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2020 Oneida Nation Candidate Forum

Greetings from the 2020 Transition Team: 

As you know it is an election year and this presents a unique challenge during a global pandemic. Protecting the health, welfare and safety of our community is always the highest priority for the Oneida Nation; therefore, the decision to hold an in-person candidate forum is not being held this year. 

In lieu of an in-person candidate forum, applicants to the Oneida Business Committee were forwarded a letter with detailed instructions to share a written response to three questions and to create a video responding to three different questions. The applicants were able to do one, both or neither of these options.  All videos received that met the established guidelines, will be shared on Oneida Nation’s social media outlets and the written statements shared in the Kalihwisaks.

Please keep in mind this was not a requirement of the applicants, but rather, an option provided at no cost to the candidate to further educate the voters to be prepared for the upcoming election. Candidates are encouraged to campaign on their own following the safety guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control.   

The following videos and written submissions are separated by position and candidates are listed in order that they will appear on the ballot. Candidates’ written submissions can be found below the video section.


Tehassi Hill

Claudia J. Skenandore

2020 General Election Candidates’ Written Statements


Tsyoshaaht C. Delgado

2020 General Election Candidates’ Written Statements


Winnifred L. Thomas

Patricia M. King

Cristina S. Danforth


2020 General Election Candidates’ Written Statements


Lisa A. Liggins

2020 General Election Candidates’ Written Statements


Kirby Metoxen

Janice DeCorah

Gina Powless Buenrostro

Latsiklanunha Hill

Chris G. Powless

Daniel P. Guzman

Dylan Benton







Ethel Marie Summers

Ernie L. Stevens III


2020 General Election Candidates’ Written Statements


Tehassi Hill

  1. Tell us your experience that makes you a great candidate for this position?

I have had the opportunity to serve as Chairman this term and have been a councilmember two terms in the past. As Chairman, I sit on the Great Lakes Intertribal Council, where I was elected Secretary and Treasurer. Last year I had the humbling experience to represent the Oneida Nation and deliver the State of the Tribes Address to the Wisconsin State Legislature.  In addition to work through Indian country, as a key diplomat for the Nation, and the support and encouragement of the Business Committee I have continued to build government to government relationships at the local, state and federal level. I have also been on the legislative operating committee, Quality of Life and Chairman on the Community Development and Planning Committee.

As the current chairman, I have had the opportunity to work alongside so many in what has been our most prosperous times but also one of our most challenging times of recent history. We have faced a global pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn for the Nation but more importantly a health crisis that impacts our people.

As a member of our great nation I have had the opportunity to own and operate my own business, work as a frontline employee and serve as an elected official who lives and works on our reservation. I have also served on the Oneida Nation School Board, Election Board and Land Commission.

  1. What is your understanding of the Oneida Nation’s status as a sovereign nation and your plan to protect it?

We are one of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, a longstanding government before the United States was even formed. We have treaties with the United Kingdom, the United States and the Dutch.

These are just some of the historical documents that recognize us as sovereign. We are unique in that we have dual citizenship which is also recognized in the U.S. Constitution. We must continue the legacy which our ancestors built and ensure these rights and status as a sovereign nation are protected for all those who come after us.

  1. What are some changes you would make in our government provided the opportunity?

We have to continue to move forward but remain rooted in our culture and history. We have the system in place to be great—it’s all there. We just have to continue to follow the teachings of the Peacemaker and Great Law. We have this information and the map laid out for us. We must continue to have intelligent discussions and sometimes disagreements but ultimately ensure we have a strong Nation for future generations.

Claudia Skenandore


What makes me a great candidate?

A great candidate will lead with the future in mind, understanding the past while optimizing the current resources to the fullest. I am confident that my honesty, integrity, education, communication skills and the passion to learn more will help us all know a new freedom and happiness. This promise is part of a lifestyle I chose 39 years ago by becoming drug and alcohol free. I have been a part of the Oneida Nation’s workforce for close to 35 years affording an amazing network of respectable, knowledgeable and highly influential tribal members that help me to understand the overall organization immensely. Together with the GTC approval, we will make decisions to take action that empower the Oneida Nation to be resilient and courageous.

My understanding of the status of a sovereign nation and plan to protect it.

In order to perpetuate our Oneida traditions, we must continue to remind our neighbors that we are a Sovereign Nation. First step is to understand sovereignty and the relationship of Oneida economies, cultural and spiritual practices, cultural identity, physical health and psychological well-being.  As a federally recognized American Indian tribe with a distinct government; we have the power to regulate our own internal affairs. We will continue making those difficult decisions that impact the care of our people and our lands. When necessary, we will enact legislation to ensure our history is not lost as we move into the future stronger for our next generations. Additional steps listed below:

  • Create an ambitious set of goals with GTC input.
  • Establish a fund for contributions to this effort.
  • Establish, through all efforts, a culture of transparency in the shift toward human rights and building an effective, accountable and inclusive Oneida.
  • Take advantage of COVID-19 climate change which offers a strategic opportunity for future sustainability.

Changes I suggest making in government.

  • Raise and make consistent the annual amount for per capita
  • Reduce gov’t spending, eliminate/reduce use of redundant/cross jurisdictional services, review non Oneida contract services and employment status
  • Ensure clear report to/chain of command, ensure clear decision making process
  • Guiding principles:
    • follow Oneida/traditional ways
    • principles before personalities
  • Separate OBC from operations management, enterprises and programs to be kept separate from government
  • Keep a clear connection to our youth and elder leadership, our greatest assets

Lou Anne Green

My personal statement:

My name is Lou Anne Green.  I was born in Tomah, Wisconsin to Mr. & Mrs. Milton and Mildred Summers (both 4/4 Oneida).  I was raised on the Oneida reservation and I’m the 11th child in a family of 12 children.  I completed three years of study at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay and I have years of office experience.  I was employed by the IBM Corporation, 10 years with the Santa Fe Railway, and 6 years with the Oneida Nation. 

