Byline: Kaylea Berry/Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – A Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Regular Session Council meeting was held at the Mound Building in Okmulgee on Sept. 24. The Council addressed the following legislation; the interpretation is based on the language in the bills:
TR 22-135 Authorizing the Principal Chief to execute an amended agreement with the Indian Health Service and supporting the assumption of remaining tribal shares from the Indian Health Services Wewoka Unit. Representative Leonard Gouge sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
MCNDH has determined the assumption that the remaining tribal shares from the Wewoka IHS facility will provide improved services to MCN citizens.
TR 22-136 Confirming the nomination of Bruce Douglas to serve on the College of the Muscogee Nation Board of Regents. Rep. Anna Marshall sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The full council approved Douglas to serve on the CMN Board of Regents.
TR 22-137 Authorizing the Principal Chief to execute an agreement for gas installation by the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company for the Three Ponds Elderly Housing project. Rep.Galen Cloud sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The construction of the Three Ponds Elderly Housing Project includes installing pipelines for natural gas utility services for residences. To do so, the Nation has to agree to gas installation by Oklahoma Natural Gas Company.
TR 22-138 Approving the construction contract for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Housing. Rep. Cloud sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
MCN Housing requests approval for a construction contract with MacHill Tribal Construction, LLC, to build four homes (two in Henryetta and two in Wetumka). The total cost for constructing the four homes is $1,010,618.
TR 22-139 Supporting the 574 Tribal Prayer – Gathering of the Sacred Nations. Rep. Mark Randolph sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The legislation affirms that seeking the Creator’s intervention for our people and laws currently in the history, the MCN agrees that this land belongs to the Creator, and Creator has given the Indigenous Tribes spiritual authority to speak to it and address issues in this land.
TR 22-140 Authorizing the Principal Chief to execute a license and services agreement with Tyler Technologies for the MCN Lighthorse Police Department. Rep. Randolph sponsored the bill, which was adopted 15-0.
The license and services agreement will supply necessary computer software and hardware services for the MCN Lighthorse Police Department. The Nation will waive sovereign immunity for the Terms and Conditions with Tyler Technologies and Socrata Software and the adoption of the Third-Party End User License Agreement with Red Hat.
TR 21-141 Amending TR 22-086 (authorizing the principal chief to execute a
Real Estate contract for the purchase of property in Creek County, Oklahoma). Rep. Joseph Hicks sponsored the resolution, which was adopted 15-0.
The amendment is necessary to include the property’s legal description.
TR 22-142 Authorizing the Principal Chief to execute a Memorandum of understanding with Sac and Fox Nation, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, and the United States Department of the Interior on behalf of its environmental programs to create the Wilcox Oil Company Superfund Site Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Trustee Council. Rep.Hicks sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The tribal entities seek to enter an MOU to recognize their shared interests and responsibilities for natural resources. Article VI, 7(b) of the MCN Constitution requires National Council Approval of any agreement with a federal, state, or local government entity.
TR 22-143 Amendment to TR 19-076 (Suspending all special appropriations and donations) as amended by TR 20-150, TR 21-080, and TR 22-128. Rep. Nelson Harjo Sr. sponsored the legislation, which was adopted substitute 15-0.
There was a need to amend TR 19-076 to allow donations to the MSW Indian Baptist Association, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, Muskogee Oklahoma Native American Association (MONAA), and the Muscogee (Creek) Lady Legends.
TR 22-144 Authorizing the Principal Chief to purchase property located in Hughes County, Okla. Rep. Marshall sponsored, and Rep. Thomasene Yahola Osborn co-sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The Nation is interested in purchasing a property in Hughes County for use by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health. The property’s purchase price is $425,000 plus any closing costs associated with the purchase.
TR 22-147 Authorizing the Principal Chief, GOAB, and MNGE to enter into an amendment loan agreement with BOKF, NA dba Bank of Oklahoma, and the lender’s party thereto. Rep. R. Hicks sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The loan was entered on Sept. 27, 2018, and requires an amendment to authorize other lenders, MGNE and GOAB.
TR 22-148 Supporting the expansion of the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park to form a new National Park and Preserve. Rep. Harjo Sr. sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 14-1. (No Vote?) Rep. () voted against the resolution.
The support will help to preserve 80,000 acres in conservation under National Park and Preservation status.
Tribal co-management and intergovernmental cooperation will increase public land management, enhance cultural and natural resource protection, expand educational outreach that includes tribal perspectives and ensure coordination for future land use planning, recreation, long-term resource management, and programmatic goals.
NCA 22-095 Authorizing the expenditure of the US Department of the Interior Living Languages Grant Program Funds for the benefit of the Mvskoke Language Department. Rep. Gouge sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
Grant funds ($69,789) will be used to expand access to the Mvskoke language by making resources available to every MCN citizen by creating a website, hiring a virtual language instructor, and archiving all language material.
