Chuckluck.


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

  • Bill John Baker
  • Sam Ed Bush
  • Mary Cooksey
  • Don Crittenden
  • Harold DeMoss
  • Harley Terrell
  • Paula Holder
  • Charles Hoskin
  • Nick Lay
  • Barbara Conness
  • Troy Wayne Poteete
  • Barbara Starr-Scott
  • William Smoke
  • Dora Mae Watie
  • Harold Phillips

A quorum was established to conduct business.


Without corrections or deletions to the February 10 minutes, Councilmember Scott moved to approve them as submitted. Councilmember Cooksey seconded the motion. Motion carried.


Chief Byrd commended the coaches, staff, and fans of the Sequoyah High School for an outstanding season. The construction of the cafeteria is now completed and is now in service. The dormitories are expected to be completed by the end of March. The Cherokee Nation is working with Indian Health Service to initiate demonstration project on the reinvention of government pertaining to Indian health care. Chief Byrd recently met with Washington IHS of officials to move the implementation of the project to the next level. This project will streamline health care and initiate partnerships at local, state, national, and tribal levels While in Washington, tribal officials also met with the director of the Minerals Management Program at the Department of Interior. Cherokee Nation has entered into a partnership with the Minerals Management Division which includes an internship program designed to train tribal employees. The end result could mean taking over the minerals management function of the Interior and manage the program directly from Cherokee Nation. This partnership is a first between the minerals management and tribal government. Councilman Hoskin and staff members have been actively looking at mobile vans for the health division. Once purchased, this would provide health care for people who are unable to seek this on their own.

Chief Byrd announced Jerry Holderby has taken the position of Cherokee Nation Enterprise Chief Executive Officer.. He also reported that CNE has increased the dividend to Cherokee Nation by $50,000 dollars. The Cherokee Nation is expected to receive a monthly check in the amount of $250,000 dollars. Jerry Holderby commented the budget was approved and the dividends to Cherokee Nation are retroactive back to February

Chief Byrd closed his State of the Nation by offering comments regarding the overall status of the Cherokee Nation. He is hopeful that given time our government will work to resolve the current situation He will continue through every available means to ensure our government is given that opportunity. His administration has complied with the order the Judicial Appeals Tribunal. They have followed proper procedure in addressing the concerns by filing the appropriate legal documents with the court as provided through the constitution and laws.


Councilmember Watie recognized students from Bell Elementary School who were selected to attend the Learn and Serve National Conference to be held in Orlando. They were selected based on their community service Cherokee Nation Enterprises has provided financial assistance. The students were in attendance with Vicki McCarter, Co-Sponsor.

Councilmember Conness recognized a masonry student from District #5. Jesse Wright placed first in the 1996 Bricklaying competition in Kansas City Jesse will be competing in Switzerland representing the United States in this event. The cost to the international competition is $5,000 dollars per student. She requested financial assistance toward his goal.

Councilman Crittenden provided an update on Jason Akin, who recently competed in the World Series in Australia. Financial assistance was provided so Jason could participate. Jason expressed his thankfulness for the opportunity. Councilman Crittenden also recognized Sequoyah High School students who recently participated in a twelve member academic team who competed in the OSSA tournament. During the regular season the team responds to questions in the area of literature, poetry, science, math, and other areas. A total of five were chosen to compete in the Sixth Inter-Tribal Science Bowl held in Farmington, N.M. Sequoyah High School was one of forty teams selected to compete. Christie Coon, Cody Deeringwater, Casie James, Charlie Robertson, and Mandy Stopp were presented a certificate of achievement. Sequoyah High School also held their third annual science fair. A total of sixty projects were submitted with 111 students participating. Students competed in the area of earth and space, environmental behavior, social, bio-chemistry, medicine, electric current, physics, and botany. A total of eighteen winners advanced to the Muskogee Regional Science & Engineering Fair. This was the first year to enter. A Certificate of Achievement was awarded to those students who competed.

Councilman Bush recognized Michael Watson, National Park Service, Pearidge Military Park, Arkansas for brief comments. Michael Watson, is a Cultural Anthropologist, working with the National Park Service. This year there are many extensive studies in progress In Arkansas, there are five national parks which interpret native American history and she collects oral history information to improve the educational and interpretive efforts. She expressed an interest to visit with anyone who would like to share any oral history regarding the battle of Pearidge, a civil war which was fought in March of 1862. There were two Cherokee regiments and one Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment which participated in this battle. She can be contacted through Dr. Charles Gourd.

Councilman Poteete recognized several visitors from Porum and Webbers Falls area. The Porum Indian Heritage Club were in attendance. The students were observing the council session.

Councilman Terrell introduced Jasper Swake, who was in attendance. Paul Thomas was allowed to make a few comments.


In the absence of Joel Thompson, Councilman Lay provided the monthly update. He reported on housing construction currently in progress on 183 units, on Project 45-86 and 5 units on Project 45-85.


Dennis Wickliffe, Self-Governance Specialist, provided the monthly update for the Self-Governance programs and the Muskogee Area Office. A tribal meeting was recently held in Muskogee with ten of the eighteen tribes represented during this very important meeting. A consultation meeting will be held in Albuquerque hosted by the Office of the Special Trustee and the content of the meeting will be a strategic plan. A strategic plan that will be discussed with tribal leaders regarding how the office of special trustee will handle trust resources. This plan was discussed during the meeting last week This plan, if approved, would change the bureau drastically in the structure. The plan is to have a leader in this particular office who is appointed by the President confirmed by Congress A Board of Directors will also be established. The spring self-governance conference has been scheduled for March 25-26 to be held in Portland, Ore. Budget meetings have begun at the Muskogee Area Office for Fiscal Year 1999. Cherokee Nation always participates during these meetings.


Jerry Holderby, CEO, presented the monthly update on the Cherokee Nation Enterprises. The Council members were provided with a listing of donations given to individuals/organizations since August 1995 through March 1997. A consolidated balance sheet, accounts receivable recap, accrued liability recap, inventory listing, consolidated PNL and departmental PNL. A brief report was given on these areas. He reported the year to date bingo revenues. He announced the Restaurant is now closed seven nights a week



(None pending).



With no further business presented, Councilman Baker moved for adjournment. The meeting concluded at 9:45 p.m. The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, March 10, 6:00 p.m. at the tribal headquarters.

James Garland Eagle