Cara Cowan Watts

Tribal Councilor appointed to EPA committee

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/04/2013 07:11 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Tribal Councilor Cara Cowan Watts has been selected to serve on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee. Her term began on Nov. 15 and will run until Nov. 30, 2014.

The LGAC provides advice and recommendations that assist the EPA in developing stronger partnerships with local governments through building state and local capacity to deliver environmental services and programs. Its ultimate goal is to provide the citizens with more efficient and effective environmental protection at the community, state and federal level.

In a letter to Cowan Watts, the EPA stated her “experience and perspective are particularly valuable to the agency” as it explores ways in which national policy might affect state and local governments.

“I accepted the nomination as it is an honor to be considered and incredibly important work on behalf of Indian Country and the Cherokee Nation,” Cowan Watts of Claremore said. “I want to raise awareness about the work being done in Indian Country and still needing to be done in Indian Country concerning our environment. Federal regulations impact on governments and specifically more localized governments such as tribes seems to be the main focus.”

The LGAC is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and has been in existence since 1993. It is comprised primarily of elected and appointed local officials, along with several state representatives, environmental interest groups and labor interests. Committee members come from various regions around the country.

She said the committee is scheduled to meet every three to four months across the United States, but meets primarily in Washington, D.C.

“I believe my appointment will help the Cherokee people. As we continue to exercise our governmental obligations to protect our environment such as water and air quality, we are obligated to uphold the federal Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act same as the states around us,” she said.
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᎦᎳᏫᎦ Cara Cowan Watts ᎠᎦᏑᏰᏓ ᏧᏍᏕᎸᎯᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory ᎠᏂᎧᎻᏗ. ᏛᎴᏅᎯ ᏅᏓᏕᏆ ᏍᎩᎦᏚᏏᏁ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏔᎳᏚ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏓᏕᏆ ᏦᏍᎪᎯᏁ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ.

ᎾᎿ LGAC ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗ ᏧᏃᏎᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎸᏉᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ EPA ᎤᏙᏢᏗ ᎤᏟᏂᎩᏓ ᏗᎵᎪᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᎥᎢ ᎠᏂᏩᏥᏂ ᎤᎦᏛᎴᎯᏍᏗ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎥᎢ ᎢᎦ ᏭᏂᏲᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᎴᏅᏗᎢ ᎾᎥ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏙᏢᏗᎢ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏙᏗ ᎬᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ. ᏧᏄᎪᏔᏅ ᏧᏂᏍᏕᎸᎯᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏓᏤᎸ ᎢᎬᏩᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎥ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎠᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᎾᎥ ᏄᎾᏓᎴᏫᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ, ᎾᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏩᏥᏂ ᎢᏗᎦᎦᎢ.

ᎪᏪᎵ ᎪᏪᎳᏅ ᎤᏁᏍᏗ Cowan Watts, ᎾᏍᎩ EPA ᎤᏬᏎᎲ “ᎾᏛᏁᎸ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎦᏙᎲᏒ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗᏯ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ” ᎤᏂᏲᎲ ᎢᏳᏓᎴ ᎢᎬᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏕᎸᏗ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎥᎢ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏂᏩᏥᏂ.

“ᏕᎦᏓᏂᎸᎦ ᎯᎠ ᎬᏆᏑᏰᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ ᎬᎩᎪᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᏚᏂᏚᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Cowan Watts ᎦᎴᎻᎢ ᎡᎯ. “ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏙᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎠᏁᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ Ꮟ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎧᏂᎬᎬ ᎢᏯᏛᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎠᏁᎲ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎾᎥ ᏂᎦᏓᎴᏫᏒᎢ. ᏩᏥᏂ ᏧᎧᎾᏩᏛᏍᏗ ᎠᏍᏓᏲᏍᎪ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎢᏯᏛᏓ ᎣᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎧᎵ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏍᎪᎵᏗᏍᏛᎢ.”

