MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

September 14, 2013

Candidate touts BIA experience

One in a series on candidates seeking office on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council.

Joyce C. Deere has more than 39 years of federal service in her background working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Deere hopes to put that experience to work as the next Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council member for the Muskogee District Seat B, she said.

“I believe I have the qualifications, abilities, and experience needed to fulfill this responsibility,” Deere said.

The election will be held Sept. 21. Deere’s opponent is incumbent R. “Eddie” LaGrone.

During Deere’s years with the BIA, she gained experience in real estate services, tribal government services, self-determination and also as the administrative staff assistant to the regional director, she said.

Deere is a leader in her church, Fife Indian United Methodist Church, where she serves as pianist and chair of the administrative board and is a member of the United Methodist Woman. Additionally, she has served in leadership positions for the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference and for the South Central Jurisdiction Leadership Team.

She is active in the Muscogee Indian Community and serves as chair of activities, chair of the cultural committee and supports the Indian Community youth as a sponsor/advisor for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Explorer Program.

“These important areas of my life have provided me with the education and experience needed to advocate for our citizens and serve the Muscogee (Creek) Nation,” Deere said.

Deere said fiscal control, economic development, delivery of services and preservation of language, culture, traditional churches and ceremonial grounds are what she plans to focus on, if elected.

“My vision is for the tribe to develop the resources we have with goals, objectives and business plans, which will provide the revenue to support services for and provide jobs to our citizens,” Deere said.

Deere said being a National Council representative also will fulfill her goal of continuing to serve her tribe.

“I’ve always led a life of service and I’d like to continue that and help the Muscogee (Creek) Nation any way I can be of service,” she said.

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

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