Oneida Business Committee Chair Ed Delgado Dishonors Veterans & Their Families [UPDATED]

The video below from the October 23, 2013 Business Committee Regular Meeting shows how Chairperson Ed Delgado failed in his promise to make sure that family members of Oneida Code Talkers would be able to attend the November 20, 2013 Code Talker Medallion Ceremony where families would be presented with a silver version of a medal honoring Oneida code talkers.

According to the minutes of the August 14, 2013 Business Committee Regular Meeting the BC voted to support a Procedural Exception for all nine members of the Oneida Nation Veterans Affairs Committee (ONVAC) to travel to the Code Talker Coin dedication:

Motion by Tina Danforth to approve for the procedural exception for 9 ONVAC members to travel to Code Talkers Coin dedication, Nov. 19-21, 2013, Washington, DC which is budgeted for, seconded by David Jordan. Motion carried unanimously:

Ayes: Tina Danforth, Patty Hoeft, David Jordan, Brandon Stevens, Paul Ninham Not present: Melinda J. Danforth, Vince DelaRosa, Greg Matson

A September 23, 2013 email from William Norton of the United States Mint to ONVAC Chair Loretta Metoxen states the presentation of a gold medallion to one representative for each tribe and silver medallions to each family of the code talkers “is historically the largest event for the United States Mint and the Office of the Speaker,” and that “we ask that the individual receiving the medal on behalf of the tribe be seated in the front row. Ten seats per tribe will be designated near or behind the front row for code talkers or their family members and everyone else will be seated in general admission.

Loretta Metoxen states in the video below and has said in an email to a family member of a code talker that she informed the Business Committee about the need for the BC to help the family members make arrangements back in July or August of 2013, and Council member Melinda Danforth states that Tribal Chairperson Ed Delgado agreed to take the lead in making those arrangements.

The presentation of the medals to the tribal representative and the code talkers or their family members is made by the President of the United States, and therefore arrangements for individuals to participate in the ceremony requires a background check which takes some time.

Ed Delgado should have been aware of that as he is planning to attend to receive a medal on behalf of the Oneida Tribe and therefore he should have known that arranging travel accommodations for family members of Oneida code talkers was a time sensitive issue not solely based on financial considerations but also their own personal considerations with regard to work schedules and the like.

Unfortunately for the families, Ed Delgado seems to have neglected his responsibility to secure funding for their travel to this event as well as failing to arrange for the family members to be able to be available for the requisite background checks in order to receive silver medals on behalf of their deceased family members being honored.

Obviously, just as the Business Committee did regarding ONVAC, a Procedural Exception should be made as soon as possible to provide for the travel expenses for at least 10 family members of Oneida Code Talkers so that they can participate in this significant event.

The Business Committee can’t hide behind the ongoing Emergency Cost Containment and Spending Restrictions Resolution #BC-10-09-13-D because records show that the BC voted to approve a second Procedural Exception for the expense of two additional non-family members of code talkers and Ed Delgado to travel for the November event at the October 23, 2013 BC Regular Meeting and that the sponsor of the agenda items was none other than Ed Delgado:

XIII. Travel

1. Oneida Nation Veterans Affairs Committee: Procedural exception for 2 Gold Medal Planning Committee members to attend Code Talker Coin dedication, Nov. 19-21, 2013, Washington, DC

Sponsor: Ed Delgado 

Motion by Melinda J. Danforth to approve a procedural exception to the travel restrictions under the cost containment resolution and to amend the Aug. 14, 2013 Business Committee motion to allow for 11 travelers to attend the Washington DC Code Talkers event scheduled for Nov. 20-21, 2013, seconded by Brandon Stevens. Motion carried unanimously:

Ayes: Melinda J. Danforth, Vince DelaRosa, Greg Matson, Patty Hoeft, David Jordan, Paul Ninham, Brandon Stevens

Not present: Tina Danforth 

2. Code Talker Medallion Ceremony, Nov. 20, 2013, Washington, DC

Sponsor: Ed Delgado
Motion by David Jordan to approve the procedural exception for Chairman Ed Delgado to attend the Code Talker Medallion Ceremony, Nov. 20, 2013, Washington, DC, seconded by Melinda J. Danforth. Motion carried unanimously:

Ayes: Melinda J. Danforth, Vince DelaRosa, Greg Matson, Patty Hoeft, David Jordan, Paul Ninham, Brandon Stevens

Not present: Tina Danforth 

If necessary, Ed Delgado should – at the very least – volunteer to allow for a family member of a code talker to travel to the ceremony using the funds allocated from his travel budget and permit them to take his place in the front row to receive the gold medal on behalf of the Oneida Tribe from the President of the United States.

Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible that Ed Delgado’s dereliction of duty may have resulted in the the window of opportunity now being closed regarding the ability of family members to successfully apply for background checks in a timely manner even if travel funds are secured.

When contacted by a Tribe member about this disgraceful disrespect toward the code talkers’ families, Ed Delgado tried to justify his thoughtlessness by saying that a ceremony will be held to honor the code talkers at an upcoming powwow. Wow, could Ed be more tone deaf and lame?

In the meantime, since no accommodations have been made for code talkers or their family members to attend the event, Ed Delgado is slated be seated alone in the reserved seating area to receive from President Barack Obama one gold medal on behalf of the Oneida Tribe and four silver medals on behalf of the code talkers and their families that Delgado dishonorably neglected.

Granted, as Tribal Secretary Patty Hoeft points out in the video, all of the Business Committee was aware of the need to help family members make travel arrangements and therefore it was the responsibility of the entire BC and Loretta Metoxen to make sure that Ed Delgado didn’t let the family members fall through the cracks, but ultimately the buck stops with Ed.

William Norton’s email to Loretta Metoxen states, “After delivering the medals to the ceremony, the United States Mint can no longer protect them. Therefore, we strongly urge you to plan how you will secure the gold medal presented to your tribe leader and the silver medals slated for the code talkers or their designated family members. These medals are one of a kind, extremely valuable, and irreplaceable so please consider how you will get them from the ceremony back to your home state.

How comforting it must be for Oneida code talkers’ family members who Ed Delgado forgot to assist in arranging transportation that their invaluable silver medals will be in the ‘safekeeping’ of someone who absentmindedly leaves bullets in Tribal vehicles and drives Tribal vehicles onto roundabouts because he forgot they were installed, and worse yet seems to have forgotten that the families of the code talkers even exist.

Perhaps it’s another sign of the onset of senility.

Oneida Eye apologizes for the low quality of the video but the fluctuating audio levels are entirely the fault of Oneida Tribal staff and the original video itself as hosted on the Tribe’s deplorably maintained website will not load properly on all browsers.

For some odd reason viewing BC Regular Meetings on the Tribe’s website requires a Tribal member login despite the fact that BC Regular Meetings are open to the public and the media.

Perhaps the Business Committee is ashamed of what goes on there.

They should be.

 

UPDATE:
OPEN LETTER TO THE ONEIDA COMMUNITY

I am U. S. Marine Veteran Gary M. Adams. My father Rupert S. Adams (Oneida Code Talker) will be honored along with at least two other Oneida Code Talkers in Washington DC next week. According to William Norton at the US Treasury, this will be Historically the Largest Event for the United States Mint and the Office of the Speaker taking place in Washington.

I am writing this letter as I am outraged at how the families of the Oneida Code Talkers were excluded from this once in a lifetime dedication. Instead of family members attending, Chairwoman Loretta V. Metoxen of the Oneida Nation Veterans Affairs Committee (the person who was corresponding with Washington concerning this Prestige Honor) chose to request travel for at least 9 of her members from ONVAC to attend as far back as August 14th, 2013 (my sister wasn’t contacted until about Oct. 10th.) After that, Loretta V. Metoxen by memo, made a procedural exception to the Business Committee for Dan King and Chris Cornelius (Loretta’s niece) to attend this event. No formal request for any of the CODE TALKERS’ FAMILIES were found.

According to one of the e-mail correspondences to Loretta V. Metoxen, 09/23/13: “Ten seats per tribe will be designated near or behind the front row for the Code Talkers or their family members and everyone else will be seated in the general admission.” Did this letter state that we have 10 seats reserved for Loretta V. Metoxen, 8 ONVAC members, Dan King and Chris Cornelius? The answer is NO! These seats are reserved for us (the family members of the Oneida Code Talkers).

You cannot know the pain and suffering this has caused me, once I found out that those seats were intended for us. I am sure the other families feel the same (if they even know there were seats reserved for them also). I called my sister every day since I heard about this affair to see if I was chosen to go. I requested vacation for these dates in hopes of attending this prestigious honor for my father Rupert S. Adams.

I feel Loretta V. Metoxen should be ashamed for so selfishly using this event to her advantage. Any ONVAC member attending, and knows those seats are intended for family members, should be ashamed if thy sit in anyone of them. Chris Cornelius and Dan King definitely shouldn’t be sitting in any of the seats designated for family members. With the documents we (my family) have personally read, we feel this travesty is entirely due to Loretta V. Metoxen’s manipulation of this information. This being the main reason why the Oneida Code Talkers’ immediate family members won’t be in attendance, sitting in those seats designated specifically for us.

All I have to say is that Loretta V. Metoxen, Chris Cornelius or Dan King better not be the ones who accepts my father’s medal.

Respectfully, Gary M. Adams U.S. Marine Veteran


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