By Staff Writer
On April 28, 2012, the Muscogee (Creek) National Councilheld its quarterly session in the auditorium of the Mound Building at the Creek Capital Complex. In addition to the National Councils regular order of business, Principal Chief George Tiger presented a quarterly report for the Executive Branch, which included an update about the progress of his “90-Day Plan”, and the National Council members nominated and voted for a new 2nd Speaker for the council. Pastor Clarence Yahola of Springfield Church was on hand to give the invocation.
Before the National Council began their regular order of business, the legislative body made nominations to fill the vacant position of 2nd Speaker of the National Council. Due to the recent resignation of former Rep. Cherrah Ridge of Tulsa District , the role of 2nd Speaker had been left open. Ridge has reportedly accepted a position within the Tiger administration as the new Community Services Director.
National Council representatives Robert Hufft of Tulsa District and Adam Jones III of McIntosh District were both nominated to fill the role of 2nd Speaker. Votes were cast by each council member present by secret ballot. Speaker Sam Alexander read out loud each vote cast. The first vote was a tie with seven votes each. A re-vote was called but yielded the same results. McIntosh District Rep. Adam Jones III immediately announced that he was conceding. But his counterpart, Rep. Robert Hufft suggested that the vote be delayed until the entire council was present. After some discussion, Rep. Eddie LeGrone of Muscogee District suggested using a more traditional and transparent Creek method of voting by having each council member physically stand behind the nominee of their choice. The council decided to delay another vote until all sixteen members were present.Twenty-six pieces of legislation were on the agenda for the National Council’s consideration with topics including the confirmation of executive nominations, land purchases and tribal resolutions authorizing the Principal Chief to execute various agreements with county and federal agencies.
Three persons were confirmed for various positions within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s executive branch. Gayla Waller was confirmed to serve on the Gaming Operations Authority Board. Wayne Johnson was confirmed to serve as the Director of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Division of Human Development. And Charles Robert “Bo” Colbert was approved by the council to serve as the Chief of Staff of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
The National Council passed two resolutions authorizing the Principal Chief to buy more land located in Okmulgee County, Oklahoma. The National Council also passed two laws appropriating a total of $4,220,000 for the purchase of the properties. One of the properties being purchased for $610,000 includes land adjacent to the Okmulgee Golf Club in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
The Puetake Vcake Foundation was on the Quarterly Session agenda requesting a donation of $110,000 to assist the funding of a Mvskoke language immersion program. Former Okmulgee District Representative Terrie Anderson sits on the Board of Directors for the Puetake Vcake Foundation. The foundation has previously received $80,000 from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. The legislation (NCA 12-054) received several comments from council members and comments from a citizen as well. All the comments addressed the importance and need for language preservation but there were concerns that the foundation was only serving a “limited number of children” that amounted to about three to six students total. The legislation failed by a vote of 3 yes to 10 no votes. The legislation was sponsored by National Speaker Sam Alexander. Co-sponsors of the bill were Okmulgee District representatives Keeper Johnson and David Nichols as well as McIntosh District representative Darrell Proctor.