Mission & Vision
Dedicated to excellence in our journey to build the tribe of the future.
Niipi means water. It raises crops from dust, providing nourishment for human souls. It cuts through ancient rock, wearing away the rough edges of hardened hearts. It moves over the land forming paths to travel, showing us the way to bridge two worlds. The journey is a circle: the past influencing the present, the present providing hope for the future, the future fulfilling the vision of the ancestors of long ago.
- Culture – We will foster and cultivate traditional core values and beliefs. We will promote and preserve history.
- Family – We will show compassion for all people. We will invest in the welfare of the elders, the future of the young ones, and the stability of the family.
- Service – We will recognize the inherent worth of all people by treating them with dignity and honor. We will hold ourselves to a high standard of service. We will require performance, efficiency, and professionalism.
- Accountability – We will be accountable for our actions and attitudes. We will be trustworthy and ethical.
- Leadership –We will challenge each other to be loyal and courageous. We will maintain a positive view of change while holding fast to the traditional values that make us strong and united. We will support personal and professional development of employees.
Living the Vision
- Working as a Team – We recognize that it is only with united resolve and mutual respect that we can challenge and motivate each other to achieve extraordinary goals, inspire excellence and build productive working relationships.
- Investing in the Tribe – We recognize that selflessness and responsible stewardship of resources will better enable us to provide serves and create an environment where we can foster the success of the tribe.
- Representing the Tribe – We recognize the need to focus our daily efforts on building a stronger, sustainable tribe for the people. We will conduct ourselves at all times in a manner which embodies the following: “In memory of all our Ancestors who have walked the path of life before us, may we follow with dignity and honor.”
- Looking to the Future – We recognize that milestones of the past teach us and goals for the future direct our path. With every decision, every action, we will keep the best interests of the tribe at the forefront of our consciousness.
Bridging Two Worlds
Shawnee Chief Tecumseh imparted values and wisdom to his warriors that enabled them to prevail on the battlefield of life. Today, we seek to incorporate the philosophy of self-determination to build a foundation for our culture, businesses and government. We must live and succeed in both the cultural and modern worlds. In the circle of our journey together, we must embrace the past, act in the present, and envision the future. We must communicate with the community and business partners our sincere desire to celebrate traditional core values and incorporate them into our business practices. We will implement programs and offer opportunities that support continued progress toward our guiding principles and living the vision concepts. May we all be renewed by healing waters, the power of Niipi, as we make efforts to demonstrate our dedication to the vision set before us.
To download the Mission click here.
Tribal Administration encompasses many of the services offered by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe. Please take a few minutes to review the highlights of 2014 within each of our departments. If you have questions about any of the programs or events mentioned in the report, please contact the related department.
The Administration on Aging, or the AOA, provides grants for the Title VI Nutrition Program and the Title VI Family Caregiver Program. The nutrition program’s purpose is to serve the Native America Elders one hot nutritious meal a day, five days a week, Monday thru Friday.
The Nutrition Program serves meals free to persons sixty years old or older with a valid CDIB Card from a federally recognized Indian Tribe. Spouses of an elder are also eligible to use the programs. The program also serves elders from the area and employees of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe for a suggested donation of $5.00 and children 12 and under a suggested donation of $3.00.
The Caregiver program provides Health Screening, Health Promotions and Nutritional education. It also provides respite care for the caregivers so they can get out to do things they need to do.
A very popular program is Exercise Bingo which we have once a month on the second Wednesday of the month at 1 pm.
We have a new Bingo sponsored by Healthcare Solutions played every third Wednesday of the month.
WII Bowling every fourth Wednesday of the month.
Our exercise room has state of the art low impact machines with some higher impact machines. The exercise room is open from 7:15 AM to 3:30 PM. It is free to all so come and try them.
We have Beading classes every Tuesday at 9:00 AM everyone is welcome to come and learn how to bead and enjoy the fellowship.
