Oklahoma has a rich American Indian history. The tribal nations headquartered here—39 in all, 38 federally recognized—are vital contributors to this state and their respective communities.
Unlike a business or other entity that may relocate, the tribes are permanent citizens of this state. They employ people here. They create jobs here. The infrastructure they build will always be here. And the tribes will always be here ... forever calling Oklahoma home.
Tribal nations from across the state have united in opposition to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s attempt to repudiate the State-Tribal Gaming Compacts. The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes signed a resolution on July 12, 2019 rejecting both the state’s attempt to terminate the compact and request to negotiate an entirely new Class III gaming compact. The resolution supports the continued exclusivity fee structure and amounts outlined in the compact.
On July 23, 2019, 29 tribes signed a letter reiterating they are under no obligation to renegotiate the state’s gaming compacts but would be receptive to hearing a proposal from Gov. Stitt. The Nine Tribes in Ottawa County signed a similar resolution.
On August 22, 2019, 34 tribes signed a resolution indicating a unified commitment to the terms of the gaming compact. They requested that Gov. Stitt acknowledge the auto-renewal under Part 15 before any substantive proposal would be considered.
On September 9, 2019, the Osage Nation signed a resolution disagreeing with Gov. Stitt’s interpretation of the gaming compact and his claim that it must be renegotiated. They noted that they stand with the other tribes in Oklahoma who have expressed the same position through the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes.
On October 15, 2019, 30 tribal nations signed a response to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter seeking to secure the proper interpretation of Part 15.B of the state-tribal gaming compacts. That section regards the evergreen nature of the compacts and the fact that they will automatically renew for successive 15-year terms.
On November 5, 2019, following a meeting between tribal leaders and AG Hunter on October 28, 31 tribal nations sent a letter addressing the State’s argument against compact renewal and noted that it is not supported by any facts or law. Based upon that, they concluded that arbitration is not presently justified.
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