ANADARKO, OK — The 2021 General Council meeting was held on Saturday, June 19, 2021, in the Anadarko High School multipurpose room. A delicious beef taco bar was served between 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, catered by Ted’s Café Escondido Restaurant. Taco bar included: Crispy Corn Tortillas; Soft Flour Tortillas; Lettuce; Tomatoes; Grated Cheese; Homemade Guacamole; Atomic and Regular Salsa; Vegetable Relish; Sour Cream, served with rice, refried beans, sweet cinnamon chips and your choice of ice tea; lemons; sweeteners or bottled water.
After lunch was served, the meeting was called to order by President Deborah Dotson at 1:18 PM. Linda Poolaw opened the meeting with words of wisdom to express the importance of prayer before the meetings to whom the creator is present. Linda spoke about the respect she witnessed at meetings as a young lady and how she would like to see it exercised in our modern-day meetings. Linda began the prayer by asking the Creator to watch down upon the meeting and to be in the hearts of the Delaware people. She gave thanks and blessings for the meeting and prayed for those who could not be in attendance. The prayer concluded and everyone sat down to their seats.
President Dotson thanked Linda for her beautiful prayer then addressed a special issue by encouraging citizens to communicate with each other and to communicate in a respectful manner. The CARES act funding was distributed in 2020 rather quickly and with the many complications of the COVID-19 Pandemic and restrictions set towards the handling of these funds, mistakes were made. Helpful feedback was provided to the President and staff by tribal citizens to correct the mistakes. Unfortunately, a lot of tribal members were calling and being very rude to the staff. Employees were working hard to distribute these funds with short-staffed departments. In 2020, Delaware Nation received 5 million in CARES act relief and 88.84% of those funds went to tribal citizens, whereas other tribes were using the funds for infrastructure and hiring consultants to handle the money. Delaware Nation was approved for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for $10,394,634 with $6,380,060 budgeted to tribal citizens and $4,014,577 held back for COVID-19 variants in the fall season. The President reiterated communication then insisted that tribal citizens please be kind and patient with the staff as they are working diligently to complete the tasks required to distribute these funds as fast as possible. Citizen/employee Dana Kelly expressed her gratitude to the President and Executive Committee as an employee of the Nation and a tribal member then spoke of the difficulties faced when handling the information received by tribal citizens for assistance.
Voting on citizenship applications was next on the agenda, carried out by Citizenship Committee Secretary Evelyn Kionute. Evelyn announced the applicants and their relinquishment. Tribal citizens voted by hand in favor of the twelve (12) applicants in pursuit of Delaware Nation citizenship. With the approval of the 12 applicants, Delaware Nation now has 1,972 tribal citizens.
Next on the agenda was the Lenape Gardens Grant Presentation by Jackie McCasland and Ambrea Marshall but before the ladies began their presentation, President Dotson introduced the new Tribal Attorney and Special Prosecutor Klint Cowan. Mr. Cowan attended the meeting so that citizens could ask him questions in regards to his appointed roles. Jackie and Ambrea made their way to the podium and provided information on the proposal of a $198,000 grant towards the Native American Agricultural Fund that will provide a cultural greenhouse so that the program can bring back seeds from the Delaware Nation’s homeland, as well as an orchid with at least 5 species of fruit and observatory beehives to improve education on pollinators. This no match cost grant will include the installation, irrigation, and well digging and Tribal citizens are encouraged to vote on the approval of the Grant so that funds can be rewarded.
Outdoor Classroom Area Benefits include:
•An increase in physical development, capability, and activity.
• Setting up patterns for an active, healthy lifestyle.
•Fewer children suffering from diseases such as obesity, Diabetes, and ADD/ADHD.
•Allows Schools to visit and learn about ecosystems
•Collaborations with APS and Riverside
Executive Committee Secretary Ann Brower then read the minutes from the October 10, 2021, Special General Council meeting. Mrs. Brower provided the meeting minutes in detail with corrections being made as they were found. Meeting minutes were approved by a vote of 64 yes, 0 no, and 0 abstentions.
