from The Chiefs

Ben Barnes

Greetings tribal citizen,

These past few weeks, the administration’s team has been hectic processing the CARES Act distribution of fifteen hundred dollars to the Shawnee Tribe’s adult citizens. About half of the qualifying Shawnee Tribe’s citizens have been processed at the time of this writing. If you still have not completed your application, please hurry to complete it prior to the September 30 due date. Online applications can be found on the Shawnee Tribe’s website (details below.)

In last month’s newsletter, I mentioned the Shawnee Tribe’s victory in federal court that resulted in our receiving CARES Act dollars for our peoples, but we have also since received funds from the American Rescue Plan. Receipt of these monies and the obligations that accompany them have challenges that we are meeting by increasing the staff of the Shawnee Tribe. We are no longer an organization that has a couple of handfuls of employees. We are quickly approaching thirty employees, and I suspect we will exceed forty full-time positions within a couple of years. As we have always done, our practice has been to prefer Shawnee applicants when deciding between job candidates.

While the CARES Act monies must be spent before the conclusion of this year, the funds provided to our Nation from the American Rescue Plan will be eligible to use until the end of 2024. Last newsletter, I mentioned the Shawnee phrase “ke’melonaatehe”, or to do something at a measured and considered pace. It is with “ke’melonaatehe” in mind that we are crafting a process for our Nation to adequately plan for our people during this lingering pandemic. The planning processes we are developing will measure the needs of you and your family to fund the pressing needs of the Shawnee people.

We also have some great, new programs to share with you when we see you at the annual meeting. As we did last year, we are again planning with pandemic prevention measures in mind. Details for the annual meeting and the protections we are taking to protect you are discussed later within the newsletter.

To conclude, the purpose of the business council and my office, as well as that of the rest of the Shawnee Tribe’s administration, is to serve and honor Shawnee people and interests—past, present and future. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

niyaawe, hini lekhi, ke’pekwihoolo

Ben Barnes



Roy Baldridge
Second Chief

hatito caaki wiyeefa (Hello everyone), 

I hope all is well as we enter the fall and winter seasons. At the tribal offices, we have been busy implementing promised programs, as you will see in the program reports contained in this newsletter. Now that the program positions have been filled (many of which with tribal citizens), you will be receiving information soon from each program. We continue to engage the federal, state and local governments in issues that affect our tribe. In several cases, we are exploring ways we can enter partnerships that can benefit our tribe and the communities we reside in. We strive to build a future that will guarantee a positive future for our families, specifically our children, grandchildren and generations that follow.

I always try to make the point to say we. I say that because it takes all of us working together to make it all possible. Whether it is the Business Council, support staff, volunteers or citizens, we all share in the successes and failures. We cannot afford to think of ourselves as individuals because any decision we make can have blanket effects on each of us and across Indian Country positively and negatively. With that being said, I will state that we always carefully study outcomes as we work toward a positive future for our Shawnee Communities.


Roy D. Baldridge

Second Chief