Ha-way fellow Quapaw Nation members,
My name is Zackary Turley, and I am asking for your vote and support for re-election to our Business Committee. It has been an honor to serve on the Quapaw Nation's Business Committee for the past four years. I have worked together with our Tribal Leaders to move the Quapaw Nation in a more positive and profitable direction for our tribal members. We have faced many changes and hardships over the last year, but together we can continue to improve the Quapaw Nation not only for today but for generations to come.
My reasons for running for the Business Committee have always been to build upon what we have as a Nation and ensure that our children and grandchildren have something to be proud of, and provide career opportunities and benefits to them and their families.
I have proudly worked for the Quapaw Nation Fire/EMS over the last thirteen years. I am a licensed Paramedic with training in Fire/Rescue, Emergency management, and many other things dealing with Public Safety. While working with the Department of Public Safety, we have made great improvements for the employees and the citizens of Ottawa County and the surrounding area. With the Department of Public Safety being one of the tribal government's largest departments, it is vital to the organization to have this type of experience moving the department in a positive direction. I have also served on the Quapaw Nation Cultural Committee for the last three years. It is essential to preserve our culture for our native youth and have the ability to involve culture in our businesses and operations. We are currently working on getting our cultural classes going again, post-COVID.
There are ideas to start a Language application and a Quapaw Nation Tannery to tan and preserve the leather and hides that we are processing through our Processing Plant.
I have been married for the last 12 years to my wife, Michelle, and we have two boys Levi and Gunner. We enjoy hunting, fishing, and pretty much anything outdoors.
Accomplishments during this term:
• The Quapaw Nation has successfully opened the Saracen Casino in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, during a Global Pandemic. We are finishing up Phase 1 construction, including the gaming floor, food outlets, poker room, and sports betting. Phase 2 will be a 300-room hotel, spa, and convention center with a concert area.
• The Quapaw Nation has partnered with Cypress Valley Meats to help manage our Meat Processing Plant bringing about a 265% increase in production from the 4th quarter of 2020 to the 1st quarter of 2021.
• The Quapaw Nation provided 2 COVID Relief Disbursements to Tribal members during the Pandemic to assist with expenses due to COVID-19.
• I have worked with the Oklahoma State House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension system on behalf of our Tribal Fire Department. We are still currently working on getting our Fire Department into the Oklahoma Pension system. Doing so will help employee retention and be a great benefit to our Tribal Firefighters.
• I assisted with the development and implementation of the Quapaw Nation Community Paramedic Program. This program allows Tribal Members and local citizens to set up appointments with a Paramedic within the comfort of their home. They can see a licensed Physician or Nurse Practitioner via Telemedicine. This program also works with our Community Health Representative, and they have been a great asset to the Department of Public Safety.
• We have worked with our Grants Department to fund an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that will have the ability to house a 911 dispatch and a Command Center during and after a disaster. The EOC will be located inside a safe room with backup power, so it will still be operational in the event of damage.
• We have completed construction on the Justice Center/Methadone Clinic and completed construction on the new O-Gah-Pah Learning Center.
• We have Completed construction on the last phase of Elder Housing and are preparing to build additional elder housing, along with affordable rental housing for younger families.
• We have made many changes with Downstream Casino. The casino is running better and more profitable than it has ever run. The below numbers are compared against 2019 or "pre COVID."
Revenue is up 10.4%
Operating Expenses are down 15.7%
Executive Charges are down 78.5%
Comps are down 27.5%
Operating Profit up 64.2%
Cash is up 83.3%
• In short, more money is coming in the door, a lot less is wasted on benefits to management-level employees and BC members, and our current bank balances are higher than they've ever been. We are being more targeted in our marketing efforts, have redesigned the gaming floor, and holding our vendors more accountable than we ever have before. At the rate we're currently going, Downstream will be debt-free in the next 6-8 years.
In the future, some of the items I will be working on are Tribal Housing, increasing our educational funds and educational opportunities, and continue to work towards more social services assistance and emergency funding. We are currently working on more elder housing, and with this, I would like to work towards affordable housing for Tribal families. Doing so would create housing opportunities for younger families and create job opportunities for Tribal members in housing and construction.
With these jobs, we can help tribal members who may not want to attend a traditional college but would rather have hands-on learning in electric, HVAC, or plumbing. Education and Social Services funding will be increased as we pay down debt and increase profits from our enterprises. Investing in our children's education and future is the best way to conserve our tribe and culture. Without young Tribal members who have the knowledge, education, understanding, and compassion for our heritage, we will fail as a nation. The things we take for granted today will be gone tomorrow.
As you may be aware, this last year has been a trying time for our tribe. I know many have seen or heard of the recent charges filled in Tribal Court on former Business Committee Members. All I will say to this is the Quapaw Nation Business Committee will continue to work in the best interest of our Quapaw People, and please get your information from a reliable source.
As for the Lawsuit filed against me, I would first like to state that I apologize to anyone who has dealt with such situations. It's incomprehensible that these individuals have decided to make a mockery of this delicate situation. I, in no way, condone these actions, nor have I been involved in such actions. These accusations were made against me after the 2020 tribal election when my supervisor was being investigated for harassment. The accusations were made by a family member of my supervisor and a former Business Committee member. The last several months have been stressful for myself and my family, considering these accusations have already been investigated once and were proven to be false. I hope this shows our Tribal members that I am willing to do what is right no matter what the outcome will be for me. In the last year and a half, I've personally faced some difficult situations. I've had to worry about providing for my family in the face of retaliation at work. I've also been harassed and wrongfully sued. I will not be bought, paid off, intimidated, or threatened to do something that I don't feel is in the best interest of the Quapaw Nation, nor will I allow something to jeopardize my integrity or my morals.
I write you to ask for your support in the upcoming election. I believe that we have some incredible things going on in our Nation, and I want to ensure that they continue. We as a Nation are building a future for all our children and our grandchildren. These are the things that I want to continue. Together we can ensure that our Nation will always be remembered when we are gone and build towards self-reliance for our future generations. Taking care of our people, both present and future, is my top priority. Thank you for your continued support, and I humbly ask you to Vote for Zackary Turley on Election Day.