Greater Tulsa Reporter
SHOW OF UNITY: From left, Chickasaw Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Seminole Principal Chief Leonard Harjo, Muscogee (Creek) Principal Chief George Tiger, Cherokee Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden and Choctaw Chief Gary Batton gathered at the quarterly meeting of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes Jan. 8-9, held at the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center. The meeting was hosted by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and saw a record attendance of 529.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation hosted several Native American tribes for a quarterly meeting of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes Jan. 8-9 at the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center with a record attendance of 529 attendees.
The Inter-Tribal Council formed as a result of various meetings held in 1949 between various leaders and representatives of the Five Civilized Tribes. It will celebrate 65 years in February.
“It was a tremendous honor to have over 525 register for this two-day conference,” says MCN Principal Chief George Tiger. “This rivals national native organizations’ annual conference attendance. There were many that didn’t register and the numbers attending signifies the strength the Inter-Tribal Council is gaining regionally and nationally and the impact it has made in being a strong voice for the five tribes.”
The five tribes include the Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Nations. MCN Principal Chief George Tiger has also invited several other tribes to attend the quarterly meeting. The meeting allows the Native tribes to come together to discuss significant issues facing all the tribes as well as to collaborate on projects and share ideas in tackling obstacles and promoting each tribe in their programs, departments and services.
The council was revived in 2012 after Chief Tiger and Chief Bill John Baker were elected to the Muscogee (Creek) and Cherokee nations as the leaders of their respective tribes and took the lead on reviving the ITC.
The two-day session included work group meetings Jan. 8, which included programs such as environmental protection, Indian Child Welfare, roads and transportation, language, tribal courts, education, employment and training housing and tribal tourism among several others.
The ITC meeting concluded with a general session Jan. 9, which included announcements by each tribal leader, including Seminole Nation Chief Leonard Harjo, Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton, Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden, Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and MCN Chief Tiger.
The ITC also approved 10 resolutions pertaining to all five tribes, including:
• A resolution opposing the proposed rule ‘Definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act,’
• A resolution requesting consultation with the White House Council on Native American Affairs with Concern to Expansion of Self-Governance Opportunities between federal agencies not included under the Indian Self Determination Act, and Tribal Governments,
• A resolution supporting changes to Oklahoma Statute Recognizing Tribal Domestic Violence Programs, Tribal Batterer Intervention Programs and tribal domestic violence specialists,
• A resolution of the Inter-Tribal Council endorsing and supporting the Oklahoma Native American Juvenile Justice Task Force in developing Memorandum of Understandings between the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs and tribal governmental systems.