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Media Articles - 1990s

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8 January 2003
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Indians Call for Changes in Authority Structure

The Daily Oklahoman,
February 19, 1991

An Indian rights group Monday called for a restructuring of the membership of a five-tribe organization that manages the old Chilocco Indian school.

Members of the Campaign for Sovereignty, a group of Native Americans concerned with the sovereignty rights of the Indian nation, claimed that intertribal politics is making the Chilocco Development Authority ineffective and a "public embarrassment."

The group also is concerned with the way the Chilocco Development Authority has spent federal funds and rent money from its largest tenant, a substance abuse center.

"Indian people can no longer trust any action from this board," said Dwain Camp, a co-founder of The Campaign for Sovereignty.

The criticism comes as the Chilocco Development Authority, with representatives from the Kaw, Ponca, Otoe-Missouria, Pawnee and Tonkawa tribes, is scheduled to act Friday on a resolution to terminate a 25-year lease with the Narconon Chilocco New Life Center.

The Kaw tribal council passed a resolution seeking to end the lease because it claimed Narconon International was late with lease payments and failed to get state certification to operate. The resolution also cited the council's suspicion of fraud by Narconon in its reporting of the number of patients it has at the facility and in its disclosure of Narconon's relationship with the Church of Scientology.

The Campaign for Sovereignty asked Monday that the Chilocco Development Authority take no action on the Kaw tribal resolution and postpone any action until the five tribal chairmen are replaced on the board with new members.

Camp, a member of the Ponca tribe, said Narconon Chilocco New Life Center has paid its rent, but the money has not been distributed to the tribes.

Wanda Stone, chairman of the Kaw nation and a member of the Chilocco Development Authority, denied any wrongdoing by the board.

The Narconon Chilocco New Life Center, operating without state approval for the past year, has made payments, but it has been unclear as to the number of patients treated at the facility and the rate of payment per patient, she said.

The Chilocco Development Authority is to receive a percentage of the fees earned by Narconon, she said.

"There is money coming to CDA, but I have a problem with the amount," Stone said. "They've given us figures on treatment costs all the way from $5,000 to $15,000. We don't know what they charge."

Stone said she plans to meet with Narconon officials Thursday about the number of patients and rate structure.