General Council addresses 18 resolution at annual meeting

By Marlon WhiteEagle

The General Council branch of the Ho-Chunk Nation government held its annual meeting in Madison at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall on Saturday, September 16. The General Council addressed 18 resolutions during the nearly six hour meeting.
Roll call was established through registration at 10:12 am.
Tribal elder Dennis Funmaker was appointed as Sergeant-at-arms.
Quorum is set at 20 percent of the voting population of 5,930 eligible voters, so 1,186 registered tribal members were needed to start the meeting. This year’s meeting had 2,192 registered General Council members.
This year’s annual meeting reached quorum at 11:14 am.
Matt Mann served at emcee to get announcements and the meeting running. Mann opened the nominations to elect the chairperson to conduct the annual meeting.
Chairperson nominations included Gary Funmaker, Gerald Cleveland, Charles Hindsley, and Forrest Funmaker. Cleveland won with 797 votes.
As the chairperson, Cleveland appointed Pamela Wilber as the recording secretary, and Tina Brown to assist her.
Chairperson Cleveland called the annual meeting to order at 11:48 am.
Ho-Chunk Nation President Wilfrid Cleveland offered the opening prayer.
The first order of business was to approve the minutes from the previous year’s annual meeting. The minutes were approved with 1,351 yes votes, 113 no votes, and 140 abstentions.
There was no report given from the legislative report.
Next, tribal members were able to propose resolutions from the General Council branch for the Legislative branch to make into laws.
There were a total of 18 resolutions presented, they were resolutions 9-16-17A through 9-16-17R.
The agenda was set and voted upon, with 1,593 yes votes, 73 no votes, and 64 abstentions.
Joy Thompson introduced resolution 9-16-17A, which requires Legislature and Executive branches to fulfill their constitutional duty in compliance with the policy set forth in 2015 and 2016 General Council resolutions.
James Krause seconded the resolution.
“Those resolutions get thrown in a filing cabinet,” Krause said.
The resolution passed with 1,032 approving the measure.
Resolution 9-16-17B was introduced by Bill Winneshiek, and seconded by Jeremy Rockman. The resolution was a request for a secretarial election to amend the constitution.
The General Council voted to approve the resolution.
“The further we slip away from our constitution, the closer we get to totalitarianism,” Rockman said.
Resolution 9-16-17C was the first resolution to be defeated at the annual meeting.  The resolution was for the authorization and approval for General Council work group and financial resources for pre- and post- General Council meeting activities.
There were 809 yes votes, but 971 no votes.
Teala Edwards introduced a resolution to establish Tribal Aging Unit as a separate and independent department to be named the Department of Tribal Aging under the executive branch.
This was the second resolution to be defeated, with 626 yes votes, 1,167 no votes, and 105 abstentions.
James Krause presented the resolution to approve the fiscal year 2019 General Council budget at $1.38 million, seconded by Joy Thompson.
“The legislature appropriates $30 million more for themselves, and told the other branches to reduce their own budgets,” Thompson said.
The general council budget was approved with 1,056 yes votes, 678 no votes, and 176 abstentions.
Hazel Guerrero made the motion to approve resolution 9-16-17F to assign willing Ho-Chunk homesteads to grow non-GMO, non-herbicidal produce with compensation at growing rate. The resolution was seconded by Joyce Warner.
The resolution was approved by 876 yes votes, 613 no votes, and 281 abstaining.
Michelle Greendeer-Rave presented a resolution in support of a full time drug and alcohol enforcement officer of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Cari Fay seconded the motion.
The motion carried 1,270, 584, and 103.
Joyce Warner presented 9-16-17H, a resolution requiring that resolutions by the General Council be acted upon by the legislative branch and not referred to another department, with a second by Hazel Guerrero.
The resolution passed by a vote of 1,053 yes, 544 no, and 290 abstain.
Next, came a motion to adjourn by Darrell Waukau, seconded by Michelle DeCora.
Chairperson Cleveland put the motion to vote with no discussion. The motion passed with 1,093 in favor, 706 rejecting, and 85 abstaining.
Discussion and disapproval followed. A point was made that Waukau’s enrollment number was not recorded when making his motion. Hattie Walker also pointed out that the General Council did not adopt Robert’s Rules of Order, so the chairperson can continue the meeting.
Furthermore, Chairperson Cleveland also gave the floor to the next presenters, Gary Funmaker and Bill Winneshiek.
Chairperson Cleveland continues the meeting at 3:25 pm.
“I guess we’ll just continue on. He didn’t give us his tribal id number. We had to call him back,” Cleveland said.
Mike Mullens made a motion to call a special meeting to continue the annual meeting, seconded by Bill Winneshiek. The motion carried 1,198, 470, and 86.
Resolution 9-16-17I was presented by Gary Funmaker. The resolution was regarding Pike Island LLC.
The motion was defeated with 560 yes votes, 1,077 no votes, and 228 abstentions.
Tena Quackenbush introduced resolution 9-16-17J to mandate treatment to tribal members addicted to drugs and alcohol if they request it from the Ho-Chunk Nation. Larry Littlegeorge seconded the motion.
The motion passed with 1,434 yes votes, 337 no votes, and 86 abstaining.
Hazel Guerrero made the motion to pass resolution 9-16-17K to obtain AODA healing center with EDMR therapy.
The General Council voted approve.
Resolution 9-16-17L was a resolution for members to receive a $200 payment for members’ mileage and expenses to attend future General Council meetings.
The resolution passed with 1,086 yes votes, 777 no votes, and 77 abstain votes.
Resolution 9-16-17M was rescinded by Toree Jones. The resolution was to set policy regarding driver’s license requirement in the Ho-Chunk Nation job description.
A vote was taken on a resolution made by Hazel Guerrero to opt out or accept lesser amount of the Christmas bonus.
The motion was defeated 670 in favor, 1,190 rejecting, and 94 abstaining.
Forrest Funmaker made the motion to approve resolution 9-16-17O to move the Hocak Worak from the executive branch to the general council branch. Marlon WhiteEagle seconded the motion.
General Council voted to approve the resolution. There were 932 yes votes, 591 no votes, and 357 abstain votes.
Joy Thompson made a motion to rescind the special meeting motion and move forward under the chairperson’s continuation of the meeting. No vote was recorded.
Wendy Huling made a motion to rescind the special meeting motion and adopt resolutions I through O. No vote was recorded.
Resolution 9-16-17P was for anyone turning 18 years old to receive their regular per cap, not Children’s Trust Fund monies. Hazel Guerrero made the motion, seconded by Miranda Roberts.
The motion was defeated 344 yes votes, 1,188 no votes, and 149 abstentions.
Hazel Guerrero rescinded her resolution 9-16-17Q to reaffirm the employee protections for Ho-Chunk members.
The final resolution was from Hazel Guerrero, seconded by Chanelle Roth, to complete Cannabis Research.
It was defeated. There were 518 in favor, 1,108 rejecting, and 99 abstaining.
Myrtle Long made the motion to adjourn, seconded by Karen Martin.
The motion carried, with 1,540 yes votes, 125 no votes, and 31 abstain votes.
Chairperson Gerald Cleveland adjourned the meeting at 5:42 pm.
As members were waiting to turn in their voting card and receive their payment, a video message from Vice President Doug Greengrass played on the screens throughout the Exhibition Hall.
According to the Ho-Chunk Nation Constitution, Legislature has 45 days to make General Council resolution into law.  Executive branch has 60 days to enforce the policy. The General Council can file suit in tribal court, against elected officials, within 15 days of the deadline dates.
The Ho-chunk Nation Supreme Court will jurisdiction over the suit, within 15 days of the filing date.