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March UKB Council Meeting

Updated: 7 days ago

By Troy Littledeer, UKB Media @troylittledeer

TAHLEQUAH – After the council voted for the UKB Treasurer Sonja Gourd to perform the duties of the secretary in the absence of Joyce Hawk, the council proceeded with the March regular meeting on March 2.

UKB Chief Bunch reviewed his administration’s activities for the last few weeks. He went to give a brief recap of the visit that he, Assistant Chief Jeff Wacoche, Proposed Delegate to Congress Tori Proctor, and Flint District Representative Frankie Still made to the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C. during the week of February 15.


“We spent the majority of our time on the hill telling our stories, all being and spreading our story, so to speak. We met with congressional members and various agency leaders as well as committee leaders with respect to our needs, our education, our housing, and [they were] a very good meeting,” UKB Principal Chief Bunch said. “My thought on that is that they’re not coming here to see it, so we need to go there and continue that effort. Because if they don’t know who we are and we’re asking for dollars to help fund our programs and our tribal members, at least they can put a name to the face.”


Chief Bunch mentioned visiting Cherokee, North Carolina, for a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 16 before returning home. Chief Bunch touched on his administration’s trip to Oklahoma City to attend the Tribal Legislative Reception on February 28.

Under new business, the council tabled the revision of Section 202 of the election ordinance.


“I’d like to mention that the [Attorney General] has just sent out some possible revisions to the election ordinance that we need to consider. We have to do it by April in order for it to be eligible and sufficient for the upcoming election,” Assistant Chief Jeff Wacoche said. “Right now, we had two cases in our last election and one of them is still going through the courts right now. We need to get this right. We don’t need to have holes in our election ordinance. I’d like to table this so we can sit down and come together as a council and get it correct.”


The second item that fell under new business was also tabled. The discussion was to vote for approval or disapproval to recognize the district boundary between the Delaware district and the Goingsnake district in Kansas, Oklahoma, as the Spring Creek in conformity with the district boundary of the old Cherokee Nation.


“I would like to table this. The case has been remanded back from the UKB Supreme Court to the district court for further review,” Assistant Chief Wacoche said. “The UKB Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Buzzard did have a case and that the district court needed to give him an opportunity to have this reviewed.”

The Delaware District issue that has been at the attention of the Council for months was tabled. UKB member and candidate for the Delaware seat in the last election, Archie Buzzard, has testified on numerous occasions before the council in efforts to urge members to clear up a dispute over the Delaware District. The Delaware seat is currently held by UKB Tribal Councilor Elmer Panther. Buzzard has continuously claimed that Panther lives in the Goingsnake District.


The boundary discussion was tabled with a vote of seven yes, one no, and one abstaining. Councilmember Panther voted No and Treasure Gourd abstained.


The Council also voted unanimously to place Caleb Grimmett to the UKB Education Committee. The Council also approved UKB Housing to submit applications for the 2024 Service Coordinators Grant.


UKB Secretary Joyce Hawk arrived during the intermission before executive session. It was voted that Hawk resumed her duties as secretary. Secretary Hawk announced that during the executive session, the council decided Terry Kingfisher would fill the vacant Tahlequah District seat. Terry Kingfisher was immediately sworn in following the meeting. The Tahlequah seat was opened following the passing of Councilman Alvin Hicks in December. Kingfisher will serve the remainder of the term.

Photo: Chief Bunch administered the oath of office during the swearing in of Terry Kingfisher to the Tahlequah District Seat. Photo by Troy Littledeer.



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