Changes to chartered communities funding proposed at HEW

Changes to chartered communities funding proposed at HEW
(MN File Photo) A Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Health, Education and Welfare Committee meeting was held Sept. 10 at the Mound Building in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

Liz Gray/Reporter

Higher Education tribal, incentive grant amendments passed in committee

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — A Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Health, Education and Welfare Committee meeting was held Sept. 10 at the Mound Building in Okmulgee.

All passed legislation will go before the full Council during the regular session Sept. 29.

Audio of the session is available at: www.mcnnc.com.

HEW addressed the following legislation, the interpretation of which is attributed to language in the bills:

NCA 18-132 Authorizing the expenditure of funds in the amount of $10,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for fiscal year 2018 Native American Library Services Basic Grant Award for the College of the Muscogee Nation. Rep. James Jennings sponsored the amendment, which passed 3-0.

CMN has been awarded grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Authorization from the National Council is required to spend the grant funds.

NCA 18-133 Authorizing a $5,000 donation to sponsor the Central Oklahoma American Indian Health Council Oklahoma City Indian Clinic’s 14th Annual Red Feather Gala. Reps. Rufus Scott and Jennings sponsored the amendment, which passed 3-0 and will be forwarded to the Business, Finance and Justice Committee for funding source.

OKCIC requested sponsorship for their annual gala held at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City in order to provide better health care for Muscogee (Creek) citizens and Native Americans people overall.

OKCIC is the primary care provider for over 8,400 Native American women, 715 of those women being Muscogee (Creek) citizens.

Contribution from MCN would help support the clinic’s women’s health programs.

NCA 18-134 Amending MCNCA Title 18 titled, ‘Higher education; Tribal grants’ and ‘Higher education; incentive grants.’ Jennings sponsored the amendment, which passed 3-0.

Under the ‘tribal grant’ section the amendment would add students accepted by an accredited tribal college or university.

Applicants would no longer be required to submit a written educational plan of educational intent for the use of the awarded grant.

‘Term’ has been amended to include trimester along with semester and quarter.

Funding would be limited to five years in place of 10 semesters per student. Students attending an accredited community college would be limited to three years in place of five semesters.

Students in need of summer courses would be required to submit a letter from their academic advisor stating the student would receive their degree by the end of the summer semester or the following fall semester.

Deadline for submitting applications for the fall semester would change from June 15 to June 1.

Under the ‘incentive grant’ section, applicants would no longer be required to submit a written education plan for use of the awarded grant nor would they be required to submit a recent photo of themselves.

Students attending an accredited tribal college or university are added to those eligible to apply for the grant.

Trimesters and quarters are added to semesters in the first part of section G. Funding would be limited to five years in place of 12 semesters.

NCA 18-136 Amending MCNCA Title 11, Chapter 3 entitled, ‘annual funds for operational costs, economic development and social services programs of chartered communities.’ Reps. Del Beaver and Lucian Tiger, which passed 2-1 with Rep. Randall Hicks voting against it.

The National Council has determined that a clarification should be amended to specifically exclude operating funds such as salaries and payroll from Community Development funds.

Under subchapter 2 ‘annual community operation and development fund,’ operation would be eliminated and changed to ‘maintenance.’

Funds would no longer be used to provide social services according to the policies and procedures of a community.

Community building maintenance and community vehicle maintenance would be added to acceptable use of funds. Allowed services would include but not be limited to senior lawn mowing and winterization, cultural or traditional classes and community fundraisers.

Communities would be allowed to utilize an approved service contract provided by the MCN Office of the Attorney General to provide services totaling up to $8,000 a quarter that would benefit the communities.

Funds would no longer be used for salaries and payroll, cash donations to schools, churches or individuals or travel expenses related to overnight trips.

Check, receipts and any supporting documentation would accompany community financial reporting.

If there are any discrepancies, non-compliance or misuse of funds, immediate notification would be sent to the community board, Community Research and Development Department, the principal chief, speaker of the National Council and the controller.

At the end of the meeting, MCNDH Secretary Shawn Terry presented a health systems update and MCNDH Chief Financial Officer Brenda Crawford presented a health systems financial update.

Rep. Joyce Deere was excused.

 

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