CALL TO ORDER:
President Eagle called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. in the Tribal Council Chambers, W.W. Keeper Complex.
The invocation was given by Rev. Virgil Holcomb.
Roll call was given by Gina Blackfox, Legislative Aide. The following members were present:
Bill John Baker
Sam Ed Bush
Dora Mae Watie
A quorum was established with fourteen members present. *Councilman Poteete arrived shortly after roll call. Councilman Phillips was unable to attend.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
With no corrections or additions to the minutes of October 7, Councilmember Scott moved for the approval. Councilman Crittenden seconded. Minutes adopted as presented.
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS:
Chief Byrd provided a brief report on the recent election. He commented the election reflected the desire by the voters to have a balanced government in which all interests would be represented. As a tribe the Cherokee Nation can maintain a positive relationship with those elected. He stated the Cherokee Nation voter registration drive had a great impact on the local elections. He commended all the volunteers who dedicated their services to this effort. Carol Woodward, State President of the Oklahoma League of Women Voters also provided information on the effect of the registration drive and presented a poster to Cherokee Nation. The Health Department has been working to secure the reinvention laboratory proposal which will allow for the integrating of Indian Health Service, Tribal systems, and Community Health systems.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was recently held at the Bingo Outpost location in Tahlequah. He reported both outpost location are doing very well. The Cherokee Nation staff have begun the angel tree project throughout Cherokee Nation. This project insures that hundreds of children have gifts on Christmas morning. A special introduction was given to Casey James, Sequoyah High School senior, who provided the painting reflecting his interpretation of this project. Chief Byrd announced there will be a Cherokee style show and silent auction held at the Restaurant of the Cherokees, November 19, 7:00 p.m.
He recognized the scholarship recipients selected by the Cherokee Higher Education Foundation. This foundation was selected by Chief Byrd to receive the donation from his salary increase appropriated for educational scholarships. Ten students were selected based on merit. Those students receiving a scholarship for the fall semester are Connie Chandler, Mickey Graham, Amy Henson, Shelly Keener, Melissa McCoy, Patricia McCoy, Jim Rock, Shannon Snell, Amy Wallace, Calvin Whitekiller. The Cherokee Nation Enterprises has also awarded $10,000 toward this fund. These awards will be given during the spring semester.
Councilman DeMoss provided an update on the results of those representing Cherokee Nation in the Indian National Finals Rodeo held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The 1996 Team Roping World Champions are Dee Keener of Inola and Joel Maker of Tahlequah. The 1996 Barrel Racing World Champion and All-Around Cowgirl is Lesa Arnold of Pryor. The Region 8 won the team championship outscoring the nearest competitor by 100 points. Chief Byrd presented the participants a certificate for their outstanding accomplishment. Leann Hall of Jay, Oklahoma represented Cherokee Nation in the Barrel Racing event.
Councilman Poteete reported the Rules Committee has devoted considerable time in reviewing the election codes and much progress is being made. He also commented the committee is also looking into setting up some type of controls on campaign contributions.
Councilman DeMoss reported the Executive & Finance Committee members have received some financial reports from the Secretary/Treasurer’s office. After reviewing the reports, Councilman DeMoss commented on the one million dollars appropriated in a separate account as reserve to be drawing interest. He made a motion to transfer the one million dollars into a separate individual interest drawing account. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Scott to approve the resolution with the amendment to include the proportional interest. Councilman Poteete seconded the motion to amend. Councilman DeMoss requested the finance committee be provided information regarding the soliciting of bids. Motion carried.
HOUSING AUTHORITY: JOEL THOMPSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Joel Thompson, Executive Director, reported Housing Authority received notice of 3.3m dollar funding for the comprehensive modernization grant program and the drug elimination grant has been awarded $660,000 dollars. The drug elimination grant allows Housing Authority to continue efforts to eliminate drug trafficking in the projects and to establish literacy centers in partnership with NSU. They have begun the development of 183 new housing units with an additional 21 waiting site approval. He provided an update on the recent bill effecting Indian housing. It encourages the coordination of nonprofit organizations including the involvement with the use of Section 184 loan guaranties. He also provided information on the Housing Authority print shop. Councilman Bush stated he has received inquiries on why Housing Authority was not buying gasoline from Cherokee Nation. Joel responded Housing Authority was previously denied credit cards from Conoco. Since then, a proposal was made to Chief Byrd on establishing some type of voucher system to accommodate Housing Authority usage. Cherokee Nation Enterprises was requested to look into this and if possible issue cards or vouchers as soon as possible. He commented on business item #1 concerning full tribal consultation by HUD in the development of funding formulas and regulations to implement the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act of 1996. Councilman Lay motioned to table the resolution and Councilman Bush seconded the motion. Motion carried with Councilmen Poteete and Crittenden abstaining.
BIA/SELF-GOVERNANCE: DENNIS WICKLIFFE, SELF-GOVERNANCE SPECIALIST
Dennis Wickliffe, Self-Governance Specialist, presented the monthly report. The fall Self-Governance Conference will be held November 19-20 in New Orleans. The agenda items will include the budget and regulations which govern self governance compacts. On December 1011, a two-day meeting will be held at the Grandview Hotel located in Tulsa. This meeting will focus on tort claims, law and order, courts (tribal and CFR), deputy special officer commissions, cross deputization, safety and health. They hope to involve area office staff, solicitor’s office staff, U.S. Attorney’s office, and extended an invitation to tribal officials. The MAO has received notice of increases in TPA. The Oklahoma Office of Indian Education Programs has a new administrator. Joy Martin, Seneca-Cayuga, has been named the new administrator.
