UPDATE: Press release statement: “In light of public health concerns, and in accordance with best practices from the Centers for Disease Control, Saturday’s Tribal Community Town Hall hosted by Congresswoman Kendra Horn (OK-5) in Shawnee is canceled.”
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma Congresswoman Kendra Horn (D-OK) will host a Tribal Community Town Hall this Saturday, March 14, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center, 1899 S Gordon Cooper Drive,
in Shawnee. The meeting is open to the public.
The event will focus on issues facing tribal communities in Oklahoma, such as health care, economic development, and an accurate Census count.
“Our town hall is an important opportunity to discuss the unique challenges facing Tribal Nations,” said Horn. “This dialogue will help us better recognize and honor the sovereignty of Tribes and uphold our federal trust obligations.
“Native Americans and Oklahoma’s 39 Tribes are an integral part of our communities and in order to find solutions that work for all of us, we must listen to and work with all Oklahomans,” Horn added.
“This weekend’s town hall brings together Tribal leaders and voices from across Native American communities to address critical issues from health care to infrastructure and their impact on Tribal Nations.”
Event panelists will include: Charles Tippeconnic, Tribal Partnership Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau; Mark Rogers, Executive Director, Absentee Shawnee Tribal Health System; and Jim Collard Ph.D., Director of Economic Development & Planning, and Chief of CPN Tribal Police.
Rocky Barrett, Chairman of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, will provide the opening prayer and welcome.
Brenda Golden, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, will speak about the Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) crisis.
Addressing this issue is House Bill 3345, known as Ida’s Law, authored by Rep. Mickey Dollens (D-Oklahoma City), The bill is dedicated to Ida Beard, a missing member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. The legislation unanimously passed through the Judiciary Committee on February 25, with a vote of 14 to 0.
Beard, age 29, went missing in June 2015 from her mother’s home in El Reno.
According to a report by the Urban Indian Health Institute, Oklahoma ranks 10th in the nation for the number of murdered and missing indigenous people.
A member of the Native American Caucus, Horn has worked closely with other members of Congress to develop policies that strengthen partnerships with Tribal Nations and respect Tribal sovereignty.
Last month, Horn introduced a bipartisan resolution to encourage federal, state, local governments and Tribal Nations to work together as partners to encourage participation in the 2020 Census among American Indians and Alaska Natives, a historically undercounted population.
For Tribal Community Town Hall updates, visit the Facebook event page.