Mistake or discrimination? Meeting’s agenda outrages Citizen Potawatomi Nation

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Wording on a meeting's agenda leaves portions of the Native American Community outraged.

It all stems from Item 9 in Shawnee's Commissioners meeting on Monday. The item read in part ..."Discussion, consideration, and possible action regarding possible conflicts of interest between commission members, and Tribal Nations."

Two current commissioners on the Shawnee City Board are members of Native American Tribes.

Problem is, usage of the word 'Tribal Nations' was a mistake by City Attorney, Mary Ann Karns.

"I'm here to apologize," said Karns at the start of the meeting. "I substituted some wording in Commissioner Hall's request."

The item, which was presented by Commissioner Keith Hall, was supposed to only include the Citizen Potawatomi Nation(CPN).

The correction didn't sit well with CPN Tribal Chairman, John Barrett.

"So how is it less offensive if it's just the CPN, and not the other four tribes?" asked Barrett.

Due to the confusion, Commissioner Hall ultimately dropped Item 9 from discussion. However, he made it clear that once the wording was right, he would bring the topic back to the council.

Item 9 was just one of 2 topics that were either dropped or deferred from Monday's meeting. Both items addressed possible conflicts between the city and, as the agenda words it, 'our Native American neighbors.'