Economic Impact

The Influence of Tribal Nations

For the past 15 years, the Native American tribes of Oklahoma have created one of the most remarkable success stories of modern times. Tribal nations are vital drivers of the Oklahoma economy and their impact can be seen in community after community, household after household. For fiscal year 2017, tribes accounted for:

96,177 Jobs

Supported in the state

$4.6 Billion

In wages & benefits to Oklahoma workers

$12.9 Billion

Annual contribution to the Oklahoma economy

A Billion-Dollar Economic Engine

The tribal nations of Oklahoma were responsible for an incredible economic impact of nearly $13 billion in 2017 alone. In addition to direct contributions by tribal businesses, the tribes generate billions more in production by companies that support their business operations.

Tribes have reinvested in Oklahoma communities like no other industry across the state. The tribal nations are an economic catalyst, as well as a reliable and permanent partner. They don’t operate like a for-profit corporation — they invest in other businesses that employ other Oklahomans. As former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry notes, tribal business is the biggest business we have in Oklahoma. Select an area below to learn more.

Ask yourself, how much would the State of Oklahoma be willing to pay in incentives to attract businesses that generate this much economic activity in the state?

Kyle Dean Associate Professor of Economics Oklahoma City University
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A tribe doesn't have shareholders. It invests back in its people, back in its communities, back in its programs. So a tribe is just taking every dollar it makes and plowing it back into the economy, so you're actually getting a better return.

Scott Meacham Treasurer State of Oklahoma (2005-2011)
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The most vibrant single aspect of Oklahoma’s economy and culture right now is our tribal nations.

Judge Robert Henry President Oklahoma City University (2010-2018)
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