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Tribal Relations

As an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, I am very proud of my heritage and the tremendous accomplishments of tribes in Oklahoma and across our country. The U.S. Constitution and the federal government recognize that Native American tribes are sovereign entities with separate governments and rights that should be honored and respected. Indeed, tribes have a unique relationship with state and local governments, as well as the federal government.

Native Americans are aggressively working toward building Native economies and governments, and I am committed to making sure they have the tools and resources to continue these efforts. Through numerous treaties, as well as legislation, the United States has promised to provide a variety of services and payments to tribes, and I will work to make sure these promises are kept. I support efforts to increase business opportunities and economic development in Indian Country. Specifically, I support the use of tax incentives for businesses that locate or expand on former Indian lands or hire Native Americans and their spouses.  

I believe each tribe, with its own government and rights, should be honored and respected. Tribes should work mutually with the states and the federal government to maintain the integrity of their heritage, culture and legal rights. I also believe the federal government must comply with its trust and treaty obligations. That requires Washington to appropriately fund healthcare, education, infrastructure and law enforcement in Indian Country. 

More on Tribal Relations

September 20, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole will deliver a message from the President at the opening ceremony for the National Museum of the American Indian tomorrow.
September 20, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cole will host an open house at his office in Washington the week of September 20 for constituents in town for the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian.
September 15, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Legislation introduced earlier this year by Congressman Cole passed today out of the Resources Committee and will now proceed to the House floor for consideration.
February 23, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cole released the following statement upon the announcement by leaders of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs and the House Resources Committee today to move ahead with the mediation process concerning the Indian Trust issue.
October 30, 2003 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole voted against the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2004 Conference Report (H.R. 2691), which passed the House 216-205

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