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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

December 8, 2009 Speech

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Congressmen Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), Co-Chairs of the House Native American Caucus, praised today’s announcement of a long-awaited settlement of the Cobell lawsuit regarding the mismanagement of over 300,000 individual Indian trust accounts by the U.S. Government.

September 30, 2008 Weekly Columns
During a time of war, keeping tactical communications veiled from enemies is critically important. In World War I a special group of individuals were in charge of keeping the United States' tactical messages a secret from the enemy.
October 8, 2007 Weekly Columns
Last week I had the privilege of attending the Standing Bear Museum and Education Center dedication in Ponca City.
May 19, 2005 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole announced today that the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) will now be accepting applications for 2005 grants.
April 6, 2005 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cole spoke on the House floor today in support of legislation to ease restrictions on federal housing money available to American Indian tribal governments.
September 28, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed by voice vote the Chickasaw National Recreation Area Land Exchange Act of 2004 (H.R. 4066) that was introduced by Congressman Tom Cole.
September 23, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole voted today for a comprehensive tax relief package that will ease tax obligations on America's families and businesses.
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.