1. Tell us your experience that makes me a great candidate for this position.

My experience has been a learning lesson from attending business committee and GTC meetings and my six years of employment with the tribe gave me first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day operations. 

2. What is your understanding of the Oneida Nation’s status as a sovereign nation and your plan to protect it?

Sovereignty means self-government and from what I understand we are a self- governing nation.  I would further research to determine how sovereignty pertains to State and Federal governments and laws.

3. What are some changes you would make in our government provided the opportunity.

I would ensure that our government abides by our constitution and the authority, power and control is given back to the General Tribal Council.  I would insist on fairness, honesty, and transparency in all aspects of our government.  Our per-capita payment needs to be secured and used only for its intended purpose.  There are many changes that could be made; however, my first priority would be to save lives by continuing to protect ourselves from the corona virus and to recover financially as best we can.

Lou Anne Green

Thomas E. Wilbur

Thomas E. Wilbur, MS
Candidate for Oneida Nation Tribal Chairman

Mr. Wilbur is a critical thinking executive with a successful track record in exceeding corporate goals, organizational objectives, and has international experience and global acumen. His leadership and management style compliment the pace and complexity of 21st-century business. A creative problem solver with the ability to drive revenue growth, resolve conflicts, and define strategic planning he excels in managing, training, and mentoring cross-functional, cross-cultural, high-performance teams.

Mr. Wilbur is also an expert in the lucrative federal and state government contracting arena, including the SBA’s Tribal Section 8 (a) business development program, HUBZone, and the state’s Minority Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) set-aside programs. These programs along with other diversification strategies enable tribes to build wealth through non-gaming economic development.

Mr. Wilbur holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, a Master of Science degree from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business Executive Education, and is currently in the dissertation phase for earning his doctorate in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Organizational Development. He is a part-time Adjunct Faculty member at Concordia University-Wisconsin. He also served in the U.S. Army as an Airborne-Ranger Infantry Officer (Captain) and later as an Aide-de-Camp for a General Officer.

Tribal sovereignty allows an entity to govern themselves, provides for tribal leadership to perpetuate culture, and governs our ability for protection. Most gaming tribes derive approximately 70% of their revenue from gaming with the other 30% of their revenue from government grants. In other words, we’re about 70% sovereign and about 30% non-sovereign. I’m fond of saying we’re only as sovereign as we can afford to be. Without the revenue to provide for ourselves our culture, our way of life, and our traditions are all in jeopardy. Culture is important, but so is competing in today’s interconnected world. We need to capitalize on our gaming operations, diversify our revenue streams, and compete with the rest of the world. Without building our tribal wealth our culture is destined to diminish.

  • Modernize our tribal government and business entities for efficiency and revenue growth
  • Right-size our government and services for maximum proficiency
  • Create an opt-in mentality with our surrounding municipalities
  • Provide a meaningful per capita distribution without creating dependency or entitlement 

Great-Great Grandfather: Jacob Cornelius Hill (Hereditary Chief) 

Great Grandfather: John J. Hill • Grandmother: Ethel M. Hill 

Father: James (Jimmy) E. Wilbur


Tsyosha?aht C. Delgado 

My experience that makes me a great candidate is the lifelong commitment to our community. I have lived here most of my life and volunteer in community ceremonies, a variety of events, functions, and supported and served the Nation in several roles. I have been a Mentor, group facilitator to our Oneida high school students, taught College level courses to our Oneida students and advised them on their educational goals, provided AODA Services as a Therapist, Supervisor, and Director of the Oneida AODA program and Prevention for 13 years, For 5 years I was the Director of Wisconsin Tribal Reintegration Program for Native American male and female adults being released from prison. I worked with elders, youth, young and older adults as the Social Services Area Manager for over 3 years. These provided me with well-rounded experience and the needs of the Oneida people. I hold my licenses as a therapist, a Bachelors in English Communications and a Master’s in Business and Organizational Behavior. I served the Nation on different boards over the years.  I have presented at conferences in the Community, local agencies, at the State and National level. I am knowledgeable about the Nation’s policies, rules, Tribal, State and Federal regulations, and laws that pertain to our sovereignty. 

Understanding of the Oneida Nation’s status as a sovereign Nation and my plan to protect it? I am aware of the Nations  sovereignty as a government to government entity in which we are able to govern ourselves and create laws and regulations to make our own decisions as it pertains to our land, people, language, culture, and businesses. I am mindful of continuing to advocate for our sovereignty as we begin to rebuild the Nation’s finances and businesses. My hope is to diversify businesses so that we can create a revenue generating businesses by exercising our rights to govern ourselves in the best possible way. 

Changes to our government may need to come from the people. I understand there are changes being made and GTC needs to be aware of those changes and how they effect the membership and our relationship with other governments and municipalities. One change is also to honor all voices to create change and embrace all people’s leadership This is something we all need to work on for all and to figure out how best to do this. 


Winnifred Thomas

  1. Tell us your experience that makes you a great candidate for the position?

My 31 years of employment outside the Oneida Tribe with the US Postal Service; as well as the 16 years with the Oneida Appeals Commission as a Judicial Officer. 