CHEROKEE NATION ENTERPRISES: GERALD CANTRELL, CEO
Gerald Cantrell, CEO, provided a managerial update on the activities at Cherokee Nation Enterprises. In addition to the report, he recognized members of the CNE staff. The preliminary figures indicate retained earnings increased by twenty five per cent. The bingo operation continues to set records for monthly income in attendance and gaming net revenue for 1996 was up by 75% over the previous year. The convenience stores are on track to sell in excess of one million gallons of fuels by January 1997. They are averaging 8500 gallons of fuel sold per day from the two locations. The total income reveals a steady weekly increase and the restaurant shows a steady growth pattern. On a negative note, the turnover rate remains high compared to other industries. He contributes the reason being that individuals prefer not to work on weekends. The CNE operating budget for 1997 is in draft form. The budget will be presented to the CNE board on December 12. The five year plan will also be presented at this time.
ACTION OF UNFINISHED BUSINESS:
1) A Resolution Supporting Full Tribal Consultation by HUD in the Development of funding Formulas and Regulations to Implement the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act of 1996/R#
This business item was tabled earlier. Councilmember Scott requested this business item be reconsidered and asked Bud Squirrel to move forward. Bud requested the Tribal Council reconsider this item based on the fact of the passage of the act “Native American Housing Self-Determination Act of 1996” which establishes new relationships which did not exist earlier. The Housing Authorities and the Cherokee Nation programs will be joined together and this item must be considered together. What Joel Thompson spoke of was the relationship between the Housing Authority and the HUD funding formula. Now Cherokee Nation has become a part of the relationship. Because of this relationship, Cherokee Nation must provide an input when funding formulas are discussed. He requested the reconsideration in order to provide more credence whenever input is requested concerning future Community Development Block Grants.
Councilmember Scott moved to reconsider the resolution which was tabled earlier. Councilman Poteete seconded the motion. Councilman Hoskin suggested Housing Authority attend the Community Development meeting scheduled next week. Roll call was as following:
Bill John Baker NAY Don Crittenden YEA
Harley Terrell NAY Harold Phillips ABSENT
Dora Watie NAY Mary Cooksey ABSTAINED
Sam Ed Bush NAY Paula Holder YEA
Troy Poteete YEA Barbara Conness NAY
Barbara Scott YEA William Smoke NAY
Harold DeMoss NAY Nick Lay NAY
Charles Hoskin NAY
The motion to revisit the resolution was denied by a vote of four (4) approving; nine (9) opposing; one (1) abstaining. The item was tabled and referred back to committee for further discussion.
2) A Resolution Authorizing Submission of a Grant Application to the Administration for Native Americans for a Social Development Grant for Sequoyah High School/R#109-96
Councilmember Holder made a motion to approve the resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application in the amount of $100,000 dollars. The grant objective will be to train Sequoyah High School faculty, staff and parents in the implementation of an asset building program model for adolescents. This model is based on thirty identified adolescent needs to ensure that youth develop assets for healthy lives. The project has potential to be funded over a three year period. Councilman Hoskin seconded the motion. Motion carried.
3) A Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of the Building Commonly Known as the “Homeland Building”/R#110-96
Councilman DeMoss made a motion to approve the resolution authorizing the purchase of the Homeland Building. The Cherokee Nation will assume the bank loan for the building and will lease back to CNI at a rate sufficient to cover all mortgage payments, taxes, and property insurance premiums. Councilman Baker seconded the motion. Motion carried.
4) A Resolution Authorizing Agreement with Tahlequah Public Works Authority Regarding Transfer of Cherokee Nation Waste water Systems/R#111-96
Councilman Crittenden moved to approve the resolution approving negotiations and execution of an agreement with Tahlequah Public Works Authority. It will also allow the Principal Chief to include a limited waiver of sovereign immunity in the agreement, if deemed necessary by the Chief. The limited waiver of sovereign immunity is set forth in the resolution. Councilman Bush seconded the motion. Motion carried.
5) A Resolution Authorizing the Submission of a Proposal to the World Monument Watch/R#112-96
Councilmember Scott requested the Tribal Council to consider a proposal for the Saline Courthouse. Councilmember Watie moved to approve the item be placed on the agenda for consideration. Councilmember Conness seconded the motion. Motion carried.
David Breed, founding member of the Southwest Tulsa Historical Society, presented information requesting the support to submit a proposal to the World Monuments Watch for their assistance on a project to preserve and protect the Saline District Courthouse. Councilmember Scott moved for the approval of a verbal resolution and requested a follow-up written resolution. Councilmember Conness seconded the motion. Motion carried.
With no further business presented, Councilman Bush moved for adjournment. The meeting concluded at 8:00 p.m. The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, December 16, 6:00 p.m. at the tribal headquarters.
James Garland Eagle, President
Cherokee Nation Tribal Council