ᎾᏍᎩ LGAC ᎤᏓᏂᏴᏓ ᎭᏫᎾᏓᏝ ᏩᏥᏂ ᏗᎾᏎᎮᎵᏙ ᎠᏂᎧᎻᏗ Act ᎠᎴ ᎬᏃᏓ ᏂᏓᎬᏩᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏢ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪ ᏦᎢ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. ᎯᎢᏃ ᎠᏑᏰᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏑᏰᏛ ᎡᏍᎦᏅ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎠᏂᏙᎾᎢ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ, ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏗᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏂᏁᏥᏙ, ᎾᎥ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏗ ᎤᏂᏱᎸᎭ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎦ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎢᏳᏅᎾ. ᎠᏂᎧᎻᏓ ᎠᏁᎳ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᏂᎶᏒ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏫᏚᏳᏣᎳᎩᏛ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᏂᎶᏒᎢ,

ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎧᎻᏗ ᎠᏎᎸ ᏧᎾᏠᎯᏍᏗ ᏦᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏅᎩ ᎢᏯᏅᏓ ᎢᏳᏓᎵ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎠᎹᏱᏟ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᏧᎾᏠᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏩᏒᏓᏃᎢ, D.C.

“ᎠᏉᎯᏳ ᎾᎿ ᎥᏆᏑᏰᏒ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ. ᎢᏓᎢᏒ ᏂᏓᏛᏁᎲ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎥᏆᎨᏅᏛ ᏥᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎢᏕᎲ ᎤᎳᏗᏢ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎠᎹ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏃᎴ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ, ᎣᎦᏚᏓᎸᎾ ᎢᏲᎦᏛᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏩᏥᏂ ᎤᏓᏅᎦᎸᏓ ᎠᎹ Act ᎠᎴ ᎤᏓᏅᎦᎸᏓ ᎤᏃᎴ Act ᏧᏠᏯ ᏗᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᎳᏗᏢᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.