I have the knowledge of the laws that govern Oneida; the Personnel Policies Procedures  and the new LPA.  While in the Postal Service not only did I manage employees I had to create our budget of product as well as man hours.

In business the most important thing to remember is to be able to step on toes and never scuff the shine.

  1. What is your understanding of the Oneida Nation’s status as a sovereign nation and your plan to protect it?

Webster’s dictionary defines Sovereign as Self Governing, Independent, Of fine quality excellent.  To safe guard our nation we must create and enact our own laws to govern Oneida people and our land.  We are only as Sovereign as we assert ourselves to be.  Hobart would not have grown as fast as it has if Oneida had asserted our Sovereignty.  I have been taught if you don’t use it you might lose it.

  1. What are some changes you would make in our government provided the opportunity?

Request GTC to consider rescinding the resolution that created a nine member committee.  The reason being five members represent the Legislators that create the laws and present them to the other four members to review and then they all vote to pass the law.  Who has the majority to pass the law that they just made?  How conflictual is this?

Request GTC to impose limited terms for all BC members, and only able to serve two terms in succession. 

Some how we need assert our jurisdiction and implement educational change to create schooling on basic investing, teaching our children the principal of saving for emergencies.  We give our young people per capita and no fundamental training.

Trish King

I’m Running for Re-election of Treasurer and humbly seek your support.

I would like to continue working with you to rebuild our Nation.

Creating and protecting funds in our general reserve, defining priorities based on need and value-added services, and bringing our people together more often to help plan and decide on our future will create a recovery path for sustainability.

3 top priorities: Refine, Redesign, Rebuild:

Refine our operations to provided value added services to the people, and ensure enterprises and business operations continuously provide increased net profit to the Nation.

Realign: Re- Prioritize our Nation’s goals by enlisting the help of the membership.  What is important to us as a people, and why? 

Rebuild:  Focus on these priorities and allocate appropriate funding and resources, to carry out them out, to the best of our ability.

We learned our shortfalls in this recent pandemic.  Moving forward, I would like to be better prepared in the following ways should we face a future economic and heath crisis?

Develop a Tribal law to be adopted by GTC that identifies developing an Emergency fund, with a requirement that one full year of operational costs must be in this fund at all times, and allowed to be used only in the case of another severe downturn in our economy, or closure of gaming. The law will include a timeframe to build the fund, and identify authorities for accessing the funds.

Beginning now, build a supply system for health care products and refine our current safety measure requirements so we are ready and capable if hit with an emergency again.

I would like to encourage the Leadership as well as the membership to be open to partnering with others, for the purpose of increasing business services and financial dividends.  We can no longer do It all ourselves.

Finally, revise the Budget Management and Control law to be an administrative rule, that supports a new Treasury Law to be adopted by GTC.

Our financial advisors tell us it will take at the very least 3 years to recover financially, from this pandemic.  Now, it is critical for our people to help protect our Nation’s resources by participating with the leadership to set priorities.

We are sustainable when our grandchildren and great grandchildren has a quality of life, better than we have today.


Cristina (Tina)Danforth

Sheku swakweku, greetings everyone.

I am seeking the position of Oneida Treasurer and would appreciate your vote. I have served on the Oneida Business Committee for many terms. I have most recently served as Chairwoman and Treasurer. I have experience, a work ethic, vision and a true commitment to advance the well being of the Oneida Nation.

We remain and have asserted our governance for time immemorial as original beings of this great Turtle Island. The sovereign Oneida Nation preexists the states and Federal government. Sovereignty is the inherent right to govern ourselves as people and the community that we inhabit. The exercise of sovereignty is the reinforcement of our existence. I will continue to protect, preserve and defend our Nation and it’s sovereign status as a Nation.

If given the opportunity to make changes in our government I will begin with the advancement of our community by rebuilding our Oneida Nation, our community infrastructure and the reestablishment of the power of the General Tribal Council and its needs. This will include the need to redefine our values, community objectives and collective participation. Change is already occurring. The questions we must ask ourselves is; do we desire the same work structure and environment that existed prior to the situation we are in? How do we provide improved and sufficient housing, employment and health care through sustainability? The first task is to evaluate our financial position, our current resources and get input from the General Tribal Council. Two way communication is essential and I will do my best to include our Oneida people as we move forward. We need to create jobs that will generate new revenue and we must put our collective efforts to that end. Economic development serves two main functions, 1.) to create jobs for our community and 2.) to create wealth. We must do both and I am committed to do that.

Change is necessary for the Oneida people. We are in a crisis and this can provide a mechanism for change. I want to be a part of that change and I want to work with those who have a perspective that is fresh, innovative and new. I am hopeful for a new administration that has a clear vision that will advance all of us in a positive and efficient way.


Lisa Liggins

I am Lisa Liggins.  I’m seeking your vote as the Nation’s Secretary.  I’m hard working and principled; I improve systems and provide innovative solutions.  My years of work experience and knowledge of the Nation’s governing documents and their application make me uniquely qualified to be the next Secretary. 

Tell us your experience that makes you a great candidate for this position?

I am a life-long learner, leader of systems implementation, and decision-maker for the Nation’s policy and its application.  I have successfully worked for the Nation over 20 years: as a JTPA worker, in the Cage/Vault as a front-line worker and supervisor, as Project Specialist at the Enrollment Department, as Executive Assistant with the OBC, and currently the Senior Information Management Specialist.

I served the public for over 6 years; I have worked on the Oneida Election Board as alternate, member, and Secretary.  I am currently Chair of the Oneida Nation School Board and member of the Oneida Trust Enrollment Committee.

