Liz Gray/Managing Editor
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – A quarterly session for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council meeting was held July 31 at the Mound Building in Okmulgee.
The National Council addressed the following legislation, the interpretation of which is attributed to language in the bills:
TR 21-103 Confirming the nomination of Cecelia Wittman to serve on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Citizenship Board. Representative James Jennings sponsored the resolution, which was adopted 13-0.
The nomination of Muscogee (Creek) citizen Cecelia Wittman to serve on the MCN Citizenship board. The term will begin upon confirmation and expire on June 1, 2026.
TR 21-104 Authorizing the Principal Chief to execute a certain agreement with Appriss Health, LLC on behalf of MCN Department of Health. Rep. Anna Marshall sponsored the resolution, which was adopted 13-0.
The agreement would allow MCNDH access to a certain software interface services to fully implement the Epic Electronic Health Record System.
TR 21-105 Authorizing the Principal Chief to execute a memorandum of understanding between the Nation and Wainwright Public Schools on behalf of the MCN Tribal Education Agency. Rep. Marshall sponsored the resolution, which was adopted 13-0.
The MCN Tribal Education Agency seeks to coordinate their resources, skills and expertise with Wainwright Public Schools in order to provide further high-quality education to better serve the needs of Native children.
TR 21-106 Authorizing the Principal Chief to execute a programmatic agreement among Eglin Air Force Base, the Florida State Historic Preservation Officer, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regarding the management of historic properties at Eglin Air Force Base. Rep. Charles McHenry sponsored the resolution, which was adopted 13-0.
Agreement will recognize, protect, and preserve the interest of the MCN in any ongoing operations, maintenance, repair/replacement, alteration, new construction, demolition and ground disturbing activities within Elgin AFB or its area of potential effect.
TR 21-107 Confirming the nomination of Barry W. Brandon to serve on the Public Gaming Commission. Rep. Jennings sponsored the resolution, which was adopted 13-0.
MCN law authorizes one member of the PGC to be appointed and confirmed by National Council. The National Council nominated Barry W. Brandon, a Muscogee citizen to serve on the Public Gaming Commission. Term will begin upon confirmation and expire July 31, 2025.
NCA 21-074 Authorizing the expenditure of grant funds awarded from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families for the benefit of the MCN Office of Child Care. Rep. Marshall sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 13-0.
The funds awarded would be used to construct a new child care facility; purchase supplies, provide start-up grants to new providers and subgrants to existing ones, provide direct payments for child care services, provide technical assistance and provide health education training to child care and provider staff.
NCA 21-075 Authorizing the expenditure of the DHHS ACF consolidated appropriations act, 2021 low-income household water assistance program funds in the amount of $6,343.00 for the benefit of the MCN Social Services Program. Rep. Marshall sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 13-0.
The funds awarded to MCN Social Services Program would be used to provide operation funds for the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program.
NCA 21-076 Authorizing a budget modification in excess of 10 percent for the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime FY 18 CTAS Purpose Area 6: Children’s Justice Act Partnership for Indian Communities Program grant funds in the amount of $449,999.00 for the benefit of the MCN Children and Family Services Administration Program. Rep. Marshall sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 13-0.
MCN CFSA requested a budget modification to reallocate certain funds and increase the supplies and contractual line items.
NCA 21-078 Authorizing the expenditure of federal funding in the amount of $988,200.00 from the Tribal Transportation Program for the M. Berryhill road construction project. Rep. Mark Randolph sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 13-0.
The estimated cost of the project is $988,200 with federal funds from the Nation’s Tribal Transportation Program to be used to pay for the project.
NCA 21-079 Appropriating funds to be used for the operating budget for the Muscogee Nation Resource Center located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2021. Rep. Thomasene Yahola Osborn sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 8-5 with Reps. Mary Crawford, Joyce Deere, William Lowe, Anna Marshall and Lucian Tiger voting no.
The Nation is wanting to repurpose the building into a resource center for various programs that want to do outreach to citizens in the Oklahoma City and surrounding areas.
NCA 21-082 Authorizing a budget modification in excess of 10 percent for MCN Office of Environmental Services. Rep. Yahola Osborn sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 13-0.
The modification will reallocate funds to cover the increase in costs associated with the use of the Dumpster Containers Program and Portable Toilet Rental Program for churches and ceremonial grounds.
NCA 21-083 Amending MCN Code Annotated Title 5 Entitled, “Church camp house/Ceremonial Ground camp/fellowship hall grant award requirements and restrictions.” Randolph sponsored the amendment with co-sponsors Reps. Joe Hicks, McHenry, Yahola Osborn and Darrell Proctor, which was adopted 13-0. Grant award total will be amended from $7,000.00 to $10,000.
Eligibility includes a completed application, a letter from the Ceremonial Ground Mekko or Pastor stating the need for assistance, a line item budget of total cost of repairs/renovation and no less than two itemized quotes that match line item budget for total cost of repairs/renovation.
NCA 21-084 Repealing MCNCA Title 16 Chapter 4 and creating a new law in a new Title 50, entitled, “Lighthorse Police Commission,” and authorizing an appropriation in the amount of $92,372.00 for the Lighthorse Police Commission. Rep. Adam Jones III sponsored the legislation with co-sponsors Rep. Patrick Freeman Jr., which was adopted 13-0.
The purpose of the Lighthorse Police Commission Act is to provide for independent supervision of the Chief of Police for the MCN Lighthorse Police Department.
The commission shall supervise the Chief of Police and consist of five members, two of whom shall be appointed by the Principal Chief, two nominated and confirmed by the National Council, and one shall be selected by the four seated Commissioners by a majority vote within 45 days.
NCA 21-085 Authorizing the expenditure of the 2021 United States Department of Treasury-Community Development Financial Institutions Funds Rapid Response Program grant in the amount of $324,000.00 for the benefit of the Mvskoke Loan Fund. Rep. Jones sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 13-0.
The Mvskoke Loan Fund was awarded grant funding in the amount of $324,000.00 to provide lending capital to respond to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in distressed and undeserved communities and people.
NCA 21-086 Authorizing the expenditure of grant funds in the amount of $650,872.00 from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Tribal Justice Support for program support services. Rep. Robert Hufft sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 13-0.
The BIA grant funds in the amount of $650,872.00 was awarded to the MCN District Court for judicial support and enhancement.
The funds would help the MCN District Court to enhance tribal court services in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to accommodate the docket increase and the need to enhance communication with the public.
NCA 21-087 Authorizing a budget modification in excess of 10 percent for the District Court FY 2021 budget. Rep. Hufft sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 13-0.
The modification would help the District Court reallocate certain excess funds for other priority expenses.
Rep. Joe Hicks was excused from the meeting.