Council

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Senior Reporter
05/28/2015 08:31 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A three-year hunting and fishing compact between the Cherokee Nation and the state of Oklahoma was discussed in the Tribal Council’s Rules Committee and approved during a special council meeting on May 28. The compact was approved through a legislative act known as the “Hunting and Fishing Compact Act.” The purpose of the act is to approve the terms of the hunting and fishing compact between the CN and the state, and authorizes Principal Chief Bill John Baker to “execute the compact” that has been negotiated with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. The governor will visit Tahlequah on May 29 to sign the compact along with Chief Baker. CN Attorney General Todd Hembree, who spent two years negotiating the compact, said the compact does not waive the tribe’s sovereignty but it solidifies already established hunting and fishing rights given to the Cherokee Nation by treaty and is a “win-win” for the Cherokee Nation and the state. The compact is also an alternative to fighting for those rights in court, which would cost the tribe time and money, he said. Dist. 10 Tribal Councilor Harley Buzzard said he appreciated the work put in by Hembree and his staff, but he did not support signing the compact with the state because he believes the tribe would be paying for rights it already has. “That’s the way I see it. Nothing has been tested. It may be time that we do test the laws here and see what comes out of it,” he said. “We’re not losing anything by waiting. I think we are jumping too fast right now.” Through the compact, every CN citizen will receive a combination hunting and fishing license that will be jointly issued by the state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation. Hembree said the tribe is the one who will actually produce the licenses and do all of the administrative costs, which should be nearly $350,000 for the licenses and administrative costs. The compact states the CN will purchase and issue a minimum of 150,000 compact licenses for its Oklahoma residents between the ages of 16 and 65 years old at a cost of $2 a piece, which would equal $300,000 annually. During the May 28 meeting, CN Attorney Sara Hill said the actual estimated costs could be between $400,000 and $500,000 annually during the three years. Dist. 14 Tribal Councilor Lee Keener questioned the compact’s cost to the tribe, how it will be paid for, and the timing of the compact because the tribe’s general election is next month. He asked Hembree if a CN citizen does not want the hunting and fishing license, could they return it to save money? Hembree said that could be done in the future. “I think in the initial of it, I think it’s important that every Cherokee in state of Oklahoma have the opportunity to enjoy their treaty rights. That’s why we extended it (to include all of Oklahoma) the way we did,” Hembree said. Speaker of the Council Tina Glory Jordan said the CN citizens she has spoken to about the compact “are very excited about it,” and they are excited the tribe is contributing to preserving wildlife in Oklahoma. “We could just do an outright $300,000 donation and say ‘let’s be more favorable toward wildlife in Oklahoma,’ but by doing it through this compact, we are establishing a benefit to our citizens.” She said it’s understood CN citizens can hunt and fish on tribal lands, but the moment they step off tribal lands they are subject to arrest and fines by state officials. She added the compact would take care of that issue because CN citizens will be able to hunt and fish legally in all 77 Oklahoma counties. Dist. 11 Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez said she grew up near Vinita and at times her father hunted rabbits and squirrels without a hunting license so that her family could eat. “I remember those times as being very tough,” she said. “The part I found special about this is the stewardship. We are able to partner with the state of Oklahoma to be good stewards of this land that God gave us.” Tribal Councilors Glory Jordan, Vazquez, Joe Byrd, David Walkingstick, David Thornton, Janelle Fullbright, Frankie Hargis, Jodie Fishinghawk, Curtis Snell, Dick Lay and Janees Taylor voted for the act. Councilors Keener, Buzzard, Don Garvin, Cara Cowan Watts, Jack Baker and Julia Coates voted against it. Hembree said the tribe’s hunting and fishing laws already mirror the state’s hunting and fishing laws, so that was not an issue in the negotiations. Also included with the hunting and fishing license is one free deer tag and one free turkey tag. All of those items would ordinarily cost a CN citizen $72. Hembree said the compact is the first time in state history the state will recognize hunting and fishing rights belonging to the CN and its citizens, and along with benefitting the tribe and state it will benefit wildlife conservation. The licenses should be ready to be issued on Jan 1, 2016, he said.
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/04/2015 12:00 PM
Click on a candidate's name below to read their complete Council Questionnaire answers: <strong>Dist. 1</strong> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_RexJordan_Dist1.pdf" target="_blank">Rex Jordan</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_RyanSierra_Dist1.pdf" target="_blank">Ryan Sierra</a> <strong>Dist. 3</strong> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_BrianBerry_Dist3.pdf" target="_blank">Brian Berry</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_BrandonGirty_Dist3.pdf" target="_blank">Brandon Girty</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_KathyKilpatrick_Dist3.pdf" target="_blank">Kathy Kilpatrick</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_DavidWalkingstick_Dist3.pdf" target="_blank">David Walkingstick</a> <strong>Dist. 6</strong> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_NatalieFullbright_Dist6.pdf" target="_blank">Natalie Fullbright</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_RonGoff_Dist6.pdf" target="_blank">Ron Goff</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_BryanWarner_Dist6.pdf" target="_blank">Bryan Warner</a> <strong>Dist. 8</strong> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_CoreyBunch_Dist8.pdf" target="_blank">Corey Bunch</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_ShawnCrittenden_Dist8.pdf" target="_blank">Shawn Crittenden</a> <strong>Dist. 12</strong> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_DickLay_Dist12.pdf" target="_blank">Dick