What is your understanding of the Oneida Nation’s status as a sovereign nation and your plan to protect it?

The sovereign status of the Nation is inherent and has both potential and limitations.  We can exercise concurrent jurisdiction for civil and criminal activities within reservation boundaries; however, we are limited by current financial resources and systems.  Oneida is taking steps to enhance our systems to further secure and exercise our sovereignty and we must continue. To do so.  One way is to consider further constitutional change.  The Nation took a huge step by embedding the Judiciary into our Constitution; we need to do more and keep our focus on long-term successes we can accomplish together.

What are some changes you would make in our government provided the opportunity?

Due to the COVID-19, we need to revamp how General Tribal Council meetings are held to ensure the body can carry out its Constitutional duties while mitigating health risk.  I would also seek the support to re-consider constitutional amendments to allow for absentee balloting.  From a policy perspective, it is important for the OBC to ask GTC to support moving oversight of the Chief Financial Officer to the full OBC.  Currently, this is the only senior-level manager that doesn’t report to the full OBC.  Regardless of the Treasurer’s constitutional responsibilities, the full OBC is held responsible for sound financial decision-making and the finances overall.

Debra Powless

Debra Powless is seeking your support for the Oneida Tribal Secretary position 

Experience:  MS Community Economic Development (MS-CED), 30 plus years in Tribal Management.  I possess the required Education, experience and passion.  I am an independent thinker and will enhance the Tribal Secretary office.  Over a 21-year career my experience includes Executive Director for Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington State, Enterprise Director, Governmental Services Director, Trust/Enrollment Director and TANF Director for a Tribal Coalition of 14 Tribes with 16 office operations in 6 counties located in central California.  I have also worked for the State as a Tribal Administrator for 11 tribes in Wisconsin.

Sovereign Sustainability Building Economic Security for Nation and Membership:  It is my position that the Oneida Nation has NO CHOICE but to become sustainable for our future generations.  There are still too many basic needs of Oneida’s that are not being met over years of Tribal Gaming Revenue and Retail Revenue.  There has to be a priority to establish Trust type reserves dedicated to specific functions including Catastrophic, Health, and Economic crises of which we are currently experiencing.  

  • For Example, in the past 10 years plus, Gaming continues to exceed annual revenue projections by $10/15 Million; those additional funds should be “reserved” not spent!   

Top Priorities:  “Financial Accountability”; Community Economic/Enterprise Development; Job Development and Training package tied into the Enterprise Development for tribal members.

  • Federal recognition is tied directly into our Language and Culture practices without it we could lose that status and directly impacting our Tribal Sovereignty
  • Health Care; Housing/Homelessness and Education issues   

Changes:  The Secretary office will provide clear, timely and transparent communication to the membership.  

  • The Secretary’s office sends out the nation’s minutes including General Tribal Council to Texas for transcription.  
  • This would no longer occur as it’s costly, and not essential.  Moving forward, this would be done timely and in-house basis.
  • There is a need to reorganize the Tribal organization, a restructuring focus of program services, to provide an enhanced comprehensive service delivery in a cost effective manner that allows the nation to maximize and stretch all funding (internal/external).  
  • Increased priority to obtain grant dollars in all areas
  • I will demand a radically transparent level of accountability and timely communication to the membership and the General Tribal Council  

True Reform is needed and only you the voting membership can make this happen we have generations depending on us!   


Jennifer Webster

Sagoli  Swakweku,  I’m Jennifer Webster and I’m asking for your vote to the Oneida Business Committee.

I appreciate the opportunity to share about myself, my ideas and hopes for the Nation. I am a lifelong resident of Oneida, born to (the late) Gordon & Betty McLester, wife to Don Webster for 30 years, parent to three children and three wonderful grandchildren.

I’m a dedicated employee with over 30 years with the Nation working in Gaming Accounting, BC Staff, and the Finance/Purchasing/Travel area. I also worked at Curative Rehabilitation Center helping disabled clients gain home and work independence.

I have extensive knowledge of our Nation’s structure, processes & practices along with legal knowledge by serving three terms on the Oneida Appeals Commission. 

Currently, as council member, I am actively involved in the Legislative Operating Committee where we create, enact and amend laws. I also serve on the Community Development Planning Committee (CDPC), Finance Committee and former Vice-Chair of the Audit Committee.

As the Health Liaison, I serve on National Committees to advocate for more federal funds for our health services.  Highlights this term:

  1. Indian Health Service – our work team brought in an additional $3 million per year for Oneida.
  2. Tribal Self–Governance Advisory Committee – our team worked with federal partners to identify issues and solutions, which lead to successful negotiations resulting in over

$3 million additional funding each year. 

  1. U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services – Administration for Children – we focus on improving and enhancing our social service programs.

These advisory groups allow me to advocate and educate our federal partners and push for advancements in health to improve the well-being of the Oneida Community.

I have owned and operated “Web’s Kustom Touch Auto Body” with my husband for 20 years.  My work, experience, and dedication to the community has afforded me with Leadership, Management & Business skills, and most importantly decision-making skills.

My goals this term:

  • Preserve our language, culture & identity
  • Protect our assets & resources, to be fiscally responsible.
  • Expand our sovereignty by continuing to work with local, state & federal entities.
  • Build a stronger government by creating more laws.

I respectfully ask for your vote, and promise you my commitment to our wonderful Nation.  I’ll be honored to serve as your Councilwoman for the next three years. 


