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Woman chief takes office, makes history

By Sheila Stogsdill Published: December 7, 2006

"This will be a full-time position and I intend to give full-time energy," Wallace said.

Wallace won a runoff election in November by a margin of 320 votes, after falling short of a majority by one vote in September.

Other changes Wallace hopes to implement include re- establishing the tribe's cultural heritage with two other Shawnee tribes.

"I want to represent the tribe well and make their lives better," Wallace said. "I want to bring businesses into the tribe in addition to casinos."

The tribe owns a 57,000-square-foot casino near its Oklahoma headquarters in Ottawa County.

"We are a self-managed casino, but there are things we need to do to keep up with the technology," Wallace said.

About 70 percent of casino profits go back into the tribe to help run a strong social program, including helping elderly tribal members, she said.

Wallace said every tribal member over the age of 62 receives a yearly check for $3,000.

"They can do with the check whatever they want to, including paying utilities," Wallace said.

Wallace said she is most proud of the tribe's scholarship program, which provides students $2,500 scholarships per semester for undergraduate study and $4,000 per semester for graduate work.

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, the Absentee Shawnee Tribe and the Cherokee-Shawnee Tribe all are federally recognized groups of the Shawnee Tribe in Oklahoma, she said.

Wallace said the tribe has about 2,400 members, representing every state in the nation.

"Tecumseh said the seventh generation shall bring my people back. I am honored to say I am part of that generation, and as a people we want to be successful in returning to Ohio."

Glenna J. Wallace has disabled the comments for this article.


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