The President began the next item on the agenda by introducing comptroller Kyle Dover and allowed him to provide the 2021 annual financial report virtually. Mr. Dover was very honored and pleased to present the financial report and expressed his gratitude for the finance department stepping up to handle the funds appropriately. So where do Delaware Nation revenue streams flow from? Federal Grants (DHHS, HUD, EPA, VR, Treasury) = 5,660,356, Allocation Plans (Economic and Gaming) = 3,355,003, Taxes-Gaming, Sales & Fuel = 668,755, Program Income-Sect. 106 = 7,056, Licenses & Fees 438,729, Indirect Cost Recovery = 720,646, Greentech Lease Revenue – 225,210, Gain on sale of fixed assets = 1,724,429, Other (Space Cost, interest, In-kind) = 481,173, TOTAL = 13,281,357. Lenape distributions through April 2021 are up $2,553,510 or 188%, when compared to the same period in 2020. Five months are remaining in the 2021 fiscal year. DNEDA distributions are up $3,000,000 through April 2021. In addition to the Cares funding, the Nation paid to each tribal member $500 as an additional stimulus payment, totaling $882,500 which is included in general government expenditures as of September 30, 2020. Delaware Nation had capital costs related to Our Children’s Garden daycare and surrounding roads projects during FY 2020 totaling $3,319,780. These costs were funded by self-governance (i.e. TTP,) and ICDGB grant revenue, and general fund matching requirements. Financial reports can be viewed in the Annual Report on pages 16-17. You can also, view the digital Annual Report on the homepage of delawarenation-nsn.gov.
Next on the agenda were public comments, starting with a citizen asking to receive financial reports that go back five years in comparison to what is currently in the reports, and the President, along with comptroller Kyle Dover noted the change to implement on future financial reports. Another citizen asked if there were any studies done on those who are wanting to utilize technical colleges for essential service careers and the President noted that she would discuss with the Executive Committee. He also advocated for tribal vocation schools. The next tribal citizen asked about the RAED Plan funds and wanted to revisit the topic of the per capita payment percentage. In response, the President provided the following allocation percentages: 34% shall be used for distribution of per capita payments, 18% shall be used to fund tribal gov operations/administration, 18% shall be for distribution to provide additional funding for Social Services, Higher Education, Vocational Training and Prescription Assistance Program, 15% shall be used for elder care, 10% shall be used for a Rain-Day Fund to be utilized for budget shortfalls or a building fund and 5% shall be used for a Natural Disaster Fund with approved guidelines, with a cap of $5,000 per tribal household. RAED Plan will go out for vote on August 7, 2021. Cultural Preservation event coordinator Evelyn Kionute approached the podium to address the urgency of preserving the language and culture of Delaware Nation. Along with the support of the Executive Committee, Evelyn asked all who can participate in preserving the Lenape language to please do so. She also asked the Executive Committee to support the efforts towards a Delaware Nation events center, dance ground, and parking lot to have a venue for songs, dance, and gatherings. A cultural event center could also be utilized for General Council meetings and other future events without the complications of booking public venues. The President added the complicated process of locating a place to hold the General Council meeting and agreed with Cultural Preservation that the Nation needs to gather and be able to have ceremony. A tribal elder approached the podium stating she was in contact with the tribal liaison with the tribes of the CARES act funds and was told that the tribes had the say-so on how the tribes spend the money. The President responded that there are strict guidelines to spending the money and the economic impact checks could not be more than the $2,000 amount of the Federal stimulus checks. The citizen then asked why the tribal members could not participate in the spending of the funds. “How would you like us to spend the money?” President Dotson replied. The citizen requested that gas mileage be paid for to go to medical appointments at GSA rates ($.59 per mile). Another citizen jumped in and stated that the new round of relief funds would assist elders to receive technology to attend virtual doctor visits. A motion was made on the floor and those in favor were 12 yes, 38 no, 0 abstentions. The citizen then moved from the topic of gas mileage to the amount of money each citizen should have received in total. She argued that tribal members could have paid another month of rent or utilities if the Nation would have not given the local community assistance. Another citizen jumped in and replied, “why not give back to the community?” Several joined the loud voices in a heated discussion between those who wanted to receive more from the Nation and from those who felt like they received enough and should give back to the local community, who many are loyal patrons of Gold River Casino in Anadarko, Oklahoma and Casino Oklahoma in Hinton, Oklahoma. The President stepped in and diffused the situation by asking the tribal citizens to please stop arguing and pointed out that the local community support is where the per capita comes from. She also mentioned how proud the Delawares were when they gave back to the community, which was in the guidelines provided by the IRS when distributing the funds. The same gentleman that was in support of tribal vocational schools approached the podium with his concerns about the meat shortage and the high costs of the current beef market. He recommended deep freezers for citizens to store their meat but the President responded that there are very strict guidelines to the handling of the ARPA funds and the deep freeze isn’t a tool to combat COVID-19. An elder was handed a microphone and immediately thanked the President and Executive Committee for all they did to help but requested help to clean all the brush from the ice storm earlier in the year since she is unable to walk. Tribal Administrator Janice Maddox joined the conversation and explained how much the maintenance department is trying to help with limited equipment and staff. She requested that participants of the elder lawn care program please keep their lawns picked up so that the maintenance staff can experience less delay in their 40-mile radius route of lawns to maintain. Another citizen asked if we could hire tribal members to work and the Tribal Administrator responded that the Nation just hired summer temporary help to alleviate some of the duties of the maintenance department. Then one recommended contacting a volunteer fire department to properly burn the brush to get rid of them and was advised by Vice President Michael McLane to contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs to look into starting a fire department.