Jennifer  Webster

“Fleet” David P. Jordan

I am seeking re-election as OBC Councilmember to continue to focus on:

  • Providing housing for all Oneidas
  • Improved access to healthcare for all Oneidas
  • Continue to exercise our sovereignty

In my experience as the Chairman of the Audit Committee this term our work team focused on completing compliance audits and performance assurance audits for the purpose of being in compliance with Federal, State and Tribal regulations.  Highlights from this term were:

  • Holding entities accountable for checks and balances and maintaining professional standards
  • Implementation of the Fraud Hotline
  • Cooperative work between Audit Committee and Audit Department

This term I was the Chairman of the Legislative Operating Committee, which is the first time I held this position, and was able to lead our work team to completing six new laws and amending 23 laws.  We focused on gaining community input to complete laws, rules and GTC petitions.  In addition, we:

  • Amended by-laws of 16 boards, committees, and commissions
  • Reviewed 23 GTC petitions
  • Completed 12 Administrative Rules

I believe my experience and tenure as a Councilman has prepared me to continue to serve you, the Oneida people.  When elected for the next term, I want to focus on the following initiatives:

  • Commitment to carry out the Recovery plan created by the OBC and General Managers to rebuild in the aftermath of COVID19.
  • To partner with a developer, while using Indian Preference, to identify land suitable for multi-family housing units while utilizing our current infrastructure.
  • Continue to work with Self-Governance to identify more dollars for our health care system to provide better quality of life for Tribal members.
  • To continue to exercise our sovereign rights by working on Cooperative Agreements with our neighboring municipalities.

In addition to my experience on the Business Committee, I own a small business with my wife, Alice, “Fleet & Alice’s Gaslight Inn”, a financially stable and successful establishment for the past 20 years.  My parents are the late Doyle and Grace Jordan; grandparents are Benjamin and Amelia (Wheelock) Jordan and Mary Doxtator; and great-grandparents David and Melinda (Huff) Jordan.

As your elected leader, I will continue exercising our sovereignty by ensuring accountability is a priority in creating laws for the Oneida Nation. You can count on me to take your calls and concerns, work ethically and be a committed team player.   

Kirby Metoxen


I’m Kirby Metoxen current Oneida Councilman and candidate for the Oneida Business Committee

As I’ve gone through life I can tell you that I’ve learned We all have a purpose as we go through life.  Some are put here to be encouraging and other to be discouraging.  Some for positive feedback and other’s for negative feedback.  There is a purpose for all.  And you get to decide for yourself as to how you want to interact with people. And no matter where I go in life they are both there.

As an elected official I feel it is our responsibility to except both and to make the best decision possible.  A few of the things I feel need continued work on is to be holding the Federal Government accountable for the Trust responsibility to our Tribe i.e. Health Care, Housing, Education.  Area’s I would like to continue to work on is to continue sustaining our language, Holding the Federal Government to the Trust responsibility for our Health Care, and to diversify our economy.   

I want you to know as an elected Business Committee member I don’t automatically inherit a PHD in anything.  The best advice I’ve received in my first term as a Business Committee member has been “Surround yourself with educated and qualified people and let them do their job”.  I’ve tried to remember that and have asked our staff including our Lobbyist who get paid for their professional opinions related to, is it legal, do we have the funds, is it a legitimate business venture etc.     

I ask for your continued support as I get ready for our next Election for the Oneida Business Committee.  The Elections will be Saturday July 25th, 2020.  With the Polls being held at the Oneida Nation’s Turtle School and SEOTS in Milw 7am to 9am for elders and after 9am til 7pm for all others.  Don’t forget you will need to ware a mask at the polls to vote and watch your distancing.  In closing I wish you all well and good health during this unprecedent Pandemic.

Ya wa ko,

Kirby Metoxen, Oneida Nation Councilman

Janice DeCorah

  1. What makes me a great candidate for this position?

My 25 years working in our own government sector, MBA degree, not afraid to stand alone, strong sense of truth and justice belief power belongs to the people.

  1. What is your understanding of Oneida nations status as a sovereign nation and your plans to protect it?

We are a government with our own laws and the ability to govern ourselves. A strong legal team with adequate funding would help ensure our rights are not errored.

  1. What are some changes you would make in our government provided the opportunity?

Rebalance the powers between GTC and OBC with emphasis on GTC rights.

Safeguard our financials with more input and approval from GTC in utilization of funds. 

Treat serving on the business committee as a privilege, not as your privileged to have me serve.

Gina Powless Buenrostro

My name is Gina Powless Buenrostro and I am requesting your support seeking office in the Oneida Business Committee.

  1. My experience in our Tribal government includes working in various departments within the Nation and participating in our General Tribal Council meetings through speaking, voicing concerns of our Nations membership, and advocating for employment issues and family court issues.
  1. The Oneida Nation is a federally recognized tribe and maintains this status by practicing our language and culture, maintaining land, and upholding our own form of government through the Oneida Constitution. Tribes no longer need approval from the Secretary of the Interior to amend their constitution, which means the Oneida Nation can amend its constitution to better fit its member needs. This amendment process involves tribal members voting for change at GTC meetings and General Elections. I would work hard to protect the Oneida Nation’s sovereignty by maintaining and strengthening our government in the form of clear and honest communication and supporting the Voice of our people to be heard by our elected governmental officials.
  1. I would like to see changes in the representation and powers of General Tribal Council. The current Oneida Business Committee has suppressed the members ability to actively participate in our own democracy.

The Oneida Nation has brought on a General Manager to handle the day to day operations and the Oneida Business Committee no longer needs to have any direct reports.

