Barrett, David Joe
David Joe Barrett is a native of Tecumseh, Oklahoma, and descendant of Marguerite Bourassa, Mnitoqua “Spirit Woman,” a full blood Potawatomi who married Leon Bourassa who was a boatman for American Fur Co. and clerked for his uncle Joseph Bertrand. His Potawatomi name is Mnedobe, meaning, “Sits with Spirit.” He has served as the legislator for District 10 since June 2008, since the CPN constitution was ratified in 2007 to include representation for the entire United States.
He graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1966, and then attended Murray State Junior College before transferring to the University of Oklahoma and earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting. Barrett also graduated with his MBA with honors from Oklahoma City University in 1982.
From there, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as an electronic radar technician on the USS Durham (LKA-114), a landing craft and attack cargo ship. During his enlistment in the Vietnam era, Barrett stopped in Hong Kong; Da Nang, Vietnam; Sydney, Australia; the Philippines, Singapore and Japan. He said he is proud to have served his country. He also served since 2010 to the present as part of the CPN Veteran Color Guard and as treasurer for the CPN Veteran’s Organization for more than 10 years, both of which he considers a huge honor.
He married his wife Connie in 1971 and lived in San Diego, California, until 1972, when they moved to Bethel Acres, Oklahoma, and started a family. He also worked as a financial controller for companies like Worthington Pump Corporation while earning a master’s degree from Oklahoma City University. He also became an entrepreneur, owning Windsor Door Company in Great Bend, Kansas, and starting and owning a percentage of Windsor Door Company in Atlanta, Georgia, while also investing in stocks, rental properties, beef cattle and more DBA’S.
He was elected to serve as CPN District 10 Legislator in 2008 and still currently serves. After serving on several corporate boards, he was appointed to serve on the CPN’s First National Bank & Trust, Co. and elected to help lead the Nation’s Grievance Committee.
In 2017, AARP named him one of the organization’s yearly 50 Oklahoma Indian Elder honorees.
The most rewarding of all the things I have done in the business world and my life was and still continues to serve my constituents in Oklahoma at large along with my decisions affecting our whole Potawatomi membership of our great Nation.
Born: Tecumseh, OK
Spouse(s): Connie Barrett
Children: Allison (Patrick), Chad (Kristi) and five grandchildren
Education: Tecumseh High School, 1966; Murray State Junior College; University of Oklahoma, BA in accounting and a minor in mechanical engineering; Oklahoma City University, MBA with honors, 1982; Kerr-McGee Corporation – Certificate of Recognition for Fundamentals of Supervision, 1978; Worthington Pump Corporation – Certificate of Completion of Interaction Management Program, 1982; Worthington Pump Corporation – Certificate of completion of Management by Objectives, 1983; The University of Arizona – Course Completion of Rebuilding Native Nations Strategies for Governance and Development
Assumed Office: June 2008
In Office: Present day
• First National Bank & Trust Co. Board of Directors from 2002 to 2008
• Elected CPN Grievance Committee
• U.S. Navy ETR3 serving 6 years with Honorable Discharge
• Worthington Pump Corporation Financial Controller
• CPN Veteran Color Guard since 2010
• CPN Veterans Organization Treasurer since 2010
• Former member of the National Congress of American Indians for 2013 and 2014
• Invitee to the Native American Veteran Memorial dedication in Washington 2019
• Family of God, born-again Christian
• The Citizen Potawatomi Nation — Health and Human Services Committee, Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, and Appropriations and Budgets Committee