Tribes contribute more than $12.9 billion to state economy
OKLAHOMA CITY–Tribal nations were reported to contribute a staggering $12.9 billion into the Oklahoma economy according to data delivered at the Oklahoma Tribal Finance Consortium held July 18.
Leaders and representatives of tribal governments and their interests met at the Oklahoma History Center to discuss how that money ripples through the state economy affecting everyone living in Oklahoma in a positive way.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Secretary of the Nation and Commerce and Chairman of the Oklahoma Tribal Consortium Eli McIntosh delivered a rundown of the many tribal contributions he feels are favorable for the state.
“This report proves the tribes are good for Oklahoma,” McIntosh said.
He told the audience that the study started with audited and accurate data. He included the stats for Oklahoma roads and bridges, healthcare, education and employment.
According to Chickasaw Nation Ambassador-At-Large to the United States Neal McCaleb, one of the critical components of the tribal impact on Oklahoma is consistency.
“Unlike Corporations that move based on the economy and population migration, tribal nations are permanent and invested in the long term growth of their jurisdictional area as well as the whole state,” McCaleb said.
Another element to the tribe’s impact on the state is where those contributions happen.
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Gov. Reggie Wassana said many important services happen in rural areas.
“These tribes provide critical services for rural communities,” Wassana said. “We support non-tribal entities such as public schools, fire departments, EMS services, city utility projects and numerous civic organizations within our tribal jurisdictions.”
Director for the Center for Native American and Urban Studies at Oklahoma City University Dr. Kyle Dean conducted the study.
Dr. Dean pointed out that there are many cases in which states compete, offering incentive packages and hoping the businesses find a sweeter deal somewhere else.
“Tribes are not leaving the state,” Dean said. “Ask yourself how much would the state of Oklahoma be willing to pay to attract a business that generates this much economic activity.”
Those complete details can be found in the report here.