MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 27, 2012

Creeks report achievements, plan to fix weaknesses

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Two reports recently released by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation offer insight into changes that have been made in the last year and those to come.

The tribe released its semi-annual report and strategic plan recently, both discussing strengths of the nation and the strategic plan tackling issues and setting goals.

Among strengths of the nation listed in the semi-annual report are recent purchases the tribe made in hopes of greatly increasing tribal revenues.

“In a very short time, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation has seen an economic boom with the recent purchase of the historic Okmulgee Country Club and the Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks, Okla.,” wrote Chief George Tiger in the report. “We hope to restore and add to that land base, as it is a work in progress. As we look to the future, we envision our many accomplishments as tools to better serve our people and the opportunities are endless.”

Educational opportunities have also increased for the Creek Nation, with a scholarship program established in March with a goal of raising $10 million over the next five years and the College of the Muscogee Nation receiving a recommendation for candidacy for accreditation.

The report lists several educational accomplishments, including:

• 14,543 students participating in the fiscal year 2012 Johnson O’Malley program.

• 1,679 students receiving employment and training.

• 853 Summer Youth Participants.

• 85 clients who received assistance from the Reintegration Program.

Regarding health care, a recent diabetes audit showed that blood sugar control within active diabetes patients improved from last year by 4 percent.

Also, the tribe’s health facilities saw 43,885 patients from April through June.

In June, the tribe sponsored a strategic planning conference involving tribal stakeholders, community members, National Council members and staff.

 A strategic plan was formed and recently released as well.

That plan identifies the tribe’s strengths and weaknesses and specific goals to work on the weaknesses.

Identified weaknesses included the quality of the tribe’s health system, inadequate funding or programs, lack of solid business plans, interpretation of laws and cultural trends.

Health care needs were identified as the major concern, with goals set to maximize resources and productivity.

Among the objectives set out for the tribe’s health care system, improving staff satisfaction, emphasizing customer service, improving accessibility and demonstrating a high quality of care were among the top goals.

Both the strategic plan and the semi-annual report are online at www.muscogeenation-nsn.gov.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.