Tribal candidate Q&As: March 2019 — District 11
March 4, 2019
Tribal candidate Q&As: March 2019 — District 13
March 4, 2019

Tribal candidate Q&As: March 2019 — District 10

In addition to the annual Tribal budget, Citizen Potawatomi voters will cast ballots for three competitive races for Oklahoma’s at-large legislative seats this June. The Hownikan asked the candidates about their backgrounds and reasons for running for Tribal office.

David Barrett (incumbent)

Where are you from?

“I’m an Oklahoma boy born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I grew up in Pottawatomie County all my life, mainly west of Tecumseh, Oklahoma. Except for the period of time I was in the U.S. Navy in San Diego, California, on board the U.S.S. Durham, I have lived in the Bethel Acres area for 46 years.

“Growing up, I knew I was Potawatomi, but I went to high school at Tecumseh, and many of us Potawatomi didn’t know about one another.”

What Potawatomi family are you from?

“My great-great-grandmother was a full-blooded Potawatomi named Marguerite Yudian, Indian name Mnitoqua (Spirit Woman), who married Leon Bourassa. Their daughter Margaret married Reuben Haas who’s daughter Minnie (Haas) Barrett had patent number 105 in the book of the Citizen Potawatomi allotments under the Dawes Act of 1887.”

Tell us where you graduated high school from, college and/or other educational achievements.

“Following my graduation from Tecumseh High School in 1966, I attended Murray State Junior College before completing my B.A. in accounting with a minor in mechanical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. After getting married to Connie (47 years ago) and being a radar technician in the U.S. Navy, I came back to Oklahoma while working with Worthington Pump, receiving my MBA with honors from Oklahoma City University in 1982.”

What do you do for a living?

“I’ve been a financial controller for numerous corporations during my lifetime at the same time establishing myself as an entrepreneur by acquiring different businesses and adventures. Some of my functions that pertain to making a living include being an accountant, manager, rancher, father, grandfather, legislator and controller.”

How has being a Tribal member impacted your life?

“Being a Tribal member is like having a very, very, gigantic family. We only started recognizing each other — our community, our families, and our heritage — in the last 40 or 50 years. We started coalescing around our history and building prudent investments toward our future — looking down the road and bringing everyone together to protect the benefits for future generations. This has impacted me in that I feel that I’ve had a small part in keeping the Nation strong.”

Why, specifically, are you running for the CPN Legislature?

“I’m running for CPN Legislature because I have the training and experience from working in major corporations for over 30 years, on the Nation’s bank board, on the CPN Grievance Committee, and in the legislature for 11 years. I have no doubt that I can render decisions based on management by objectives, coupled with my knowledge of internal auditing from working with Arthur Anderson & Co. Thus, I can be confident of being impartial and getting all the facts available to render a good decision.”

Norman Brasfield (challenger)

Where are you from?

“I grew up in and still live in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, with my wife Kayla and my newborn son Brody.”

What Potawatomi family are you from?

“My matriarchal blood line connects to Ellen (Vieux) Bruno of the bear clan who was my great-great-grandmother. Her husband, my great-great-grandfather, was Joseph Bruno of the thunder clan. Both of my ancestors held original allotment land in the Sacred Heart area.”

Tell us where you graduated high school from, college and/or other education achievements?

“I graduated from Bartlesville High School. I received a bachelor of business administration degree with a minor in accounting from Rogers State University.”

What do you do for a living?

“I am an Oracle Database administrator working for ConocoPhillips.”

How has being a Tribal member impacted your life?

“Being a Tribal member has impacted every aspect of my life. Growing up, I learned about my rich Native heritage and developed a sense of belonging. When I was young, my relatives would tell me stories of our people, they instilled the importance of family in me. When we would attend the yearly reunion in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and see other members, I always felt an underlying bond to them.”

Why, specifically, are you running for the CPN Legislature?

“I decided to run for CPN legislator because I am at a point in my life where I am able to give back. The Tribal scholarship program assisted me through college, and I would like to take what I have learned and repay them through service. I want the great Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation to succeed in its endeavors, and if its members deem me worthy, be a part of helping it grow.”