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Osage Congress to consider resolution rejecting Gov. Stitt’s proposal

The Sixth Osage Nation Congress will consider a resolution to reject Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s claim that the gaming compact between the Osage Nation and the state must be renegotiated.

The resolution comes after Stitt sent a letter to Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear on Aug. 13 claiming he had already spoken with 13 tribes in their respective communities about renegotiating the gaming compacts tribes share with Oklahoma to operate gaming establishments.

Tribal leaders are standing united in that the original Model Gaming Compact passed in 2004 by the Oklahoma legislature will automatically renew on Jan. 1, 2020. Stitt is arguing that the gaming compacts do not automatically renew, and the compacts must be renegotiated. It has been reported Stitt wants tribes to pay more in exclusivity fees to the state.

“I recommend, if possible and agreeable to the Tribes, that the State and Tribes begin compact discussions on September 3, 2019, or a later date that is mutually agreeable,” he wrote in the letter. “I am designating Attorney General Mike Hunter and his office to be an active leader on behalf of the State in these discussions alongside my office.”

Sept. 3 is also the start date for the 24-day Osage Congressional Tzi-Zho Session, when the Nation’s 12 legislators will consider the Nation’s budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.

According to the resolution filed by Osage Congressman Eli Potts, ONCR 19-19, the Nation entered into the Model Gaming Compact with the state on Dec. 16, 2004, and it was approved by the Secretary of the Interior on Feb. 9, 2005, allowing the Nation to operate Class III gaming machines as provided by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Nation currently operates seven casinos within the boundaries of the Osage Reservation.

According to a July 23 letter to Stitt from the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, signed by 29 tribal leaders including Standing Bear, the rates under the present gaming compact should not change.

“They represent promises made by the State of Oklahoma and the Tribes,” according to the letter. “Promises we intend to fulfill now and in the future, and we expect the State to do the same.”


By

Shannon Shaw Duty


Original Publish Date: 2019-08-19 00:00:00

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Shannon Shaw Dutyhttps://osagenews.org
Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the OU College of Law. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award, NAJA’s highest honor. An Osage tribal member, she and her family are from the Grayhorse District. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and six children.
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