Three citizens stood up and offered to come and clean up the elder’s yard for her and she was more than grateful. A virtual attendee joined the public comments by asking for clarification on DNEDA’s distribution percentages on the 18% for government as well as social services. He recommended changing those percentages to give more to the citizens as opposed to the suggested 34% per capita being sent out to the Nation. The President explained that the government percentage goes towards the buildings, lawnmowers, cars, trucks, and maintenance. She also explained the percentage of the social service is for higher education, vocational training, college assistance, and more. Another virtual attendee expressed his gratification for everything the Executive Committee has done for the Nation. He recommended utilizing grants to achieve the goal percentages while allocating more funds to other services. Also, the gentleman pointed out that some of the programs do not benefit citizens Nationwide like the Child Care Center and how having cash-in-hand is much more beneficial to citizens out of the Anadarko, Oklahoma area. Former Tribal Princess Debbie Eckiwaudah Jr. displayed her gratefulness for the programs and mentioned how much the Nation gave back to the people whereas other tribes didn’t. She was proud to say it’s okay to help the community when she has been blessed to have her bills paid by these relief programs. Another citizen added that she was content with the $500 stimulus payment whereas other tribes were receiving nothing. She was thankful for the assistance and mentioned how one can benefit by having a month’s rent paid but wanted to point out that Cultural Preservation receives no funding from the current Revenue Allocation Plan and how important it is to retain the Lenape culture. Cultural Preservation is the key to the future of Delaware Nation because “That’s who we are. That’s how we are a tribe!” she said. The tribal administrator joined in and provided tribal government allocation clarification by explaining that the programs that cannot receive funding by grants like Cultural Preservation are supported by tribal government allocation. One citizen approached the podium and addressed the issue that there needs to be a location to haul trash to help the elders who have no place to take their tree limbs or garbage. The President responded by offering to address the issue in similar ways other tribes have with cutting wood and hauling trash.
A memorial video was played to honor all those who passed from January 2020 to the present. The memorial showed photos and a 3-4 sentence summary with the Delaware Flag Song playing.
The following citizens were honored:
Judith Reynolds Smith 9/17/52 – 1/15/20
Christopher Lee Scott Jr. 10/15/85 – 2/20/20
Terrence Adam Butler 10/7/79 – 2/23/20
Eric Patrick Graham 7/27/80 – 2/25/20
Qunique Shyelove Kawaykla 12/9/2 – 3/16/20
Ivan Raymond Phillips 3/1/59 – 4/8/20
Renee Kay Exendine 8/21/55 – 4/26/20
Lawrence Ray Strunk 10/13/54 – 6/3/20
Michael Joseph Downes 9/27/52 – 6/4/20
Anita Louise Menefee 3/29/56 – 7/5/20
Stephen Leonardelli 4/13/73 – 7/14/20
Kristofor Lee Willmon 8/15/95 – 8/10/20
Kemit Murrow 6/29/37 – 8/11/20
Louis Francis Haddon 7/14/45 – 9/10/20
Brian Scott Parton 3/15/70 – 9/20/20
Grover Columbus Taylor 4/20/49 – 10/6/20
Stephanie Marie Cook 5/14/86 – 10/8/20
Timothy Ray Raffety 4/19/56 – 10/15/20
Melissa Jo Cox 9/4/61 – 11/12/20
Garvin Roger Beaver 6/2/37 – 11/16/20
Jeffrey Grant Brower 4/7/81 – 11/24/20
Jimejon Wesley Samuel Potter 10/10/79 – 1/1/21
Dean Allen Pickard Neal 11/6/50 – 1/11/21
Vanna Betty Eckiwaudah Scott 10/8/08 – 8/28/20
Lasette Alaina Walker 11/10/66 – 2/3/21
Susan Elizabeth Smith 2/24/83 – 3/14/21
Tracy Sue Dunkin 11/24/67 – 3/28/21
Bruce Wayne Osborne 1/5/85 – 5/4/21
Wanda Louise Parker 12/23/26 – 5/9/21