Latsiklanunha Hill

  1. I am invested in Oneida and my personal and professional experience has given me the strong cultural identity needed to make lasting changes. My roots run deep because I grew up learning Oneida history, treaties, language and culture.

As an officer for OPD, I gained experience of the issues facing our community. I identified and addressed service gaps by helping develop and implement the Tribal Action Plan to address alcohol and substance abuse for Oneida. I also represented Oneida on a Federal and regional level, and to other Native Nations at national TAP trainings and meetings. Through this, I have built positive relationships with federal, state and tribal agencies.

Currently, as an Indigenous Healing Practitioner, I have helped community members through their trauma using our cultural ways of healing, cultural education, medicinal plants and Indigenous diets. I have presented on the Creation story, the Great Law of Peace, Indigenous World View of Health and our Core values. I am also invested in the Rites of Passage, which is one of many ways to rebuild our Nation.

  1. The Oneida Nation is a federally recognized tribe which stems from our landbase, language, government, citizenship, and constitution. This quasi-sovereign status means we have the right to self determination, nation-to-nation treaties, hunting and fishing rights, gaming, and international relations. We determine how we want to do business, regulate and protect our land, and how we care for each other to meet the needs of the community.

I will protect our sovereignty ensuring our voice is included in decision making  with other governments. I will also educate and network with surrounding governments on our sovereign status as well as the Great Law to ensure a historical understanding of our governing structure.

  1. Changes I will make include educating our community about the Great Law as it has the matriarchal framework and roles to restore the power of our women and their voice. I will work towards true sovereignty to be independent of federal and state assistance. I will build our community’s confidence in Our Ways by identifying current systems that oppress our community and replace them with those that are liberating. I will work to implement the circle wampum as a decision making model and use the Great Law as a blueprint to change our organization to be in alignment with our core values. 

Gladys D. Dallas

Candidate For Oneida Nation Business Committee Council

I have an Associate Degree in Police Science and a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice.

I worked in Oneida Gaming for 15 years in various departments. I have experience advocating for tribal members, employees and myself. I also have worked outside of the Oneida Nation for many years. 

I lived on the Oneida Reservation my entire life, traveled to many places within the United States and internationally.

I am about helping ALL the members of our tribe. I am against the lack of accountability. I am for Per Capita, buying land and building homes and other structures for our people to live. I am dedicated to helping ALL of our people, not just the ones living on the reservation. We need to stop the wasteful spending and start utilizing our money to make sound investments that will increase our revenue, instead of wastefully spending it all the time. I am for helping our elders out and changing what needs to be changed so it’s not so hard for them to get help.

My goals would be to make changes in the governmental practices that enforce the  entire Oneida Constitution, but hone in on the section that states “All members of the Nation   shall be accorded equal opportunities to participate in the economic resources and activities of the Nation. All members of the tribe may enjoy, without hindrance, freedom of worship, conscience, speech, press, assembly, association and due process of law, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.” I would strive to enforce this to improve the quality of life for all tribal members no matter where you live.

Loretta Metoxen

Sakolih Tribal Members

Name: Loretta V. Metoxen

I have numerous years of Tribal and Inter-Tribal governmental service. I lobbied at the State and National levels for 30 years.


Elected Offices – Tribal:

  • 20 plus years: Oneida Business Committee; BC Member, Secretary, Vice-Chair, Treasurer
  • 30 years Trust Enrollment Committee
  • Oneida Land Claims Commission, beginning 1968-present


  • Area Vice-Chair: 3 terms National Congress of American Indians
  • Secretary, NCAI
  • Chair, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Education Committee, 11 years
  • President, Flandreau Indian School Board, 10 years
  • Oneida Tribal Historian, 22 years


  • Wrote captions for the Oneida Veterans Wall
  • Wrote signage on Captain James Powless Monument
  • Met with Bishop Wycislo and Bishop’s rectory to discuss and plan transfer of Sacred Heart Seminary to Oneida Nation
  • Introduced budget amendment of $250,000 to restore original log homes (Salt Pork Avenue)
  • Successfully kept 14,000 acres of Bad River and Red Cliff lands from being taken and included in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Oneida Nation’s status as Sovereign:

Sovereignty of the Oneida Nation is equivalent to that of all nations/countries existing on th face of Planet Earth. There are some few limitations, since the adoption of the United States Constitution, which includes not raising an army nor coining money. Oneida Nation has the right and capability to create and exercise it’s own laws. The Oneida Constitution is approved by the governing body which is the voting membership embodied in the General Tribal Council.

Oneida Tribal Sovereignty is inherent from time immemorial and not granted to the Oneida Nation by any other government.

Suggested Changes:

  • Establish Elderly Advisory Council
  • Establish Youth Advisory Council
  • Consolidate jurisdictions to avoid gerrymandering
  • Separate enterprises under one business manager who reports to BC and GTC
  • Diversify businesses within boundaries only
  • Address Housing needs, especially that of homeless veterans

My teachers were a number of great Tribal men who devoted their lives to leadership of their respective tribes:

  • Roger Jourdan, Red Lake Ojibway
  • Wendell Chino, Mescalero Apache
  • Franklin Ducheneaux, Cheyenne River Sioux
  • Joe Delacruz, Quinact

All served more than 30 years and all are now deceased. They left their legacies of members to follow.

Cheryl Skenandore Skolaski

I am Cheryl Skenandore Skolaski and I am running for the Oneida Nation Business Committee as a council member. I want to use my 35 year of experience I’ve gained working for Oneida to help the Nation recover from the impacts of the pandemic and now is the time to evaluate what our Nation needs to come back strong and develop better ways to protect the future of our Nation.

