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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.

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:


Sally Farley
Paula Pechonick
Raymond Cline

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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