The President announced the elder recognitions to honor Linda Sue Poolaw, Mary French Smith, and William Robert Gonzales. Delaware Nation took this time to honor Linda Sue Poolaw and her contributions to the Nation and the wealth of knowledge and wisdom she has shared throughout the years. Vice President McLane read a summary of Linda’s life and presented to her a plaque and honorary Pendleton blanket. Linda claimed this was the, “biggest honor she has ever had!” She also presented an honorary shawl for Tribal administrator Janice Maddox as thanks for all her hard work. Mary French Smith’s decades of remarkable service to Delaware Nation and the wisdom she has shared make her an honorable mention. Mary’s brother Edgar called upon Mary during the time Dona Walker resigned and when she came to the next Executive Committee she was nominated to fill the position. Ever since that day, Mary has been active with the tribe. The President read a summary of Mary’s life and presented to her a plaque and honorary Pendleton blanket. Committee Member Terry Williams recognized William Gonzales for his courage and bravery as a Vietnam Army Veteran by reading a summary of his life and presenting him a plaque and honorary Pendleton blanket. William received the Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star, 2 Vietnamese Medals, National Defense Service Medal, and Good Conduct Medal. Wanìshi, William!
A Tribal citizen made recognitions to honor individuals that had gone above and beyond. She called enrollment director Kelly Line to come to the podium to recognize her involvement in helping the tribal members. Kelly was called the “Perfect Delaware working in the Delaware offices.” The citizen then called Bruce Gonzales to make his way to the podium so that she could honor him for helping her nephews and son when they were facing troubling times and now they’re doing well, thanks to Mr. Gonzales. She was very grateful that he was there to help them.
Next on the agenda was the Princess recognition, presented by cultural preservation events coordinator Evelyn Kionute. Due to the complications of the COVID-19 Pandemic during the 2020-2021 Princess reign, Lori Donise Kionute will be proudly returning as Delaware Nation Princess for 2021-2022. Due to the passing of Lori’s grandfather, she will not be participating in events where she will be standing until October 2021 but has made the assurance that she will serve the tribe to the best of her abilities until then. Princess Lori honored the tribe in the Lenape language and introduced herself and her family. Lori is honored to serve in this capacity and looks forward to respectfully representing Delaware Nation.
The final activity on the agenda was a drawing for an honorary Pendleton blanket and blanket ladder. The winners participated by registering and receiving a red ticket with a number that was randomly drawn by the tribal administrator. Before making a motion to adjourn the meeting, the President praised Lilyanna Rangel for donating her congressional art competition winning and best 46th Annual Native American Art Show competition-winning painting titled, “Maya Angelou’s Words,” to the Nation. It is an incredible honor to receive such a powerful work of art from one of the very own citizens of Delaware Nation. A motion to adjourn the meeting was entertained at 4:33 PM with a unanimous vote. Wanìshi to all who attended the meeting, in-person and virtual, to Ted’s for the delicious Taco bar lunch, Strong Heart, and to the staff who worked hard to make this meeting possible.
Photos and article by Wesley Boone Public Relations 6/21/2021. Please visit our facebook page to see more photos from the meeting.
Executive Committee members President Deborah Dotson, Committee Person #2 Reynolds French Sr., Committee Person #1 Terry Williams, Treasurer Barbara Nixon, Secretary Ann Brower & Vice President Michael McLane.
Tribal Elder Linda Poolaw opening meeting with words of wisdom and prayer
President Deborah Dotson addressing special issue at General Council
Citizenship Committee Secretary Evelyn Kionute announcing applicants for citizenship
Tribal citizens voting on citizenship applicants
Lenape Gardens grant presentation by CHR Ambrea Marshall & EPA Director Jackie MacCasland
Approval of October 10, 2021 Special General council meeting minutes by Secretary Ann Brower
Virtual financial report by Comptroller Kyle Dover
Tribal citizen participating in public comments
Memorial video honoring those who passed in 2020 – present
Tribal Elder Recognition of Linda Poolaw and her achievements by Vice President Michael McLane
Tribal elder recognition of Mary French-Smith and her achievements by President Deborah Dotson
Committee Person #1 Terry Williams honoring tribal elder veteran William Gonzales for his service in the armed forces
Cultural Preservation Event Coordinator presenting Lori Kionute as 2021-2022 Princess
Princess Lori Kionute giving her honorary welcome speech