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CPN Legislative update: November 2015

On September 24, 2015 the CPN Tribal Legislature convened its meeting; all 16 members were in attendance.

The 2016 fiscal year Tribal budgets were approved with a 16-0 vote in favor. In election news, legislators unanimously confirmed the appointment of the members of the Tribal election committee, with Gary Bourbonnais designated as chairman. Tribal elections will take place at the annual Family Reunion Festival on June 25, 2016, with absentee ballot request forms mailed in the spring of 2016.

District 9 and 12 are all on the ballot for the election. Those seeking legislative seats must live within Oklahoma. Legislative seats 9 and 12 are all located in Oklahoma, but have no specific geographic limits inside the state. Therefore those wishing to contest a specific seat must indicate which legislative position that they are running for. Only CPN members who are 18 or older as of Election Day will be CPN members who would like to be considered for these positions must have their declarations of candidacy in the Election Committee’s hands no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13, 2016. These declarations of candidacy must be filed through the U.S. Postal Service. Filing forms can be requested by writing to Hownikan@potawatomi.org.

All eligible CPN voters living in Oklahoma can vote for each individual candidate in legislative seats 9 and 12. Candidates for the legislative seats must be at least 18 years old by Election Day. Additionally, they must have resided in the district from which they are elected for at least six months on Election Day.

The legislature appointed Tribal Chairman John Barrett as delegate and representatives Eva Marie Carney and Robert Whistler as alternates to the National Congress of American Indians annual session, including authorization of a payment for NCAI membership dues.

The Citizen Potawatomi Development Corporation’s proposed 2016 CDFI Grant Assistance Program application was also approved with unanimous consent, as was a resolution approving CPN’s membership dues to the National Indian Gaming Association. Tribal Roads’ Director Art Muller and Environmental Department Assistant Director Shawn Howard were designated certifying officers for the environmental review process at CPN by the legislators.

Resolutions also passed approving grant applications for the 2016 Indian General Assistance Program and Clean Water Act, Section 106 Tribal Water Grant Program. The addition of routes to the Nation’s existing road inventory data system was approved alongside updates to the Tribe’s Long-Range Transportation Plan. Tribal employment, training and education services were consolidated through Public Law 102-477 with the approval of all legislators.

Conditional relinquishment of Tribal citizenships were approved for Esther Denise Levier, Taletha Denine Levier, Tristan James Levier, Nicholas Casmir Michals and Robert Anthony Wamego. 269 new members of the Tribe were enrolled with all legislators voting in the affirmative.