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June 12, 2020

Friday, June 12, 2020


We are once again thankful for the opportunity to address Mvskoke citizens in this format and give insight into what has been a busy, but productive week in the Executive Office.

First, we want to take a moment to thank the employees and staff who have made the return to work transition so smooth. We realize that with any interruption of this magnitude, there is an expected effect on our programs and citizens, and continued patience with our phase-in operations are certainly appreciated. We also understand that many citizens prefer a tribal complex that is open to the public, and so do we. At this time, we are still keeping our attention on new cases, infection rates and number spikes. Today, the Tulsa World reported that state health officials reported 222 new cases of COVID-19, marking a new peak in daily increases for both the state and Tulsa County. Accordingly, for now, we will keep the State of Emergency in place and keep our offices closed to the public. As staff and departments get more comfortable with this model we will expect weekly improvement in the delivery of your services.

Speaking of improvement, this week we announced a new Donated Sick Leave policy to enhance our employee benefits. This administration recognizes the need and financial hardships that an illness or injury can impose upon our employees. The purpose of the donated sick leave program is to establish an equitable way to allow employees to share their accumulated sick leave with others in need and we are excited to make this change. We want the best employees at our Nation to help us deliver for our citizens at the highest level, but we have to attract them and keep them. We will be consistent with the attention we give to enhancing our HR policies, and continue to listen to our employees for input and feedback.

Last night, the Coronavirus Relief Fund Program was passed by the National Council and the committee will now get to work in deploying these funds. We realize that there is great need right now and it’s urgent. The committee did a wonderful job in vetting our process with the proper care to ensure compliance with the fund’s Federal guidelines, while working around the clock to get funds in place to disperse as quickly as possible. The committee met today to finalize the distribution strategy and next week, we will begin communication to the public on the program eligibility and application process. We want to be clear that this plan is flexible. The committee has purposefully made concessions to allow for change in amounts and allocations as need arises for tribal operations and citizens in the future. It is our responsibility to meet immediate need while simultaneously strengthening long-term tribal progress, and we are confident that we have accomplished that goal.

We have communicated previously that our forensics investigation into the data security incident the Nation experienced on April 24 would be available this week. We have received the initial Executive Summary and Conclusion from the Technical Analysis Report that indicates that there was no breach of personal information and no stolen data resulting from the incident. We will update accordingly as the criminal investigation continues and our MCN IT office finalizes its conclusion.

Finally, the Tulsa Drillers Double-A Baseball team has announced that they will wear the special-edition Tvlse Town uniforms for the entirety of their 15-game home schedule in this summer’s Texas Collegiate League.  The Muscogee (Creek) Nation will be a presenting sponsor of the 2020 season for the TCL Drillers, and the club’s uniforms highlight the partnership. For the past two years, the Drillers have honored our Nation with their efforts and coordination on the special-edition uniforms. These efforts pay homage and bring awareness to Tulsa’s tribal town roots, and assure us that these are the types of relationships that we want to continue to build.

We appreciate the continued prayers and support of the efforts of tribal leadership.

Mvto, hvtvm cehecares!