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P.O. Box 908 Lawton, OK 73502-0908 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED SINGING SONGS FOR TRIBAL SENIORS Courtesy Photo Jonathan George Submitted by Lanny Asepermy/CIVA The Committee to Elect Jonathan George to Congress PO Box 31 Heltonville IN 47436 For more information about George you can visit his campaign website at http:// or contact him at (812) 5451351 or his personal email at: johathan@comanchestargroup. com. USDA Establishes Advisory Board for Native American Farmers and Ranchers Submitted by USDA Office of Communications. Photos by Jolene Schonchin/News Staff Jonathan George, an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, is running for the US Congress. George is a retired onestar General who served in the US Air Force from 1981-2011. He is the only Comanche veteran to earn General Officer status while serving in the military. George lives in Heltonville, Ind., and is a candidate for Indiana’s 9th District. The US Congress is made up of 438 members, only one is an American Indian. The US Senate which has 100 members has no American Indians. George has stated “Our Nation’s tribes are under represented and are at a disadvantage with the Federal Government. I don’t think it is intentional as much as not many non-Indians understand Native American issues. I think I can be very effective in bridging that gap. At least I am willing to give it everything I have to do that.” His mother is Patricia Craig (Goodin) who grew up on the “Mission” next to the Comanche Reformed Church. Patricia currently lives in San Jose, Cali. His Kaku was Ella Lutz (Cox) and his greatgrandmother was Nahmahkuh Parker. George’s great-great grandmother, Weckeah, was the first wife of Quanah Parker. The first elected Chairman of the Nation, James Cox, is his great-uncle. Donations for his campaign can be mailed to: PR SRT STD US POSTAGE January 2012 PAID Comanche One-Star General Running for Congress Lawton, OK PERMIT NO 49 STIGLER, OK 74462 VOLUME 12 EDITION 1 Beautiful songs were sung during the annual Comanche Nation Elders Day Dec. 16 at Watchetaker Hall. Christmas carols in the Comanche language, Comanche hymns, and an array of Christmas songs were serenaded by talented voices. Pictured clockwise, the children of the Lawton and Apache Comanche Nation Daycares; Victoria Tahchawwickah; Elgin Middle School; Comanche Nation Princess Krista Hubbard; and the Little Washita Church choir all entertained the crowd during the event. For more on Elders Day, see Page 14. Tahdooahnippah Selected to Represent Comanche Nation on Federal Tribal Advisory Committee Submitted by Mia Tahdooahnippah/Comanche Nation Gaming Commission Tribal member Mia M. Tahdooahnippah was recently selected by the National Indian Gaming Commission to represent the Comanche Nation on a Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) to assist the NIGC review of new proposed Technical Standards and Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS). Tahdooahnippah said, “I am very proud to serve and represent the Comanche Nation. It is a great honor for all Comanche people for our Nation to be selected by the National Indian Gaming Commission. The Nation has a voice to potentially make and suggest changes that could soon be- come federal gaming laws that all tribes must abide by. I strive to protect our Class II gaming and any future technological advances that may arise, and keeping federal regulations to a minimum to allow each tribe to determine what is best for them. It is important to protect our future generations.” Tahdooahnippah is the Compliance Director for the Comanche Nation Gaming Commission. The Commission selected 15 people from various tribes across the US. “From those nominees we selected a diverse group of tribal government representatives whose combined exper- tise will assist the Commission as it continues to review the MICS and Technical Standards,” explained NIGC Chairwoman Tracie Stevens. Stevens added, “This group of tribal representatives will assist the Commission so that the regulations continue to protect Indian gaming and ensure that tribes are the primary beneficiaries of their operations.” NIGC anticipates that the TAC will complete its work by March 31, and is committed to working diligently with the members of the TAC and others to complete a final rule in 2012. LIHEAP Program Begins January 3 Submitted by Comanche Nation Social Services Program Comanche tribal members can apply for energy assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) starting 9 a.m., January 3, at the Comanche Nation Social Services Department. LIHEAP is a service in which tribal members may receive assistance with either electric or gas or propane. Assistance is based on gross household income. Applicants must be an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation and head of household, submit verification of income for the previous thirty (30) days and submit their current utility bill (electric or gas), which reflects their account number. Assistance is not available to have services reconnected (services cannot be disconnected). The service is only available if you have not received LIHEAP through any other tribe or agency. Tribal members must reside in one of the following counties: Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Kiowa or Tillman. For more information, you may call the Social Service Department at (580) 492-3357. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced the establishment of a special advisory board to help USDA officials ensure Native Americans participate in and benefit from USDA programs. The board is being put in place as part of the Keepseagle settlement. "The Council for Native American Farming and Ranching will help native governments, businesses, farmers and ranchers partner with USDA to create jobs, drive economic growth and strengthen tribal communities," Vilsack said. The Council will work closely with the Office of Tribal Relations, Farm Service Agency and other USDA agencies to improve the success of Native farmers and ranchers who access USDA's entire portfolio of programs to build and achieve profitability in their businesses. USDA recently established a technical assistance network with the Intertribal Agriculture Council. The network works across Indian Country in 13 regional locations. USDA also recently launched a strike force initiative in southeastern states that is now expanding to western states with substantial Native American populations. These two technical assistance efforts will work together to ensure the unique challenges of Native Americans, living both on and off reservations, can be addressed. Agriculture is the second largest employer in Indian Country, according to the National Congress of American Indians. All nominations for advisory board membership should be sent by January 20, 2012 to: Thomas Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20250, Attn: Council for Native American Farmers and Ranchers. Send comments to the Office of Tribal Relations, 500A Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington DC 20250. Establishing the board is just one of the recent steps USDA has taken and will take to assist Native Americans. USDA's Rural Housing Service will soon send a notice to all Rural Development offices reminding them that direct home loan borrowers on Native lands can consider AMERIND Corporation for their insurance needs. AMERIND is a tribalowned organization that acts as a risk management pool for insurance coverage of homes and other private and community structures on Native lands. The notice does not endorse AMERIND over other insurers, but provides another option for See USDA, Page 3

January 2012

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