District 4, January 2022
By Tribal Councilmember Jess Henry
January 1, 2022
Halito! I’m excited to share some of the great things that are happening in District 4. We wrapped up 2021 on a great note, and I’m looking forward to an even better 2022!
I’ll start by honoring our veterans. On Veterans Day, we presented two quilts of honor to Choctaw veterans Robert McCaslin of Pocola and William Kline of Poteau. I know all of District 4 joins me in saying thank you for your service to our great nation.
We were also able to recognize one of our elders, Leatrice Joy (Bishop) Carter, on her 97th birthday!
Carter is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation. Born in Tuskahoma in October 1924, her father was an original enrollee on the Dawes Rolls. At the age of three, she went to live at Saint Agnes Mission School for Indians in Antlers. Later she attended Haskell Indian School in Lawrence, Kansas. She has been many things throughout her life, an apple picker in Washington State, a “Rosie the Riveter” for Boeing during WWII, a bounty hunter, bail bondsman, process server and an avid OU fan and even a dance partner for Bob Wills. She has been a symbol of fierce independence for her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and now her great-great-grandchildren.
In economic news, I’m thrilled to announce that we were able to invest in our local communities and award Poteau, Heavener, Pocola and LeFlore County nearly $100,000 in the fourth quarter. Coming Spring of 2022, we will have 10 affordable rental houses and 20 LEAP houses ready in Poteau. Also, coming to the Spiro area, Summer 2022, we will have 10 affordable rentals.
The Spiro and Poteau Community Centers have been busy. We had to do things a little differently this year. We did drive-thrus for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We gave out hundreds of bags of candy to the children. On Thanksgiving, we were able to share and give back by handing out meals. For Christmas, Santa gave out gifts to the children and meals were picked up.
I trust everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope it was filled with joy and you made great memories with family and friends. As always, if I can be of assistance to you and your family, please do not hesitate to contact me.