Tribes and Self-Determination
Tribal sovereignty, which is the authority of a government body to govern itself, not only predates Oklahoma but America as well. As Oklahoma was seeking admittance to the Union as the 46th state, the 1906 Statehood Enabling Act required that Oklahoma not interfere with the interests of the tribes or their lands.
From the founding fathers who recognized the importance of tribal governments, to the era of self- determination, to legislation that propelled tribes toward self-sufficiency, history is clear. When tribal sovereignty is supported, towns, counties and states are stronger. As attorney William Norman notes, “Tribal sovereignty is not a threat to the state of Oklahoma.”
When state leaders and tribal leaders respect one another, communicate with one another and can be frank with one another about their challenges, they tend to be able to sit down and problem-solve.
Firmly Rooted to Be Strong Partners
Tribal sovereigns are just like any other sovereign. Tribal peoples are like other peoples. They want what’s best for their kids. They want what’s best for their communities.
Tribes have been here for millennia and we are woven into the fabric of every community that we’re involved in.
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association
The state government and the tribal governments are sovereigns. They have unique statutory and constitutional powers, both at the federal government and the state government.
State of Oklahoma (1995-2003)
Tribal sovereignty is poorly understood by most people. The argument is we’re all Americans, we shouldn’t have a separate kind of government. But we did, before America existed as a matter of fact.
Ambassador at Large
November 8, 2023
November 3, 2023
November 9, 2023