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October 24, 2019

For Immediate Release
Oct. 24, 2019
Media Contact: Liz Gray
O: (918) 549-2453

Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes unites once again in Choctaw country

Chief Floyd delivers outgoing ITC update

DURANT, Oklahoma — The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes meeting was held Oct. 10-11 at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma.

Principal Chief James R. Floyd delivered his outgoing update for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation during the general session.

“It’s been great serving as principal chief,” Floyd said. “It’s been fun and I think it has been brought up before that you really do this for the people.”

He provided an update over the Stigler Act Amendment, the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park expansion and the MCN health systems.

“Using the authorities that we have, it is great now to see our collections exceed the distribution that we get from the Indian Health Service,” he said. “The fact that we can now plan on how we can allocate the funds that we generate ourselves” he said.

ITC passed eight resolutions during the Oct. 11 General Session.

The first resolution, Resolution No. 19-20, encouraged tribal governments to establish Tribal Complete Count Committees to support an accurate and complete count of all tribal citizens and to raise awareness about the programs and services made possible by the U.S. Census.

The 2020 U.S. Census will occur on April 1, an accurate census count would ensure that Native American voters have an equal voice in the political process of non-tribal elections.

The second resolution, Resolution No. 19-21, supports the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act (STOP) Act of 2019. The act would eliminate the export of, and encourage the repatriation of, tribal cultural heritage and strengthen the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Resolution No. 19-22 was the third resolution addressed, which supports the expansion of the State of Oklahoma’s Medicaid program to certain low-income adults, as permitted under federal Medicaid laws.

Oklahoma is one of fourteen states that has not expanded Medicaid, despite indications that show spending offsets and savings to the State would result in little to no net costs to the state to expand Medicaid; the state continues to lose out on health care resources creating inequities in Indian health.

The fourth resolution, Resolution No. 19-23, supports the designation of additional tribal Promise Zones and nomination of additional tribal Promise Zones in Indian Country can and will help establish private-public partnerships and ensure investment in some of the most underserved areas in Indian Country.

The Choctaw Nation was named as the first ever tribal Promise Zone in 2014. The Thunder Valley Promise Zone, Pride of the Great Plains Promise Zone and Spokane Tribe of Indians Promise Zone have since been designated as tribal Promise Zones to support and empower their communities through this initiative. Tribal Promise Zones in Indian Country help establish private-public partnerships and ensure investment in some of the most underserved areas in Indian Country.

Resolution No. 19-24 supports the mission of the Oklahoma Tribal Finance Consortium to advance tribal economics and strengthen tribal finance within the state of Oklahoma and supports the vision of the Oklahoma Tribal Finance Consortium that tribes and sovereign nations throughout Oklahoma will gain financial and economic synergy through collaboration and enriched intertribal relations.

Chief Floyd spoke about the Oklahoma Economic Impact that was released earlier this year during his update.

“It’s important that we keep that message about who we are and the impact that we out in the forefront,” he said. “96,000 jobs that we have made in the state of Oklahoma. Who else can stand up and say they represent an organization that had brought that many jobs to the state?”

The sixth resolution, Resolution No. 19-25, urged Congress to reauthorize NAHASDA and uphold its commitment to government-to-government negotiations with the tribes. The resolution proposed that no federally recognized tribe should be explicitly mentioned or subject to additional restrictions for funding eligibility.

Resolution No. 19-26 urged Congress to expedite a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to ensure continued protection and services for Native women experiencing or at-risk violence.

VAWA was last reauthorized in 2013, over the past few decades the act has included provisions addressing the protection and support of Native Women. The previous reauthorization closed the jurisdictional gap by providing tribal governments with the authority to hold non-Native perpetrators accountable for their crimes against Native women in Indian country.

The eighth and final resolution, Resolution No. 19-27, supports the Cherokee Nation’s action to exercise its treaty right and call upon the House of Representative to fulfill its obligation to the Cherokee Nation by seating Delegate Kimberly Teehee in Congress.

In 2017, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rules that the rights and obligations established under the 1866 treaty remain in effect for the Cherokee Nation and the United States. The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation is to appoint a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, the delegate is to be confirmed by the Council of the Cherokee Nation.