NCA 22-096 Authorizing an appropriation to the MCN VASO to participate in the National Native American Veterans Memorial Dedication Ceremony in Washington, DC Rep. Gouge sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 14-1.
VASO is asking for $35,568 and wishes to take ten veterans to the ceremony and participate in the Festivities.
NCA 22-097 Amending MCNCA Title 22, Chapter 9, entitled “Emergency Management Authority.” Rep. Marshall sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
Emergency Management manager Bobby Howard claimed that the amendment is needed to update for specific insurance purposes since the last update was in 2007.
NCA 22-098 Authorizing the expenditure of grant funds ($20,442,854) awarded from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families American Rescue Plan Act Child Care Supplemental Discretionary Funds for the benefit of the MCN Office of Childcare. Rep. Gouge sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The grant will be used to continue services that include day-to-day expenditures and direct assistance and will be applied to construction at the Okemah location.
NCA 22-099 Creating a new Chapter 12, entitled “Forestry Management and Fencing Act” in MCNCA Title 28 “Land and Minerals.” Rep.Cloud sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The law will protect restricted and trust property by defining boundaries and raising the value of restricted and trust property serviced.
The program will be funded through the Comprehensive Annual Budget annually for the administration, professional staff, equipment, and operation; the Bureau of Indian Affairs will assist with up to $50,000. The program operates under the management and direction of MCN Realty Trust Services.
NCA 22-100 Amending MCNCA Title 37 § 2-203 to alter the distribution of funds. Rep. Randolph sponsored the bill, which was adopted 14-1. (No vote?)
Funding distribution in the 2023 Fiscal Year will be deposited into the Gaming fund until the NC revisits the distribution percentages of Tribal Gaming Funds to determine the best and most effective distribution percentages for the future operation of the Nation.
NCA 22-101 Transferring remaining the Fiscal Year 2022 Funds from the Gaming Operations Authority Board (GOAB) to Muscogee Nation Business Holdings, LLC (MNBH). Rep. R. Hicks sponsored the bill, which was adopted 15-0.
The funds appropriated to the GOAB by NCA 21-66 were intended for gaming purposes. Since the repeal of GOAB and the formation of MNGE and MNBH, the remaining GOAB funds that have not been spent since March 2022 should be transferred to MNBH to carry out the Nation’s purpose of gaming and economic development.
NCA 22-102 Amending MCNCA Title 5, 2-115 entitled “Funding” to allow donations to the MSW Indian Baptist Association and the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. Rep. Harjo Sr. sponsored the legislation, which failed 10-3-2. (List no votes and abstained votes.) Rep. blah blah voted against the Act while Rep. blah blah remained abstained.
The amendment grants the MSW Indian Baptist Association $182,940 for various repairs and projects. Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference is requesting $50,800 for food and supplies.
NCA 22-103 Authorizing a donation to Muskogee Oklahoma Native American Association (MONAA). Rep.Mary Crawford sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The Act’s purpose is to authorize a donation to MONAA of $2,000.00. MONAA Secretary Margrett Kelley is accountable for the funds allocated by submitting original receipts to the Office of Controller within thirty (30) days after the 2022 Indigenous Peoples Day Events have concluded.
NCA 22-104 Appropriating funds for the MCN VASO to purchase motorcycles for a military funeral and detail unit. Rep. Yahola Osborn sponsored the legislation, which was postponed to Oct. 29 Quarterly Session 15-0.
If approved, the law would provide for purchasing three police motorcycles, assisting VASO in properly escorting military funerals. The estimated total cost is $83,691.
NCA 22-105 Appropriating funds to purchase timber from the Larnee Holahta allotment timber trespass. Representative Joseph Hicks sponsored the legislation, which was adopted on 14-0-1.
The Larnee Holahta 160-acre allotment was unlawfully entered and timber cut. MCN wants to purchase the timber from the heirs of the Larnee Holahta Allotment for $24,000. The price for the unlawfully cut timber would be based on the estimated amount of “ricks of wood,” and the harvested timber will benefit MCN citizens in accordance with MCNCA Title 32. Procurement 3-102 and 3-103.
NCA 22-106 Authorizing a donation of $2,000 to Muscogee (Creek) Lady Legends Organization. Rep. Sandra Golden sponsored, and Rep. J. Hicks co-sponsored the legislation, which was adopted substitute 15–0.
The Muscogee (Creek) Lady Legends Organization requested $2,000 to help with food, drinks, paper products, utensils, gas, t-shirts, and possible purchase of tables and chairs for its Indigenous Peoples Day event.
Meetings can be watched at www.mcnnc.com.