Other activities throughout the year: Picnic in the park, Health fairs, holiday parties, etc.
A gift shop in the center has many logo items, Pendleton items, jewelry, pottery, etc. Some items can be found on the tribal web site and in the Shooting Star. The shop is open from 7:15 AM until 3:30 PM.
We have Pelivan Transit Service that will pick you up and bring you to the center and take you home. The number to call for information is (877) 542-1356 or call the center at (918) 666-7993.
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe’s Indian Child Welfare Department provides culturally sensitive services and builds strong relationships with Tribal families and partnering agencies serving our families all in an effort to ensure that the rights of Eastern Shawnee families are being upheld.
Our highest goal is to prevent the removal of Tribal children from their families and when removal is necessary to focus our efforts to promote reunification in a timely manner. We work diligently in our efforts to protect the rights of Eastern Shawnee Tribal families by advocating in state and tribal court proceedings and by working with the Department of Human Services to insure that the guidelines of the Indian Child Welfare Act are being followed.
In addition, we offer prevention and intervention services, we provide and refer families to services that support and develop the parent/child relationship, we take on the responsibility of guardian for children in out-of-home care and we organize family activities that promote not only the interaction of families in a positive environment, but also give the opportunity to pass down tribal traditions and ceremonies in culturally appropriate ways. We take on the responsibility of protecting the future of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma with great pride.
In 2014, the Indian Child Welfare Department increased our number served dramatically with the enhancement of our prevention program. This program is funded by a grant from the State of Oklahoma and in 2014 our funding was increased due to government allocating. We feel that the increase of prevention services has made a great impact on our families. In situations where remedial issues were the threat of removal of Tribal children, the Tribe was allowed to step in and work with the families to remedy the situation. In fact, we have worked very closely with the Department of Human Services on referrals they have received and were able many times to resolve the problem so that removal was not necessary. The chance to make this difference has been priceless.
In addition to our advocacy and prevention work, we also serve as a guardian to Tribal children. We become the mentor, the counselor, the parent or big sibling, the friend. We help with doctor appointments, with clothing, mental health and counseling needs, strengthen and supporting healthy bonds, encourage pride and confidence, promote involvement in tribal and community events and ultimately insuring the needs of the child are met, which means the list goes on and on.
The Indian Child Welfare Department is also active in tribal activities. We work closely with the afterschool and summer programs as well as organize department programs such as Angel Tree, the Family Fun/Summer Safety Pool Party, Children’s Stomp Dance and the Shawna Stovall Children’s Back to School Pow Wow. We assist in organizing events such as Trunk or Treat, the Easter Egg Hunt, Gatherings, the Wild Green Onion Feed and many more.
Management of three current grants which include the Tribal Historic Preservation Office, funded by the Department of Interior; Language Preservation, funded by the Institute of Libraries and Museums; Researching Eastern Shawnee History, funded by the Administration for Native Americans.
*Hosted twelve cultural events, of which six were stomp dances, with the assistance of other departments within the Tribe.
*Hosted eighty-eight language classes, booths at four Tribal events throughout the year and one Tribal wide reception.
*Competed in the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair upholding the title of third place for the third year in the spoken language division.
*Hosted cultural camp for twenty-two youth at Tecumseh Park during the summer.
*Produced fundraiser for summer youth camp which included traditional meal-Wild Onion Dinner.
*Participated in consultations with various federal agencies throughout the year regarding the preservation and management of federal lands throughout the Shawnee homeland.
*Completed the repatriation process for four Shawnee ancestors from the Ohio Historical Connection with upcoming reburial being planned for.
*Hosted six meetings throughout the year which involved Tribal staff from area Tribes.
*Employed an in-house Tribal Archaeologist whose duties are specific to the environmental and archaeological review of cell towers being built throughout the Shawnee homeland as managed by the Federal Communication Commission.
*Hosted the Tribe’s first History Summit at Indigo Sky Hotel.