Lay</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_DoraPatzkowski_Dist12.pdf" target="_blank">Dora Patzkowski</a> <strong>Dist. 13</strong> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_BuelAnglen_Dist13.pdf" target="_blank">Buel Anglen</a> <strong>Dist. 14</strong> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_KeithAustin_Dist14.pdf" target="_blank">Keith Austin</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_WilliamPearson_Dist14.pdf" target="_blank">William Pearson</a> <strong>At-Large</strong> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_LindaBolin_AtLarge.pdf" target="_blank">Linda Bolin</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_TreyBrown_AtLarge.pdf" target="_blank">Trey Brown</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_PamelaFox_AtLarge.pdf" target="_blank">Pamela Fox</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_ShaneJett_AtLarge.pdf" target="_blank">Shane Jett</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_TommyJones_AtLarge.pdf" target="_blank">Tommy Jones</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_DarellMatlock_AtLarge.pdf" target="_blank">Darell Matlock</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_BenjaminMcKee_AtLarge.pdf" target="_blank">Benjamin McKee</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_DeborahReed_AtLarge.pdf" target="_blank">Deborah Reed</a> <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/5/9233_BetsySwimmer_AtLarge.pdf" target="_blank">Betsy Swimmer</a>
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/03/2015 08:00 AM
<strong>During the 6 p.m. March 16, 2015 Tribal Council meeting, Councilors discussed:</strong> • A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SUBMISSION OF A GRANT APPLICATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDRENS, YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES TO THE U.S. DHHS, FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND SERVICES PROGRAM, FOR VICTIMS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE Councilor Walkingstick moved to approve. Councilor Hargis seconded the motion. The motion carried. • A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CAREER SERVICES TO DEVELOP AND SUBMIT A GRANT APPLICATION TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FOR FUNDING THE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM Councilor Hargis moved to approve. Councilor Baker seconded the motion. Councilors Thornton, Keener, Walkingstick, Taylor, Baker, Lay, Fullbright, Fishinghawk, Snell, Byrd, Vazquez, Garvin and Buzzard requested to be added as sponsors. The motion to approve carried. ...plus more. <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/4/9229_March16TribalCouncilMinutes.pdf" target="_blank">Click here to view</a>the March 16, 2015 Tribal Council meeting minutes.
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter
04/14/2015 03:30 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – At their April 13 meeting, Tribal Councilors questioned Cherokee Nation Businesses interim CEO Shawn Slaton about home construction projects that Cherokee Nation Construction Resources, a division of CNB, is overseeing in West Siloam Springs and Roland. Slaton said construction in West Siloam Springs “is making progress.” “Our housing up at (West) Siloam (Springs) is making progress. They’ve got the gravel down for the roads. They got the utilities in. The house pads are there. We would have been making more progress on that had the pads not been so wet the last couple of weeks,” he said. “As soon as they dry out we’ll begin to put the foundation in and get going there.” He said the construction of homes in Roland would be on the same track as soon as the water from the recent rainfall clears. Tribal Councilor Dick Lay then asked how many houses are to be built in each location. Slaton deferred the question to CNB Executive Vice President Charles Garrett, who said 29 houses are expected in West Siloam Springs and 23 are expected in Roland. Tribal Councilor Harley Buzzard then asked if occupants have been chosen for the houses yet. Slaton said CNB is building the homes and the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation is picking applicants for them. Buzzard said he doesn’t anticipate there will be a problem filling the houses. “I don’t think we’ll have any problems at West Siloam Springs because I heard housing is really, really short,” he said. “I’ve also heard that there is some excitement about us building houses.” Lay asked Slaton if CNB is using the list of people from the HACN for the homes. Slaton said he wasn’t sure of the process of choosing the applicants. Principal Chief Bill John Baker told the Tribal Council that there are two lists from which the HACN chooses its applicants. “One is if you own your property and another list that has come up is if you don’t own your property,” he said. “So as I understand it, they’ll start though time and date of people that said that they wanted a house, but they did not own land. All of them are not going to want to live in West Siloam Springs, but the ones that do, it’s first-come first-served, time and date on the list.” Tribal Councilor Tina Glory Jordan said the way she understands the process is the applicants “designate the area that they would like to get a house in if they don’t have land.” HACN Executive Director Gary Cooper confirmed Glory Jordan’s understanding of the process. “They designate a county and then we narrow it down by that way. For instance, in West Siloam (Springs) what we would do is because it’s right there on the county line we would merge Adair and Delaware County and we would work on finding families to take those,” he said. “Every application we collect is by date and then time of the application, so everyone is assigned a number. That’s how it’s placed on the waiting list. So either they have land or they don’t have land. We will take those who are on the waiting lists for the folks who don’t have land for Adair and Delaware County and ask them if they would be interested in one of those (houses).” Cooper said HACN officials have sent out approximately 144 letters to tribal citizens in those counties to see if there was an interest for these homes. According to a December 2014 Cherokee Phoenix article, CNB will sell the homes to the HACN once they are built. Then the HACN will find occupants to fill those homes. In other news, Baker introduced the tribe’s 2015 “Remember the Removal” riders at the meeting. There are 12 riders participating this year from the CN. Citizens