How can the Oneida Business Committee ensure the Oneida Nation is sustainable for the future generations?

  • The Oneida Business Committee can ensure our future by learning from the events over the past months and even years to see where we can improve our services and programs for the Nation.  We can evaluate what this Nation needs to succeed and be more accountable for our actions. We can recognize that we need to change our mindset to save more for the future.  We can utilize technology that is available to us to become more efficient and better prepared for any future challenges we may experience.

What are your top 3 priorities for the Oneida Nation?

  • My top three priorities are accountability, improvement, and sustainability.  We need to evaluate what we had, what we really need and what we can live without to come back from this crisis and hold everyone accountable for what they do. We need to develop ways to improve and protect the Nation through the use of technology. We need to continue to develop ways to sustain the Nation and protect our future generations.

What specifically would you do to ensure the Oneida Nation is prepared for any future economic or health crisis?

  • I would work with the Business Committee, management, and the community to review what has happened and improve or develop better ways to address a crisis if and when it should occur again. I would work to develop action plans and have these plans approved by GTC so everyone is aware of what to expect and everyone will be expected to make sacrifices for the Nation. This will hopefully prevent certain individuals from benefiting from a crisis.

We need to move forward from here and use our best resources to protect the Nation from here on out. 

Chris G Powless

I have been fortunate enough to come from a family that has taught me about service, service to your fellow man and service to your community.  This nation has given me so much, that I feel I need to give something back.

Tell us of your experience that makes you a great candidate for this position

I have worked for the Oneida Nation almost 35 years with supervisors that have shown me what a leader should do and how to handle a variety of situations.  I have also held several leadership positions in my church. Each of these positions. has allowed me to work with a variety of age groups, from youth to elders. It has given me the experience to handle all types of personalities and situations.

What is your understanding of the Oneida Nation’s status as a sovereign nation and your plan to protect it?

The Oneida Nation’s status as a Sovereign Nation allows us to govern the land that we have.  This means that we have the ability to make laws concerning that land and that we can enforce these laws within our boundaries.    

Protecting Sovereignty to me, is exercising it because when you exercise it you are strengthening it so that we all have a better understanding.   We must constantly remind ourselves and those around us of our status and that our Government is legitimate.    

What are some of the changes you would make in our Government provided the opportunity?

  1. I think we need to address all meeting stipends and per capita from a financial stability point of view.     
  2. We need to find areas where the Nation can diversify our finances in the style of rish levels some high risk and low risk.  More research needs to be done in that realm so that we can be assured that our revenue is not so vulnerable. 
  3. The trust money that our children get should come with a financial literacy education.  Our children should learn more about their finances.  The only way you can make informed decisions is to have accurate and complete information.

Daniel Guzman King

Shekoli swakweku, Lol^niyoste niyukats, wakeny^ta niwakitalot^. Hello everyone, my Oneida name means “he makes good music”, my English name is Daniel Guzman King, and I am of the turtle clan. My mother’s name is Joyce King, my grandmother’s name is Martha (Skenandore) King, and my grandfather’s name is Peter “Buzzy” King. I am running for re-election to the Oneida Business Committee as Councilman.

  1. Experience

Outside of my community service, activism for Native American rights, employment within the nation, and experience as a councilman for the past term; I have undergone a number of trainings that are directly related to my position as councilman. In my twenties I underwent training through the Latino Non-profit Leadership Program, which was a nine month leadership, personal development, and non-profit board training program. At that same time I participated in the Philanthropy Incubator Project, an eight month program which gave participants training on how to build wealth and stimulate strategic philanthropy in communities of color. Before I became councilman, I participated in the Oneida Cultural Heritage Language and Culture program which provided me a much broader and more in depth understanding of who we are and where we come from as a people. During my term as councilman, I took personal time to continue my development as councilman. I participated in the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Certificate of Tribal Governance and Administration. Which gave a thorough overview of what tribal governance entails. I also participated in Native Nations Institute Strengthening Indigenous Governance, “January in Tuscon” training where I partook in the following accredited courses Rebuilding Native Nations, The Constitutions of Native Nations, and The Evidence for Native Nation Building.

  1. Sovereignty

We as On^yoteaka people are and have inherent sovereign rights. We as the Oneida Nation government formed under 1934 IRA constitution, federally recognized by the United States of America are quasi-sovereign. Which is why we must become a fully self-sustaining nation and continually exercise our inherent sovereignty not given to us by any other government. We must execute strategies of sustainability and sovereignty such as the use of endowments, land trusts, and continuing to assume authority over our jurisdiction.

  1. Governmental Reform

A complete governmental restructure that it is culturally relevant, aligns with who we are as people, a greater separation of powers, becomes more efficient, and most importantly listens too and gives the voice back to the people.

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Dylan Benton

My previous experience as an elected and appointed official have given me opportunities that range from chairing official meetings, presenting to the BC and even lobbying for ICWA in Washington D.C.. I have worked with many of the people I would depend on and work with if elected and I would work with the Transition team to hit the ground running once sworn in.

Our Nation’s sovereignty is inherently tied to our very existence and identity and further recognized by the Federal Government and exercised by treaty negotiations. Protecting it means keeping up to date on federal legislative happenings, lobbying and exercising sovereignty the way we see fit.

Some changes I would make in our government would be returning to a more traditional way of governing as opposed to our current Indian Reorganization Act, boiler plate constitution. I’d put more money in our school system and find ways to encourage tribal members to participate in local government elections, both as voters and candidates.

