2012 Election Results for the National Council of Officers

Our NATIVE SONS AND DAUGHTERS® election for the National Council of Officers (NCO) was held on May 19, 2012.

Our New National Council of Officers

National Chief Don Bittala Crooked River Longhouse
National Asst. Chief Brian Quirk Timucuan Federation
National Tally Keeper Keith Armstrong Timucuan Federation
National Wampum Bearer Kenn Synek Cuyahoga Valley Longhouse
Native American Council Chairman (open)

Since our national elections are held at the National Annual Meeting on even-numbered years, 2012 was such a cycle year. This was a particularly special election as National Longhouse’s National Board of Elders mandated a new election process. On May 1, 2012, the newly appointed National Election Guardian, Dave “Buckeye” Garberson, announced and declared the opening of the nomination period. He provided forms for the National Officer Candidate Nomination along with new election information and rules governing the election process.

On the morning of May 19, the National Annual Meeting commenced and Dave gave an overview of the election process. He announced that Officer Nomination Forms would be accepted up until the noon lunch break.

Upon returning from lunch at 1:15 p.m., Dave officially closed the nomination period and announced the names of all nominees. He posted them on a display board and made all submitted nomination forms available to the voting delegates/attendees for leisurely review and verification. Prior to the close of the day’s meeting, Dave provided an opportunity for the candidates to introduce themselves; speak on their own behalf; provide some background; and allow for some questions and answers. Upon conclusion of the interviews, Dave announced the final list of candidates and distributed the election ballots. He then collected and tallied the votes for verification by National Chairman Greg Measor. Dave announced the results to the general assembly at which time the newly elected officers were greeted with applause.

This is Don “Brave Eagle” Bittala’s third term as National Chief, and Kenn Synek’s second term as National Wampum Bearer. We at National Longhouse are excited to have Brian Quirk as National Assistant Chief and Keith Armstrong as National Tallykeeper. Both bring additional vigor and fresh ideas to the NCO. Sadly, the position of Native American Council Chairman remains unfilled due to the absence of Brian “Bearshadow” Liekam for health reasons. We wish Brian the best of luck and pray the Great Spirit will protect him. All members would like to thank these officers for their past and future contributions. The Native Sons and Daughters Program as well as National Longhouse could not operate or continue without their sacrifice. The next regular NCO election occurs in Spring of 2014.

The following are excerpts from our bylaws, (Operating Agreement of National Longhouse, Ltd. Revision Sept. 9, 2012), providing a description of these national officers’ duties:


The Chief shall preside at all meetings of the NCO. The Chief shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of Officers and shall have general supervision over its property, business and affairs, and perform all the duties usually incident to such office, subject to the directions of the NCO. The Chief, upon specific authority of the NCO, shall have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by the NCO. The chief will serve as a voting member of the NBE, however the Chief of the NCO shall not serve as the Chairman of the NBE.

Assistant Chief

The Assistant Chief shall have such powers and duties as may be prescribed by the NCO or as may be delegated by the Chief. In case of the absence or disability of the Chief or, when circumstances prevents the Chief from acting, the Assistant Chief, in order designated by the National Council of Officers, shall perform the duties of the Chief, with like powers of the Chief. In case the Chief and said Assistant Chief are absent or unable to perform their duties, the NCO may appoint a Chief pro tempore.

Tally Keeper

The Tally Keeper shall attend and keep the minutes of all meetings of the NCO. A draft of meeting minutes shall be submitted for review to the Officers within thirty (30) days of the conclusion of any meeting. The Tally Keeper shall keep such books as may be required by the NCO, shall certify the records as necessary, and shall give all notices of meetings of the NCO, provided, however, that any persons calling such meetings may, at their options, may themselves give such notice. The Tally Keeper shall have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by the NCO.

Wampum Bearer

The Wampum Bearer shall have the custody of the appropriated corporate funds and securities. The Wampum Bearer shall prepare a budget and shall provide for full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the National Longhouse, Ltd., He shall deposit all moneys and other valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the National Longhouse, Ltd. in such depositories as may be designated by the NCO. Such budget, accounts and records shall be made available for inspection and approval at each meeting of the NCO, or upon a request by any Officer. These records will also be made available at the Wampum Bearer’s place of business during normal business hours at all other times. The Wampum Bearer shall also provide full and accurate books, budget sheet and all accounts of record belonging to the National Longhouse, Ltd. to the Elders at the Annual National Board of Elders Meeting or as requested by the NBE. If the Wampum Bearer cannot attend the NBE meeting, he may send these reports with the Chief of the National Council of Officers. If neither the Chief of the NCO, or the Wampum Bearer can attend, the Wampum Bearer will choose a replacement who shall attend the meeting.

Native American Council Chairman

The Chairman of the Native American Council (NAC) shall have Native American heritage and shall report to the National Council of Officers. At each annual meeting, or as requested by the NCO or NBE the Chairman shall present a report on the status and recommendations of the NAC. The Chairman shall appoint a committee of members with Native American Longhouse programs.