UKB Tribal Council approves live streaming
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT EDITOR
KANSAS – At its August 4 meeting, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council approved live streaming future council meetings so that its members may be more informed about current happenings within the tribe.
"I want to put a resolution in that says general funds disbursement, through the secretary's office, should be used to purchase recording equipment to begin a live feed beginning in September, which will be the 8th so we will have that,” said Jamie Thompson, UKB assistant chief. “I think this is something that has been needing done. I got a lot of elders who are in wheelchairs and can’t make it here, but they are on Facebook.”
The motion was voted upon and approved unanimously.
UKB Media Director Brittney Bennett said the tribe immediately began working with J.D. Young and Associates, the tribe’s technical support team, to begin researching and purchasing equipment including a sound mixer and microphones.
However, after consulting with the Tribal Council, it was determined that live streaming would have to be delayed until the beginning of 2019.
"As a tribal member myself, I think this is a great way to keep everyone more updated,” said Bennett. “Unfortunately, there are some logistical and technical aspects that the Tribal Council was previously unaware of when it comes to live streaming, including that a strong internet connection is needed to keep everything streaming smoothly without interruptions.”
The Tribal Council voted previously to move its regular monthly meetings throughout each of its nine districts from January to December 2018 in an effort to better reach its members.
“As the Tribal Council continues to move through each district, many locations unfortunately do not have a strong enough internet connection for what we want to accomplish,” said Bennett. “Once we get into January 2019, the council will stay on the UKB grounds at the Elder Nutrition Center for its meetings and it will be possible to get our meetings out more efficiently and without risk of interruption.”
In the meantime, the UKB Media Department will begin recording each monthly meeting, with plans to upload the videos to YouTube the following Monday after each meeting takes place.
“I know this method isn’t instantaneous, but it will still get the meetings out drastically faster until we can move to the live streaming format,” said Bennett. “We’re excited to make Tribal Council meetings more accessible to members and will work through the hurdles to make it happen.”
During the meeting UKB Attorney Klint Cowan also informed councilors that the tribe has been overpaying on taxes towards fire and law enforcement protection for land parcels owned by the UKB Housing Department.
“Your housing department has just been paying the going rate for services that every non-Indian place pays to the cities where you have housing and you can’t recover those funds under NAHASDA (Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act),” said Cowan. “You’re just losing by paying the going rate of taxes because technically you’re tax exempt... The city is setting it up to get payment in lieu of taxes where you pay $150 per unit, per year, in exchange for the public services that are provided to those parcels, fire and police protection.”
Cowan added that when the tribe secures the payment in lieu of taxes agreement, it could use U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development money to pay the cost and avoid using tribal monies for the expense.
In other news:
Tribal Council Treasurer Ella Mae Worley reported total revenue for the month of July as $114,847.86 against $101,077.83 in expenses, leaving a net revenue of $13,770.03. The extra funds were rolled into the tribe’s General Fund account, which now totals $451,234 for the year,
The Corporate Board informed tribal members that the tribe is pursuing a casino project in Georgia amid a “favorable” atmosphere, according to Thompson,
Named UKB member Randall Hendrix to the UKB Corporate Board as the interim executive director after the board passed a resolution stating a UKB employee could not be on the Corporate Board,
Reactivated KCI Construction Inc., the tribe’s construction company,
Agreed to move forward on pursuing a feasibility study grant with the Eastern Oklahoma Development District,
and councilors agreed to submit a second resolution to the Bureau of Indian Education asking for higher education funding.
The next council meeting will take place September 8 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Blackgum Community Building, located at 449458 OK-100 in Vian, Oklahoma.
Minutes from this council meeting or past council meetings are available to the public by calling 918-871-2800 and asking to speak with UKB Tribal Secretary Joyce Fourkiller.