Casteel named interim HR director following Morton’s resignation

BY CHAD HUNTER
Reporter
02/28/2020 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH – At the Feb. 27 Rules Committee meeting, Human Resources Executive Director Nason Morton was scheduled to speak, but instead an interim boss, Alana Casteel, was in attendance.

“I have been placed in the interim HR executive director position due to Nason’s resignation,” Casteel told councilors.

Morton, an attorney and former CN deputy attorney general, began leading Human Resources in early 2014.

Casteel, a Human Resources director, said she’s been in the department for 43 years – “ever since HR existed.”

“She is a hard-working, dedicated employee,” CN Chief of Staff Todd Enlow said. “She’s always striving to figure out how to get the right candidates in the right spot as quickly as possible. I appreciate her taking the lead to help us out in the interim position.”

Human Resources is responsible for the employment of the tribe’s government and health sectors.

“I’m up for this challenge,” Casteel said.

The department this year embarked on what officials call a “process redesign” effort “to make sure that the resources, the money, the staffing, the systems” in place are aligned to “help our HR team get the right candidates in place quickly and efficiently,” Enlow told tribal councilors during one of their final 2019 meetings.

“It’s not saying that staff’s doing a bad job,” Enlow said. “It’s just we want to make sure we’ve given them all the resources and tools to do their jobs effectively.”

Enlow’s announcement followed a comment from Tribal Councilor Joe Deere regarding a constituent who applied for a CN job.

“Its probably been over a month, and she hasn’t heard anything,” Deere said at the time. “There’s like no communication.”

According to an HR report, 626 of 5,727 applicants were hired in 2019.

The CN has nearly 3,900 employees.

Election reform update

The Rules Committee also heard from eight of its own who serve on an election reform work group. The non-voting group is tasked with addressing the tribe’s election code for potential updates.

“We’ve met four times,” Tribal Councilor Mike Dobbins said, “and each time our attorney took notes – not minutes but took notes – of the meetings.”

Talking points from the committee’s meetings were distributed to all councilors.

“We’ve come a long way with just these recommendations here,” Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd said. “I know that doesn’t solve it all, but I’m going to commend the work group. We’ve got some ways to go, but it’s a good start.”

The Election Commission has already submitted its list of preferred changes. Three of its “major” revisions to Legislative Act 12-16, which governs tribal elections, focus on a drop box, early voting and challenged ballots cast by citizens who assert they are eligible to vote in a particular district, but do not appear on a precinct list.
About the Author
Chad Hunter has spent more than two decades in the newspaper industry as a reporter and editor in Arkansas, Oklahoma and his home state of Missouri. He began working for the Cherokee Phoenix in late  ...
chad-hunter@cherokee.org • 918-453-5269
Chad Hunter has spent more than two decades in the newspaper industry as a reporter and editor in Arkansas, Oklahoma and his home state of Missouri. He began working for the Cherokee Phoenix in late ...

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