Intertribal Council holds quarterly session

By: Sterling Cosper/Editor

Photo Credit: Chickasaw Media

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Tiger speaks during the quarterly session of the Intertribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes July 11-12 at the Chickasaw Nation owned Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, Okla.

SULPHUR, Okla. — A quarterly session of the Intertribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes was held July 11-12 at the Chickasaw Nation owned Artesian Hotel in Sulpher.

Resolutions addressed during the general session July 12 included such topics as: federal funding for Haskell Indian Nations University during sequestration, the White House Council on Indian Affairs, a task force regarding Natural Gas Technologies, the Muscogee (Creek) Council House artifacts and the Washington Redskins Professional Football Team mascot.

The resolutions were all passed unanimously by Council members: Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Tiger, Cherokee Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Choctaw Nation Chief Greg Pyle and Seminole Nation Principal Chief Leonard Harjo.
Resolution 13-21 urging Congress, Department of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Education to exempt Haskell Indian Nations University from the impact of sequestration.

Sequestration was a federal fiscal control measure put in place after the deadline for a partisan agreement over how to balance the federal budget and avoid the national debt ceiling expired March 1. The policy will result in spending cuts to a broad range of federally funded programs and entities like Haskell over 10 years.

Resolution 13-24 proposing the development of an Inter-Tribal Strategic Alternative Fuels Plan to jointly pursue opportunities in maximizing effectiveness in the adoption of energy efficient technology, supplying affordable energy while reducing fossil fuel emissions and ensuring paths be taken for current and future generations by pursuing a shared commitment to environmental stewardship.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s website, “Natural gas powers about 112,000 vehicles in the United States and roughly 14.8 million vehicles worldwide. The advantages of natural gas as a transportation fuel include its domestic availability, widespread distribution infrastructure, low cost, and clean-burning qualities.”

Resolution 13-25 commending President Obama and Secretary Jewell for the executive order creating the White House Council on Native American Affairs.

The president signed the executive order June 26.

According to a DOI press release, the council was created to: promote sustainable economic development;
support greater access to and control over healthcare; improve the effectiveness and efficiency of tribal justice systems;
 expand and improve educational opportunities for Native American youth and
protect and support the sustainable management of Native lands, environments, and natural resources.

Resolution 13-27 opposing the use of the term “Redskins” as the name of Washington D.C.’s NFL franchise and supporting Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell, Congressional Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Betty McCollum of Minnesota in their commitment to rebrand said franchise.

The resolution stated that, “the use of the term “Redskins” as the name of a franchise is derogatory and racist…”

Cole and McCollum were involved in the introduction of a congressional bill March 20, “to amend the Trademark Act of 1946 regarding the disparagement of Native American persons or peoples through marks that use the term `redskin' and for other purposes.”

Resolution 13-28 items donated to the Creek Council House Museum Association, which related to Muscogee (Creek) history, culture or arts, should be preserved and retained in perpetuity for the educational benefit and enjoyment of the Creek people now and in the future.

The MCN officially purchased the Council House from the City of Okmulgee Nov. 12, 2010. Under the previous municipal ownership, the city established a contract Creek Indian Memorial Association for the operation of the Council House, which transferred to the MCN with the purchase.

Tiger signed MCN National Council Resolution 12-050, May 2, 2012 terminating the management agreement with the Creek Indian Memorial Association (now the Creek Council House Museum Association), ending the association’s oversight of the Creek Council House.

Despite the termination of the contract, the museum association still has oversight over the artifacts, which were display in the museum portion of the Council House. Recently, the association shipped the collection to Cowan’s Auctions Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio for sale to the public starting Sep. 20.

Other resolutions included:

13-22 encouraging and supporting the Tribal Child Support Programs having direct access to the Federal Parent Locator Service and Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program.

According to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement website, the FPLS, “provides various systems, applications and initiatives to help state child support programs,” while the FITROP, “collects past-due child support payments from the tax refunds of parents who have been ordered to pay child support.”

13-23 establishing an Ad Hoc Committee for Food, Agriculture and Nutrition.

The resolution states, “the ITC recognizes the important role that food, agriculture and nutrition play in the social and economic wellbeing of Indian communities…ITC member tribes are interested in ensuring that food sovereignty is supported among its tribes…”

13-29 expressing support for the appointment of Richard Chissoe to the National Indian Gaming Comission…

The resolution listed Chissoe’s career background in gaming.

12-30 establishing an Ad Hoc Committee for Violence Against Women.

The resolution states, “the ITC recognizes the devastating impact that domestic and sexual violence has on tribal communities and the need for coordinated efforts and responses to effectively address these crimes…”

The next ITC meeting Oct. 10-11, will be hosted by the MCN.