McCaleb steps into Seminole Nation dispute
Facebook Twitter Email
FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2002

Assistant Secretary Neal McCaleb is playing the diplomat of sorts by calling a meeting with two tribal leaders who claim to control the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.

McCaleb will sit down today with Ken Chambers, the Seminole's elected chief, and Jerry Haney, the ousted chief, in hopes of ironing out a dispute that drew national attention and resulted in a shutdown of tribal businesses to the tune of more than $3 million. "He's concerned about the people," said Bureau of Indian Affairs spokesperson Nedra Darling.

Chamber was elected last summer but the BIA refuses to recognize his leadership. Instead, the agency considers Haney to be the principal chief.

That determination resulted in a Court of Federal Regulation decision which threw the tribe into a financial and political crisis. The emergency orders, which were issued earlier this month, called for the ouster of Chambers and his administration and put 600 tribal employees out of work temporarily.

Chambers continued to hold onto power as Haney tried to set up shop. The orders, however, were subsequently reversed.

Chambers said he agreed to attend the meeting and report back to his tribe's council. "Only [the council] can negotiate on behalf of the nation," he said in a statement.

The talks take place at McCaleb's old stomping grounds in Oklahoma City. The trio will meet in his former office at the state Department of Transportation.

Relevant Links:
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma -

Related Stories:
Seminole Nation back in business (5/16)
Court decision kicks Haney out (5/15)
Haney says tribal profits withdrawn (5/14)
Seminole dispute continues (5/10)
Haney opponents still locked in (5/9)
Haney opponents locked in (5/8)
Seminole's Chief Haney restored to power (5/7)
Black Seminole appeal planned (5/1)
Black Seminoles dealt setback (4/30)
Opinion: Seminole Nation always black (4/22)
A fight over funds, race (4/4)
Seminole Head Start funds OKed (2/6)
Seminole changes sought again (1/16)
Ousted Seminole leader sues tribe, BIA (12/14)
Black Seminole issue still divisive (10/29)
Suspended Seminole Chief to sue (6/27)
Seminole Chief Haney suspended (6/26)
Race part of Seminole dispute (1/29)
Seminole voters approve changes (7/7)
Seminole vote may affect Freedmen (7/7)