Ethel “Marie” Summers



My name is Ethel “Marie” Summers. I am running for a Council position on the Oneida Business Committee.  Following a great deal of introspection, and much encouragement from my family and friends, I feel it is time to utilize my skill set and enter the Tribal governance arena.

Q1. Tell us your experience that makes you a great candidate for this position?

My work experience in Indian Country as a Human Resources Professional and my education background relating to Federal Indian Policy and Business Administration will provide a solid background to hit the Tribal ground running.  My broad understanding of tribal organizations and structure is a great attribute. I am well versed in the issues and challenges that many Nations face daily, such as jurisdiction issues.  With these qualities, I will contribute to rebuilding our Nation and creating a sustainable future for our Onʌyoteˀa·ká· people.

My Education 

  • Associate Degree in Management Development, Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration, Concordia University
  • Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies-Indigenous Peoples Law, University of Oklahoma -College of Law.

Career Path 

13 plus years of Professional Human Resource experience in Tribal Gaming & Tribal Government in Indian Country. Nations I’ve been employed with include:

Oneida Nation ● Navajo Nation ● Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan ● Quinault Nation

Q.2. What is your understanding of the Oneida Nation’s status as a sovereign nation and your plan to protect it?

The Oneida Nation’s sovereign status is as an independent, self-governed Indian nation, and has a solemn trust relationship with the United States of America.

My plan to protect our sovereignty will be to assert self-governing power, assert decision-making power, take responsibility for what happens on our lands and in our community.  Also set our own priorities, move resources into our hands, and support sustained Nation development.

Q.3. What are some changes you would make in our government provided the opportunity?

As a Councilwomen, I would introduce legislation which would shift our operations to become more efficient and effective to reach its fullest potential, i.e. revise the employment manual.  I would also like to revisit our Nation’s priorities by assessing and reallocating funding to address more affordable housing and homelessness.  Lastly, I would inspire a reformation of the new normal, that includes such things as attention to specific cultural values such as our Oneida language.


Marie Summers

Ed Delgado

My Name is Ed Delgado and I’m a Candidate for the Position of Oneida Business Committee Councilman.  I am seeking the Councilman position because I’m in great disagreement with the present Committee’s decision to “halt” the Elder and General percapita payments; to cut scholarship grants to our Youth by 75%; and to diminish the ability of the General Tribal Council by eliminating the stipends needed to make that institution most effective. It is my intention to initiate better options to all the above actions. Experiences and Education: Army Veteran…Honorable Discharge 1973  Master of Science Degree 2001 Certified Classroom Teacher 16 years.  Legislative Analyst for OBC 2 years Two term as OBC Councilman One term as Oneida Tribal Chair Tribal Soverenity is said to be inherent derived from our ancestors coming together to form a nation. It is also derived from our treaties with the United States and hundreds of years of US Federal Indian law and policy along with Federal Court decisions. Some 20 years ago, one of our Tribal lawyers wrote that our Tribal Soveriegnty can be dissolved by a stroke of a pen. Congress plays an important role in our future as Indian Tribe. We must be smart. And we must be accountable when we utilize Federal money. The final question on the Questionnaire regards changes to our governmental structure. I would like the General Tribal Council to be able to bring issues to our Tribal Appeals Court when the Business Committee gets out of line. Some are trying to diminish the role of the General Tribal Council. I’m not one of them. Finally, its the season for candidates promising big business coming to Oneida if they are elected. Over the years we’ve spent more than a half billion dollars on half baked business adventures. Its time to be smarter. And its time to invest in ourselves. I would like to see our Tribe become experts in innivative home building that does not harm our Mother Earth. Thanks for Reading.

Ernie L. Stevens, III


I have been and continue to be a great candidate for the Oneida Nation Business Committee because of my diverse background in various areas of expertise and experience.  As an entrepreneur, I have owned and operated several successful small businesses, which will help in my efforts to inspire small business development.  I have expertise in media content development, marketing, branding, public relations, communications, and so forth, with over 12 years experience, which will help in the continuous messaging and branding of the Nation.  I have expertise in economic development, as an entrepreneur and as a hired executive, with at least a decade of experience that will help in improving policy and process for doing better business locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.  I have a successful track record of developing legislation, with over 6 years of experience, including my 3 years as an OBC member.  I have held C-level positions, such as Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Operations Officer, as well as Executive Director.  I have served on several boards and committees, which include the Indian Summer Board of Directors, American Indian Alaskan Native Tourism Assoc. Midwest Rep, WI Governors Council on Tourism, Vice President, Tribal Gaming Network.  I also have over 4 years’ experience as a State/Federal Lobbyist.  Lastly, I have experience in non-profit management and community development.

My understanding of the Nation’s status as a Sovereign Nation is based on our treaties as Haudenosaunee people.  Our ancestors and previous leaders have made choices that we need to heed and build upon, through partnerships with the US, other nations, and other indigenous communities.  Our traditional teachings have guided every social, political, cultural, and economic decision we have ever made, and that process needs to maintain today and in the future.  Through vastly improving and amending our Oneida Constitution, inspired by our traditional teachings and older forms of government, we can strengthen and protect our Nation’s sovereignty today and for generations to come.  

As a Nation, we need to improve our constitution, generation by generation, inspired by our traditional teachings and structures, and we need to change how we do business.  Our ancestors were experts and intergenerational practitioners when it came to trade and commterce, so we need to re-inspire that fire in 2020.  I plan to change and improve these processes, by utilizing our history and inspiring our future.

Shako>shatst^hslahawiht^ means “He brings them strength.”

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