theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

July 24, 2013

Johnson seeks election to Seat 5


www.theadanews.com

Ada —

Mark Allen Johnson is a candidate for Chickasaw Nation tribal legislator for Pontotoc District, Seat 5.

“ My goal as a tribal legislator is to use my knowledge and previous legislative experiences in service to the Chickasaw people,” Johnson said. “My experiences include, but are not limited to, working with the federal, state and local governments, establishing and implementing tribal policies and programs.”

Johnson’s tribal experience includes serving nine years as a councilman for the Seminole Nation. While in office he served as vice president of the enterprise board. During his tenure on the board, the enterprise operational budget transitioned from a negative $1,000,000 budget to a credit budget of more than $7,000,000. The committee was responsible for purchasing, construction and development of BIA offices and an Indian Health Services clinic.

“During my 15 years working within the Chickasaw Nation healthcare system, I had the opportunity to see, first hand, the healthcare needs of our citizens,” Johnson said. “There are good people within our healthcare system who are working diligently, every day, with compassion and respect to provide quality care for our people. Those good people should be empowered. Their example of service to Chickasaws in need should be mirrored by administration and leadership.

Johnson earned an applied sciences degree from Seminole State College. He is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and certified with the Environmental Protection Agency and  a certified first responder. During his employment with the Chickasaw Nation Health System, Johnson, he held positions in facility management and telecommunications.

 “My focus on healthcare and other specific needs of Chickasaw citizens, along with my prior experiences in tribal government have made me uniquely qualified to serve as legislator, dedicated to the needs of our people.”

As a councilman, Johnson also served on the Constitutional Revision Committee. The committee drafted amendments to the tribal constitution in regards to federal monetary settlements. The Constitutional Revision Committee was also responsible for setting up and implementing service programs for the tribe.

“My focus will be addressing the real, daily challenges faced by Chickasaw Nation employees and Chickasaw citizens, no matter where they live,” Johnson said.

Johnson said his community is his immediate and Chickasaw families and his civic responsibilities are to Chickasaw citizens. When he is not at work, he can be found at traditional Chickasaw events, cooking and serving pashofa with his dad, laughing with children or listening intently to an adult or elder.

Johnson’s tribal heritage is strong. His parents are Sampson and Lucille Harjo Johnson. Johnson’s Chickasaw heritage comes from his father, Sampson, who is full-blood Chickasaw. Johnson’s Seminole and Creek heritage comes from his mother, Lucille.

“Being raised in a Native American home by parents who passed on traditional ways and values has equipped me with a real understanding of our culture, traditions and all things we hold sacred,” he said.

Johnson’s grandparents were Ebatamby “Eddie” and Ethel Gipson Johnson; and his great-grandparents were Scott and Tamena Johnson. Scott Johnson was an original full-blood enrollee with the Chickasaw Nation.

Johnson’s tribal heritage is passed to his three sons and six grandchildren. 

 “I will apply my working knowledge of tribal government and my understanding of our culture in service to you.

“It would be my honor to serve our people by cherishing the wisdom of our ancestors while taking our place in the 21st century.

 “I share your concerns and values. With your vote of support, I will be accessible and will listen to you. Then, I will speak up for you,” he said.

“Chokmaishki, (Thank you)”