The Business Corporate Regulatory Commission will be closing today, 12/16/14, at 4:00 PM for a company dinner. The doors will be locking at 3:30 PM
Letter concerning TR 2014-108
December 8, 2014
At the Quarterly Meeting of the Seminole Nation General Council on December 6, 2014, a resolution to authorize payment of $300 to all tribal members by blood was presented for General Council consideration. Tribal Resolution 2014-108 received 14 votes yes and 14 votes no. Under the terms of Article III of our Constitution, the Principal Chief in his role as Chairman of the General Council must cast the deciding vote. As many of you may have heard I voted no.
What you probably have not heard is why I chose to vote against a resolution that would have benefited the majority of our 19,973 members. Tribal Resolution 2014-108 was sponsored by Tallahassee Band Representative Charlie Hill and Tom Palmer Band Representative Dwayne Miller. TR 2014-108 was drafted by the Attorney General’s Office at the request of Representative Hill with no input from the Office of the Principal Chief. As drafted and presented to the General Council I felt some of the key provisions of TR 2014-108 were not in the best interests of the Seminole Nation as a whole.
First, TR 2014-108 as drafted specified that payment be made “…to each Seminole Nation member by blood prior to May 6, 2013,” (emphasis added). If TR 2014-108 had been approved with May 6, 2013, as the payment eligibility date; then no person who became an enrolled member after that date would have received the payment. Second, TR 2014-108 limited the payment to each “tribal members by blood”. If approved as presented TR 2014-108 would have legislatively denied benefits to some 2,431 enrolled members. Possibly setting the stage for another extended period of costly and divisive litigation between tribal members that would make cooperative efforts to achieve long standing goals such as settlement of the Mineral Rights Claim practically impossible.
Upon becoming Principal Chief I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and as your Chief I believe it is my foremost responsibility to act in the best interests of all the Seminole Nation. I could not in good conscience vote in favor of legislation that I believe denied certain groups of tribal members rights to which they may be entitled. As a result, I voted no on Tribal Resolution 2014-108 as presented and amended.
Leonard M. Harjo
Seminole Nation Tribal Offices Closing
Seminole Nation Tribal Offices will close at noon on Wednesday, November 26, 2014 and will remain closed Thursday and Friday. All Tribal programs will re-open Monday, December 1st at 8 o’clock am. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
BCRC Closings Notice
The Business Corporate Regulatory Commission will be closed 12PM-1PM on Tuesday November 25, 2014 for a company training. BCRC Will also be closing on 12PM Wednesday November 26th for Thanksgiving and reopen Monday December 1st, 2014. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.