*Signed an agreement document with US Department of Agriculture regarding hosting a national conference called To Bridge A Gap between the National Forest Service and Tribal Nations at Indigo Sky Casino. Conference is scheduled for March 30-April 2, 2015.
Education funds spent have totaled $803,406 for approximately three hundred fifty tribal members. Of the total spent, about $783 thousand was spent for college scholarships, vocational training and OJT Training. Over $14,000 has been spent for grade incentives and almost $6,000 for high school graduation awards.
The EPA General Assistance Program Grant has been in place since 1998 and is part of the US EPA’s Performance Partnership Grant (PPG) Program as well as the Radon, 106 Water Quality and Nonpoint Source Grants. This grant is a capacity building grant which has helped the recycle program to grow immensely. Emergency response/safety is another deliverable of this grant. During the fiscal year of 2014 the Safety Officer conducted monthly safety inspection of all tribal owned buildings.
On May 30th and 31st Four Feathers Recycling held their 2nd Annual Tire and E-Waste Event, during this event 9,370lbs of E-waste and 2,053 tires were collected. The Eastern Shawnee Tribe was recognized by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality as a Clean Community and received a letter of accommodation from State Representative Seneca Scott in July 2014.
140 tons During the fiscal year of 2014 Four Feather Recycling saved 140 tons of material from entering local landfills.
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe Water Utilities has been in operation since 2008. The daily, monthly, and yearly samples are being collected and tested to make sure that good, clean, quality water is being provided for the customers. The Eastern Shawnee Tribe Water Utilities offers service to 40 Tribal homes and business as well as Indigo Sky Casino.
ESTOO Water Quality Monitoring Program continued sampling throughout the year on Spring River, Lost Creek, and Flint Branch. Both the Water Quality and Nonpoint Source programs accomplished several education and outreach for the local community through several special events, including a fishing derby. The NPS program included a fence on the Enyart property as a Best Management Practice (BMP) project to protect the natural spring on the property. Water Quality added a student intern for the summer.
The EPA Radon Grant is part of US EPA’s Performance Partnership Grant (PPG) Program. This is the eighth year for Eastern Shawnee Tribe’s Environmental Department to participate in EPA’s Radon Program. The EPA’s National Radon Laboratory shut down in January, 2014 and the short term canister program was eliminated. Testing of homes was accomplished mostly by using ESTOO’s continuous radon monitor and performing 2 day real time monitoring. One home has elevated levels of radon and mitigation plans by the homeowner is in process.
The Land Management program has been working on four trust packages with one placed into trust status, which is 58.68 acres; two trust packages are still pending, which is approximately 260.5 acres; and one more trust package totaling another 138 acres will be submitted before the end of 2014. The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
Family and Violence Prevention
Our program has had a year of intense growth! This past May we celebrated being open and able to service clients for one full year! We have advocated and serviced over 133 women (not counting their children) as of August 1st 2014. We have assisted with long term transitional housing needs, advocated for clients with their legal, shelter, and emotional needs.
We have expanded our community outreach and education campaign by giving trainings in local high schools and at local community/tribal events.
We have also created a website and Facebook page for our program… tapping into the new wave of communication for younger generations. Realizing this area of our program needs additional attention we have recently hired a part time community outreach coordinator/ advocate.
We have spent this past year polishing our program policies and procedures, servicing our clients, and training ourselves to provide victim centered, culturally appropriate, consistent advocacy. We look forward to another year of improving our program. In this next year we hope to work more consistently with our advisory board (finding ways to engage them more fully into our program and events) and expand/more affectively use our education and community outreach portion of our program.
We have also grown as advocates over this past year. We have attended quite a few trainings over this past year, the most significant are listed below.
* Kellie Jo attended the Oklahoma Victims Assistance Academy this past June. A week long intensive course for crime victim service providers designed to improve the quality and consistency of victim services in Oklahoma.
