Today at the regularly scheduled bi-weekly meeting, the Oneida Business Committee by unanimous decision has again determined that the petition submitted by Gladys Dallas requesting the General Tribal Council to approve a $5000 per capita payment to be paid within 90 days of approval in fiscal year 2019, is in violation of the Constitution and laws of the Oneida Nation.
As identified in the Notice adopted by the Oneida Business Committee by unanimous vote:
“The Oneida Business Committee has once again been forced to make a determination about an infeasible $85 million-dollar per capita distribution in fiscal year 2019. In June the OBC determined a petition requesting a $5000 payment was not valid due to the potential fiscal impact of such a large unbudgeted payment. A second petition submitted by Gladys Dallas allowed for only a mere additional 45 days to complete a requested $5000 payment; asks for a listing of obstacles to making the payment; and calls for addressing individuals who are against the payment. Completing the regular process once more, once more the OBC finds the petition is not valid due to the findings in the fiscal analysis.”
“The GTC has already approved and committed to a per capita payment. In June 2016, the GTC approved a $1300 a year per capita payment for 2017 through 2021 which is about $22 million per year. Over a five-year period, that equals $6500 for each member and $110.5 million total cost. In addition to the regular per capita payment, is the ongoing elder per capita payments which is about $4 million per year for a total of $130 million in per capita payments paid over the five-year period.”
Action on this petition would be in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and related regulations, presentation of this petition would be in violation of the Oneida Business Committee’s fiduciary responsibilities to the Nation and tribal members. That decision means the petition will not be presented to the General Tribal Council in accordance with the discretionary authority granted in Article III, Section 6 and the delegated authorities and responsibilities set forth in the Constitution, By-Laws, oath of office, and approved job descriptions for the OBC.
There is more to the story than appears today. A thorough analysis and projection of more than 50 programs and services that would be eliminated and a loss of 1500 jobs weighed heavily into the decision to deny this petition. So today it is clear, there will be no General Tribal Council meeting, to vote on a $5000 per-capita payment, because for many reasons listed above, it is not feasible. Yet the per-capita payment that was approved by the General Tribal Council in June 2016, will be dispersed to each enrolled eligible Oneida before the end of this month.
For a more extensive open letter to the Oneida Citizens, you may go to the Oneida Nation portal for members only.