Council approves wildland, fire management pact
Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Councilors introduce themselves to the Tribal Council during the Dec. 14 meeting in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Eugene Emberton receives the Cherokee Nation’s Medal of Patriotism award during the Dec. 14 Tribal Council meeting for his service to the U.S. Army during World War II. JAMI MURPHY /CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Robert Alberty expresses his gratitude to Principal Chief Bill John Baker and others at the Dec. 14 Tribal Council meeting regarding his recognition for his service to the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
World War II veteran Mark Cartwright’s wife, Mary, accepts her late husband’s Cherokee Nation Medal of Patriotism during the Dec. 14 Tribal Council meeting. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Tribal Council on Dec. 14 approved a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Eastern Oklahoma Region for wildland and fire management.
“Basically the (wildland and fire) resolution allows us to continue to receive funding from the BIA and we work with them in protecting our tribal lands,” Willard Mounce, CN Tribal Employment Rights Office administration officer, said.
Mounce said as of Dec. 14 the tribe’s Wildland and Fire Management program did not have a firefighter over it, but that the position was expected to open. He said to be eligible for the position one has to pass an endurance test as and meet specific BIA requirements.
Until the position is filled, he said the BIA would provide a firefighter during the increased fire season. The agreement is approved annually, Mounce said, and funds $65,000 to the tribe.
Tribal Councilors also approved a bill allowing the CN to become a Native American Fish and Wildlife Society member.
The NAFWS has been in existence since 1983. It assists tribes with establishing fish and wildlife programs, supporting funding for tribal fish and wildlife programs and educating and training Native fish and wildlife biologists, managers, technicians and conservation officers. However, to benefit from the group’s services, the CN must first be a member.
“Be it resolved by the Cherokee Nation, that this Council hereby wishes to become a member of the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society and to participate in the services provided by the organization and its staff; and be it further resolved; that this Resolution of Support be submitted to the NAFWS; and be it further resolved; that the Cherokee Nation supports the efforts of the NAFWS to secure funding to maintain the organization and the services that will be provided directly to tribal fish and wildlife programs,” the legislation states.
Both resolutions passed unanimously.
The Tribal Council also unanimously passed Janie Dibble’s nomination to the Comprehensive Care Agency or PACE board. Also, legislators approved the re-appointments Carrie Philpott and Farrell Prater to the Registration Committee, Amon Baker to the Sequoyah High School board of education and Nathan Barnard to the Appeals Board.
Councilors also unanimously approved CN citizen Chris Carter to the Cherokee Nation Businesses board of directors. He resigned from the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission effective Dec. 14, upon confirmation to the CNB board.
“I am very pleased with the opportunity to share insights from my many years as a businessman for the benefit of all the citizens of the Cherokee Nation,” Carter, a business owner from Vinita, said.
During the State of the Nation, Principal Chief Bill John Baker recognized the Cherokee Renegades, a basketball team of Cherokee men who won the National Indian Association championship in 1981, and the new CN Tribal Youth Council.
In other news, CNB CEO Shawn Slaton said fiscal year 2015 was a success bringing in $123 million in net income. He also reported that the Roland Casino hotel opened on Dec. 10 and that CNB employs more than 4,600 CN citizens and has more than 80 percent Native American in its employment.
Also, Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation Director Gary Cooper reported that 6,600 families have received some kind of assistance this year from the HACN.