* We both are finishing up our 18 month advocate training through Praxis International Advocacy Learning Center (OVW approved and “required” training). Working with other advocates, we develop new ways to define and structure advocacy, from engaging and working with survivors to strategizing and acting to change systems and community responses. This course has allowed us to examine how our program is structured and how we can ensure that our response and work with other agencies is victim centered.
* We both are attending the 40- Hour Sexual Assault Tribal Advocate Training through Red Wind Consulting. This 40 hour training builds the critical framework for Tribal Sexual Assault Advocates to effectively and appropriately respond to sexual assault survivors in their communities. This training covers specific topics faced by tribal sexual assault prevention programs, such as: Historical Context for Sexual Violence against Native Women, Overview of Sexual Assault Sexual Assault Advocacy, Special Populations and Challenging Issues, Federal Protections, Tribal Sexual Assault Response and Community Resources.
* We are working independently with Red Wind Consulting to give training, technical assistance and evaluation of our program. Red Wind works with grantees to aid them in the development of native/tribal specific transitional housing programs and economic justice responses for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. They help with policy/protocol development, putting in place operational structures, basic advocacy skills and developing strategies to different circumstances that occur. Red Wind is an OVW approved Tribal Technical Assistant.
The Gaming Commission has reorganized this year. We’ve downsized our staff and restructured in such a way that we can still fulfill our duties and maintain our integrity as regulators.
Our Gaming Commissioner, Brett Barnes, transferred to the Casino as the Assistant General Manager and although we were sad to see him go we wish him the very best in his new position. Jalene Wells, our Deputy Gaming Commissioner, was appointed as our new Gaming Commissioner. The transition worked well as Jalene had already been such a big part of the day to day operations. Amber Graham who had been our Internal Auditor was appointed as Deputy Gaming Commissioner.
Our Gaming Inspectors have also taken on new roles as Compliance Agents. Robert Scraper is now our Compliance Supervisor and Compliance Agents are Justin Barrett, Matt Berrey, Doug McKinney, Michael Daugherty and Trey Clemons. Ashley Burnside has a new title as EGM Compliance Supervisor and Wanda Combs is our EGM Compliance Agent. Multi-tasking has become the new role in the Gaming Commission as Kecia Nesvold who has worked in employee Licensing and Vendor Licensing, has a new title as Licensing Supervisor, her time is well spent training and overseeing the new licensing agents, Amanda Triplett as Employee Licensing Agent and Natasha Thomas as Vendor Licensing Agent. We welcome them into the Gaming Commission family. Vanna Koepke who was our Employee Licensing Agent has moved to the position of Administrative Assistant. Surveillance is also in the process of being restructured. We all work together helping each other when needed. We have not replaced some positions and combined the tasks of others. We work hard to protect the assets of this tribe and in doing so we have attempted to reorganize to cut costs yet still maintain the integrity of this regulatory body.
It’s been a sad year to see some of our family leave, Jerad Swimmer who was our Assistant Deputy Gaming Commissioner transferred to the Casino as Compliance Director, Ron Rakes who was our Gaming Commission Investigator transferred as Investigator for the Casino. Meg Cook our last Administrative Assistant moved on to a new adventure with her family. Although we will miss them we wish them well and they will always be a part of the Gaming Commission family.
As our Casinos grow we also have to adapt and change to make sure our Tribe’s assets are well protected. We look forward to the coming year ahead with expectations of a busy and prosperous future!
The function of grants is to benefit a community. There are thousands of grants from government and private organizations, and you can categorize them based on the role they serve.
The grants we select are based upon several factors: long-term plans goals (i.e. 10 Year Plan, 20 Year Master Plan Vision, Think Tank Goals), Grant Review Committee meetings, availability of funding opportunities, and most importantly community needs, such as identified in surveys.
The Grants Department has been busy this year writing for new projects, collaborating and contracting outside consultants, reporting on current projects, and ensuring grants are being managed effectively.
