DELAWARES ELECT NEW CHIEF
Bartlesville, OK--Nov. 8, 1998 In General Council yesterday, the Delaware Tribe of Indians elected Dee Ketchum to serve as Chief for a four-year term.TRIBAL COUNCIL
Ketchum's successful candidacy was based on a pledge for strong emphasis on day-to-day management of the tribe as a business entity.
"It has been two years since we were reinstated as a federally recognized
tribe and it has taken this 24 months to get the constitution rewritten and to
elevate the tribal government on a level that we can contract for services and
research some methods and avenues whereby we can care for our elders and
youth. We have spent the last seven or eight years making inroads to preserve
our culture and language and carry out the master plan for community service,
education, land management, and tribal operations. It is now time to move on
to enhance these programs," Ketchum said.
"About 11 months ago, with the endorsement of the tribal council, I decided to
spearhead an effort to purchase land for the tribe, get a HUD grant, and
interface with the City of Bartlesville. To date through the efforts of child
care development director, our compliance officer, and comptroller, the tribe
has been awarded a grant to build a $500,000 child care center and a $750,000
HUD grant to build a museum and cultural complex; and we will be moving soon
into a 42,000 square foot, newly renovated tribal complex that has been
appraised for more than $2.5 million. The building projects will be on 80
acres of tribally owned land. The tribal council has worked together
diligently to make these dreams come true in less than a year," Ketchum added.
Ketchum has served on the tribal council for 12 years, eight under his
brother's administration as chief before his death in 1996. Ketchum is well-
known in the Bartlesville community, as he was educated in the local school
system, attended the University of Kansas on a basketball scholarship, and
captained a Big 8 championship for Kansas. He coached for 11 years and entered
the business world about 25 years ago.
Ketchum cited his brother and Leonard Thompson, the Ceremonial Chief of the
Delawares, as mentors. "Leonard has inspired me to serve my people because
there aren't very many of us left. I have watched my relative, who is 94 years
old, just give and give to us Delawares and he expects nothing in return, but
to help people. I hope I can follow his example well."
Ketchum and his wife, Annette, who is Delaware, have made their home in
Bartlesville since 1984. Mrs. Ketchum is also well known for her contribution to Delaware cultural activities and community education. Both the Ketchums are traditional dancers and they speak the Lenape language.
Unsuccessful candidates included outgoing chief Curtis Zunigha and Jerry Douglas.
Also elected in vigorous council races were:
Other election-day news includes:
Jack Tatum was selected in a sole-candidate process.
Tribal members also voted in favor of revising the tribal constitution; however, a lack of a two-thirds majority means that the revision will go back for rework and a new voting process in the future. The operating budget was approved.
The Delaware Tribe of Indians, a sovereign nation acknowledged by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a federally-recognized tribe, holds General Council once a year, or more often if required, to serve as the voice of its people.
Delaware Tribe Regains Official Status
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