Anthony Burris, Candidate for Vice-Chairman
Hello fellow Jiwere- Nutachi Tribal Members! My name is Anthony Burris and I am campaigning to be your Otoe-Missouria Vice Chairman. In 2013 and 2016 I campaigned to be on our respected Tribal Council but lost on both occasions. In retrospect, we did achieve some successes from the campaigns of those years and this year, I look forward to a well-run and dignified campaign and look to provide solutions to the forefront regarding new ideas and problems our tribe will be facing in the coming years. In the following campaign message, I will inform the voters of my family back ground, credentials (career and education), as well as some political ideas and solutions for our community, people, and tribal government.
My Otoe-Missouria lineage starts with my mother, Susan Moncooyea (enrolled Otoe-Missouria). Her father is Levi Moncooyea(enrolled Otoe-Missouria) and mother is Gloria Collins(Ponca). My grandfather Levi Moncooyea’s parents were Charles Moncooyea(Otoe-Missouria) and Rosa Littlecrow(Otoe-Missouria). My great grandfather’s Charles Moncooyea’s father is John Moncooyea (Otoe-Missouria) of the Big Blue Reservation in Nebraska and mother is Emily Deroin(Otoe-Missouria), also of the Big Blue Reservation. My great grandmother Rosa Littlecrow’s father is Henry Littlecrow(Otoe-Missouria) and mother is Emma Wo-che-mee(Otoe-Missouria), both of the Big Blue reservation in Nebraska. In addition, I am a member of the Bear Clan as well as the Native American Church and dance in various tail-dance societies.
My career consists of 10 years of business management and supervisory experience in the casino and loan industry, with most of that experience from working in casinos. Job titles over the span of my career consists of: floor supervisor, security supervisor, operations supervisor, shift supervisor, security manager, shift manager, and general manager, all of those titles came from working in four different sovereign tribal jurisdictions: Osage, Kaw, Ponca, and Creek. Loan industry experience includes being a loan branch manager in Tulsa, Oklahoma that had the largest accounts ledger balance in the area and was profitable while I was manager.
I graduated from Eufaula High School in Eufaula, Oklahoma. For higher education, I studied business management three years at the University of Phoenix and studied Administrative Leadership courses a year at the University of Oklahoma.
Ideas- Gaming, Lending, Cattle, Constitutional Reform
Our tribal government and council has taken great strides in the continued perfecting of our corporate and government structure. Past and current council members have done a fantastic job in creating revenue, jobs, and improving infrastructure for Us as a sovereign government and a People. With your help, as well as, the future council, I would like to be a part of the continuing perfection as your Vice Chairman.
We can do so much more such as improving, as I stated in my campaign letter in 2013, our casino operations. Although, we did get financing to build a new Waterpark, more can be accomplished to improve our gaming operations to get our per capita payments back to the 700 to 800-dollar range. Of course, I do know the Otoe-Missouria Development Authority oversees our tribal business operations and the council, by resolution has a hands-off approach to gaming, however, as Vice-Chairman and a council member, it is important to stay in the communication loop of our business operations. With my 10-year casino gaming background at the executive and management level in combination with my higher education, I bring administration, plus regulatory experience and knowledge to our tribal government, more so than any current and previous council member when it comes to the gaming industry.
Lending and Manufacturing
As a loan branch manager in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I learned the of the personal fiancé industry. Currently, our tribe wholly owns an online lending company. With that being said, I understand the trends of this industry though personal research and finance industry experience. Our current lending model is highly controversial and is under scrutiny nationwide by various State regulators. As much as we need to steer away from the current lending business model, for the moment it is difficult to do so as we depend on this revenue for various assistance programs. My solution? As a tribe we need to look at the manufacturing industry (creating our own products for sale or self-sufficiency. We have land and natural resources, there is no reason we cannot have some manufacturing facility creating products (food manufacturing and other useful items such as hemp production). On an exciting note, manufacturing creates high paying jobs.
Land and Cattle Company
Our land and cattle company has been in existence for close to a decade. What is going on with it? How much revenue is it bringing in. As far as I am concerned, by now we should have quite a few head of cattle so that we can provide all tribal members in an annual basis half a beef of high quality meat or even half-a-hog to all tribal members. Starting a program utilizing our land and cattle company will cut down on all of our tribal members personal food expenses.
The Otoe-Missouria Constitution is outdated; it needs some upgrades and renovations so that our Tribe continues to integrate into the national and international business world. The Constitution also needs an aspect of traditional Tribal Government in order for our small Tribe to be in accord with one another, Families and Tribal Council. Our Old folks had the Seven Clans system set up for a purpose. The Seven Clans system is not just for us to have some yesteryear nostalgic feeling of tradition, this Clan system needs to be incorporated into our current form of government and the Constitution. Many Tribes have incorporated their traditional systems into modern government. In order for our tribe and People to be in balance with one another, formally incorporating the Seven Clans system into our Government and Constitution is a must.
It’s time we as Otoe-Missouria People start to bring more relatives back to Oklahoma. It’s time we start encouraging more tribal members to be business owners. It’s time we start thinking Government reform and an established township. It’s time we start thinking how are we going to develop our own Otoe-Missouria Public School system. I say it’s time we start our next step in tribal sovereignty and look towards a dependency on each other and not the Federal and State Government. One day relatives, we will have a delegate at the United Nations, and right now with the success we have experienced thus far. We can start looking towards these things, but we must be Spiritually sound as a group. In order for us to be Spiritually sound as a group, we must elect Spiritually sound leadership. Relatives, I respectively ask for your vote so that we may communicate together and as a group make this Vision a reality. Aho!