Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA)
Press Release Feb. 2, 2011
Contact: A. Gay Kingman, Executive Director Cell: 605-484-3036
The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA) is made up of the 16 Tribal Chairmen, Presidents and Chairpersons in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. The Tribal Leaders of the Sovereign Indian Nations meet quarterly to take action on various matters affecting the Tribes. The primary purpose of the GPTCA is to unify to defend the Tribes inherent rights under our Treaties, to come together in a forum to promote the welfare of the People, take up matters affecting the Tribes and to protect the Sovereignty of each Tribe.
The first Quarterly Meeting of 2011 was held on Feb. 1-2 at the Ramkota in Rapid City, SD. The first day was filled with Tribal Consultations with the National Indian Gaming Commission, a discussion on the Interior Budget with the Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and finished with a meeting with SD Congresswoman Kristi Noem.
On Feb. 2, 2011 the GPTCA Business meeting was held. Chairman Roger Trudell, Santee Sioux Tribe and Vice-Chairman of the GPTCA called the meeting to order. Chairman Amen Sheridan, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska gave the Invocation and Prayer Song. After a quorum was established the GPTCA held election of Officers. The following Tribal Chairman were elected to Lead the GPTCA Organization for the next two years.
~Chairman of the GPTCA: Tex Hall Chairman, Three Affiliated Tribes, New Town, ND
~Vice-Chairman of the GPTCA: John Yellowbird Steel, President, Oglala Sioux Tribe,
Pine Ridge, SD
~Secretary of the GPTCA: Amen Sheridan, Chairman, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
~Treasurer of the GPTCA: Tony Reider, President, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe
Upon assuming the Chairman Position, Chairman Tex Hall stated, “Some of us have been in Leadership before, The Trust of our own People is the most important thing.” “We will stake out our camp and whatever corner we determine that to be; we will protect our camp, especially, The Elderly, the Women and Children! We won’t run from the enemy, we will protect our People!” Chairman Hall thanked Chairman Roger Trudell for his Leadership over the years.
In other matters of Business, the Chairmen took action to establish a GPTCA Office and to explore an office in Washington DC. By unanimous vote they adopted a Resolution to request the Administration issue an Executive Order Reaffirming the Inherent Tribal Rights to Sovereignty and Self-Determination.
Guest Speakers included Ms. Tracey LeBeau, member Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe who is the Director of the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, Dept. of Energy. Ms. Le Beau said President Obama established the office to more effectively engage Tribal Governments in our National Energy Priorities and promote Tribal Energy Development such as Geothermal, solar, bio-mass ad wind energy on Tribal Lands. She announced some grant opportunities and encouraged Tribes to apply.
Regional Director, Weldon Bruce Loudermilk gave a Report on the Great Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Tribal Budgets and made some announcements.
The Tribal Law & Order Legislation was discussed and a work book was distributed to all Tribes to assist them in implementation of the various sections of the Legislation. Dr. David Gipp, United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) discussed the proposed Training Academy to be established at United Tribes. The Tribal Leaders took action to support the Training Academy at UTTC stating when completed, our Officers can receive fully accredited training closer to home in a friendlier environment.
Other action included passing a Resolution to increase the funding for Indian Housing on the Reservations and to advocate for a change in the formula to increase funding for Indian Reservation Roads. The Tribes in the Great Plains have hundreds of miles of roads to maintain more than any other Region. Our needs are great and the Tribal Leaders will be working with our Congressional Delegations to increase budgets said, Chairman Hall. The Budgets were discussed in depth and Tribes will be preparing to attend the Appropriation Hearing held in March and the Tribal Interior Budget Council with other Regions also in March. A lengthy discussion was held on the establishment of a Large Land Based Tribal Organization and a unified and coordinated effort with other Regions.
Robert Shepherd, Chairman from Sisseton Wahpeton invited the GPTCA to meet at Sisseton for one of the next meetings. He agreed with Chairman Tex Hall that we need to remain unified and maintain the power of the Great Plains Tribes. President John Yellowbird Steele stated this is one of the best meetings I’ve attended as we got a lot of business conducted. The next meeting of the GPTCA will be on Mar. 23, 2011 just prior to the Region VIII Consultation on HHS.
Meeting adjourned at 6:45 PM.