of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will also participate in the ride. The CN participants are Billy Flint, Shawna Harter, Hailey Seago, Caleb Cox, Tanner Crow, Maggie McKinnis, Kayla Davis, Tennessee Loy, Haylee Caviness, Wrighter Weavel, Alexis Watt and Tristan Trumbla. The participants will bike the nearly 1,000-mile trip that retraces the Trail of Tears through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas and will end in Tahlequah. Legislators also approved Eddie Morrison as an advisory committee member for the Cherokee National Treasures Program for a term of one year. They also modified the tribe’s comprehensive budget for fiscal year 2015 for a total budget authority of $639 million. Approximately $653,310 came from grants, while $8.45 million resulted from modification requests. Approximately $6.89 million is going to the General Fund and $1.57 million is going to the Motor Fuel Tax Fund. The next Tribal Council meeting is slated for 6 p.m. on May 11.
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/01/2015 02:00 PM
<strong>During the 6 p.m. Jan. 12, 2015 Tribal Council meeting, Councilors discussed:</strong> • A RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF NATHAN E. BARNARD AS A BOARD MEMBER OF THE CHEROKEE NATION ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS BOARD Councilor Fishinghawk moved to approve. Councilor Taylor seconded the motion. After a few questions from Councilor Cowan Watts the motion to approve carried with no opposition. Supreme Court Justice Garrett performed the swearing in ceremony for Mr. Barnard. • A RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ENERGY LINE ROUTE BYT HE PLAINS AND EASTERN CLEAN LINE IN SEQUOYAH COUNTY, OKLAHOMA LOCATED WITHIN THE CHEROKEE NATION JURISDICTIONAL AREA Councilor Fullbright moved to approve. Councilor Baker seconded the motion. After discussion was held the motion to approve carried with no opposition. <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/4/9111_Jan12TribalCouncilMinutes.pdf" target="_blank">Click here to read</a> the Jan. 12, 2015 meeting minutes. <strong>During the 6 p.m. Feb. 26, 2015 Tribal Council meeting, Councilors discussed:</strong> • A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING BUSINESS LEASE ON TRUST LAND IN ROGERS COUNTY, OKLAHOMA Councilor Taylor moved to approve. Councilor Keener seconded the motion. Councilors Keener, Fullbright and Fishinghawk requested to be added as sponsors. The motion to approve carried with no opposition. • AN ACT RELATING TO SALARIES FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2012 RELATING TO THE STIPEND FOR THE CITIZEN COMMITTEE Speaker Glory Jordan requested the amended handout be approved. Councilor Fullbright moved to approve the revised handout. Councilor Garvin seconded the motion. The motion carried by acclimation. <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/4/9111_Feb26TribalCouncilMinutes.pdf" target="_blank">Click here to read</a> the Feb. 26, 2015 meeting minutes.
BY TESINA JACKSON
Reporter
03/17/2015 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – During the March 16 Tribal Council meeting, Principal Chief Bill John Baker announced that the Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry law firm and attorney Lloyd Miller have jointly donated $200,000 for the construction of Cherokee Nation health care facilities. “We’ve fought the fight on self-governance issues, your battles with the Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, your battles to ensure the integrity of the Cherokee Nation sometimes against other tribes, and it’s all been successful,” said Miller, who is employed with the law firm that has worked with the tribe for more than 20 years. “You’ve been wonderful to us in terms of your confidence in us, your trust in us, and it’s our pleasure to be able to give back to you.” Baker said the tribe has been successful with Miller as its attorney on contract support costs. “He originally won a lawsuit of about $12 million. Then we just won another one for $20 million with part of the settlement being they (federal government) will fully find contract support costs from now on.” The donation will go to CN construction projects such as health care clinics in Ochelata and Jay as well as a new W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah. In other business, Tribal Councilors unanimously authorized CN Human Services – specifically children, youth and family services – to submit a grant application for fiscal year 2016 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tribal Councilor Cara Cowan Watts absent. Tribal Councilor Frankie Hargis said earlier in the day at the Community Services Committee meeting that the grant is a formula-based grant with a minimum funding of $350,000 for victims of family violence. Tribal Councilors also authorized CN Career Services to submit a grant application to the U.S. Department of Education for vocational rehabilitation program funding. Since 1992, the tribe has operated the vocational rehabilitation program, which assists in ensuring self-sufficiency for tribal citizens. It is Oklahoma’s longest running tribal vocational rehabilitation program. According to the resolution, individuals with disabilities are in need of employment and training activities so they can enter jobs and become self-sufficient, and the Department of Education has funding available for vocational training programs for such individuals. The grant requires that a 10 percent cash match be made available to the program each year of funding. Hargis said the grant is new and would be approximately $600,000 per year for a five-year period. Legislators also approved Bobby L. Vaughn as a governing board member of the CN Comprehensive Care Agency for a term of three years from March 2015 to March 2018. “I’m the patient safety officer at Hastings Hospital right now, and I’d just like to say what an honor it is for me to be nominated for this position by the chief so it’s really near my heart,” Vaughn said during the Feb. 26 Rules Committee meeting. “I hope to do an excellent job for you.” J. Blake Fletcher was reappointed as a commissioner of the CN Environmental Protection Commission for a three-year term. “I just want to thank the council for allowing me to serve in this capacity and I really look forward to continuing that service,” Fletcher said on Feb. 26. Marty D. Matlock was also reappointed as a commissioner of the CN Environmental Protection Commission for a four-year term. The next Tribal Council meeting is scheduled for April 13.