Past Year’s Funded Projects:
Pending Projects (still under review) :
In support of the eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma’s principles, values, vision, and mission, it is the Human Resource Department’s Mission to support the total Tribal Administration operation in meeting its goals through its most valuable resource-its PEOPLE. We act as a liaison between Tribal leaders and employees with the end result always to promote the growth and expansion of ESTOO.
The 3 members of our Tribal Administration department include our Tribal Administrator, Benefit Specialist and HR Specialist who work as a cohesive unit providing the best services possible to our employee with a competitive benefit package, job based evaluations for performance reviews and training opportunities. We strive daily to become the “employer of choice” in the area by providing an environment where creativity and hard work is celebrated, communication is ongoing, and employees are free from harassment and political bias.
Our offices work continuously to place qualified Tribal members in positions where they are able to serve their Tribe while providing for their families. Tribal Administration employees 138 people with 40 of those being ESTO tribal members and an additional 20 from other federally recognized tribes. Our Benefit Specialist administers all aspects of employee benefits (include health, dental, vision, life, 401k and AFLAC) for Tribal Administration, Surveillance, Indigo Sky, Bordertown Casino & Arena and the ESTO Travel Plaza.
The IT Department has had a very successful year. While adjusting to personnel changes, experiencing damage to our infrastructure, and preforming system upgrades, we were able to increase system performance and maintain a strong quality of service. Our main goals this past year have been to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Our primary goal, as always, is to best serve the Tribe and Tribal organizations. We hope to continue moving forward with our progress and find new ways to improve our service and support.
To help reduce costs, we reviewed our software environment and addressed the cost-benefit of each application we use. We were able to remove a few applications and bring some of the support in-house. By transferring the majority of our licensing to a new reseller and negotiating longer terms on our licensing, we were able to save a significant amount. Ultimately, we reduced our licensing and support costs by over 50%.
To address performance issues, we upgraded our backend storage arrays. The new arrays tested at approximately 25-30 times faster than our previous equipment. This increase helps improve application response times and database inquiries. The upgrade also increased our storage capacity, allowing us to store backups for a longer period of time.
We are continually seeking ways to build redundancy into our system and our efforts were put to the test earlier this year. While installing the new lighting for the Highway 10c campus, a construction crew broke one of our main fiber lines leading into our server room. Normally, this break would have shut our entire campus down, but, due to the recently completed fiber loop, we had minimal disruption.
We were also proud to complete our RiteTrack Portal for Vital Statistics, this year. The new portal allows members to login and review claim status. Members are also able to check address and contact information that we have in our system for accuracy.
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma’s Legal Department maintains In-House Counsel for day-to-day legal questions and advice and is available to assist all departments.
The Library Department shall provide Library services to Eastern Shawnee Tribal members, to all other Native American people and the general public.
The Library was awarded $7,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library services (IMLS) Basic Grant that provides funds to purchase books, media, shelving and supplies.
Number of Patrons: Eastern Shawnee 159; Cherokee 96; Shawnee Nation 7; Miami Nation 2; Modoc 4; Ottawa 3; Quapaw 49; Seneca-Cayuga 25; Wyandotte Nation 25; Non-Tribal 646; Other Tribes 58; Total patron count is 1,088. Items checked out 2,091; Browsers 344; Computer users 912; Books and videos catalogued and accessioned 329, Children 776, Total Patrons 2,831. Currently we have 16,822 holdings in the library.
Attention was given to many patrons that were using the public internet access computers. Help was given to those who were in need of learning how to use the internet; Filling out online job applications; Patrons who were doing family genealogy research, etc. A summer craft program for library children and tribal elders was conducted by Marilee Squirrel.
The Print Shop has been working hard with Indigo Casino, Outpost Casino, Grand Lake Casino, People Bank, The Bank of Wyandotte, Northeast Technology Center, Burggraf, Quapaw Tribe, Modoc Tribe, Wyandotte Nation, Four State Boxing, ESTOO administrative programs, etc.
In the list below are the highlights of what our department has accomplished over the last year. These have been listed in no particular order.
*Cleaned up the Pence Property/to be able to get into Trust.
*Constructed a wood shop at the Cook Place
*Our department has taken over maintenance at the Woodland’s elder housing.
*We built a handicap ramp/deck at the Felkin’s property.
*We constructed a temporary road to the Woodland’s elder housing complex.
*Constructed well house on the Profit property.
*Repaired approximately 35 A/C and heating units throughout the course of this last year.
*Replaced 3 hot water heaters.
*Repaired 10 water leaks.
*Kept 35 company cars serviced.
*Re-furnished 13 furniture items.
*We have cleaned up after 4 major snowstorms this past winter.
*Responsible for 100% spray on all properties for thistles.
*Responsible for the setup , breakdown and cleanup for two pow wows and the Circle of Peace.
*Repainted the inside of several rent houses owned by the tribe, to make them ready to rent.
There are more activities that have gone on throughout the year that are too numerous to mention. This list is comprised of the highlights of what we have accomplished this last year.
The police department had set goals to assist more people (Eastern Shawnee tribal members, tribal members from other tribes, children, victim’s of Domestic Violence, families, other agencies and communities) in many different aspects, for the sake of the human being and to show that the Eastern Shawnee Tribe cares.
We are setting the same type goals for the 2014-2015 year with the emphasis on being as a police department more user friendly, more of a servitude (Service and Attitude) mentality.
*Tribal Police went into the Area Schools (Afton, Commerce, Fairland, Turkey Ford, Wyandotte, to teach all age group of children about drugs, alcohol, etc.
* Established a Driver’s Education Program for the Eastern Shawnee Tribal Teens, Native American Teens, Victims’ of Domestic Violence, and Teens in area schools in the State of Oklahoma.
* Was assigned as the Primary Law Enforcement in the event of emergency, for the escort and security of transportation of medication, equipment etc.
* Signed M.O.U. with another community for assistance in the event of an emergency.
* Assisted local agencies in training of their officers.
* Identification Program (D.N.A.) for children for parents.
From August 2013 to August 2014 the tag department revenue totaled $83 thousand with 962 tag transactions done.
Your Social Service staff is a dedicated team that enjoys providing the services that you need and strive to complete your requests as soon as possible. The department is fully staff ed which has enabled us to complete your claim requests sooner than the 30-day allowance.
Our purpose is to provide outstanding customer service and with the tribal members and the staff working together we can maintain our goal. The Vital Statistics side of the department would like to thank everyone for keeping us informed of all address changes. By doing so, you’re keeping all departments informed, not just Vital Stats & Social Services. Standings as of July 31st.
Total Tribal Enrollment is 3129!
The Department recorded the following statistics at the end of the third quarter:
- 478 Address Changes
- 8 Deaths
- 55 New Enrollees
- 98 ID Cards Issued
- 28 Photo IDs Issued
Total membership at the Wellness Center has grown to 1,977 members.
In conjunction with the CHR Program and the Cultural Preservation Department, the Wellness Center has continued to host numerous successful community events, (Heart Disease Awareness, Easter Egg Hunt, Turkey Trot for Diabetes, Health Screenings, Monthly Gatherings, and Cultural Camp.)
Partnering with outside fitness contractors at no cost to the Wellness Center we are now offering several fitness classes including Skinny Jeans, Inferno, Zumba, and Summer Boot Camp. All of these classes have produced additional revenue and new members for the Wellness Center.
An additional revenue source has been our tanning bed. A first for the Wellness Center has been the Sunday afternoon Men’s Basketball League. Six teams from Grove, Carthage, Joplin, and Miami participated. This not only produced revenue for the Wellness Center but many of the players visited the Outpost Casino after games.
We are very proud to have hosted the After School Program and the Summer Youth Program. While not revenue producing, these two programs have benefited our tribal youth and their parents.