Leaders of Five Tribes gather at Chickasaw Nation's Artesian Hotel for Intertribal Council
Cutline: Gov. Bill Anoatubby takes notes during July's Intertribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes at the Chickasaw Nation's new Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, Okla.
SULPHUR, Okla. – The grandeur of the Chickasaw Nation's new Artesian Hotel greeted leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes and dozens of Indian attendees at the quarterly Intertribal Council of Five Civilized Tribes meeting July 11-12.
The official Artesian grand opening is August 2, but leaders of the Five Tribes enjoyed a special preview of the new facility. The new hotel, tribal leaders agreed, was representative of the progress tribes have made in positive economic development.
Choctaw Nation Chief Greg Pyle said it was a source of pride to see the Five Tribes creating jobs and making a positive contribution to the economy.
"The Chickasaws are really to be commended," Chief Pyle said.
Governor Bill Anoatubby noted that construction of the hotel was part of a significant investment the Chickasaw Nation was making in Oklahoma tourism.
"This area was once a tourist Mecca," Gov. Anoatubby said. "We knew if we wanted to build on that history, we needed to make a meaningful investment. So we have invested in this hotel, the Chickasaw Cultural Center, the Bedré Chocolate factory, an art gallery and a visitor center for the Chickasaw National Recreation Area."
Surrounded by the grandeur of the tribe's latest tourism venture, leaders of the Five Tribes took action on a number of issues ranging from support of funding for Haskell Indian Nations University to a task force to study natural gas technologies.
The council passed 10 resolutions, with all resolutions passed unanimously save one calling for the Washington Redskins professional football team to drop "Redskins" from its name. A single dissenting vote was cast on that resolution. Other resolutions approved by the council include:
- Continued support of federal funding for Haskell Indian Nations University, located in Lawrence, Kansas. Because of federal sequestration, the school faces a 15 percent cut in federal funding which the five tribes contend will have "devastating impacts" throughout Indian Country and harm continuing higher education of Native Americans.
- Established an ad hoc committee for food, nutrition and agriculture to serve the tribes. The committee will help the tribes work together toward common food, agriculture and nutrition goals.
- Created a task force to work collectively among the tribes to study natural gas technologies. Suggestions from the task force could potentially reduce fossil fuel emissions and spark a shared commitment of environmental stewardship.
- Created an ad hoc committee on violence against women. The council said it recognizes the devastating impact of domestic and sexual violence on tribal communities and the need to coordinate efforts and responses to effectively address criminal acts of violence against women.
- Supported the appointment of Richard Chissoe to the National Indian Gaming Commission. Chissoe is a member of the Osage Nation.
- Approved a resolution commending Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and President Barack Obama for issuing an executive order creating the White House Council on Native American Affairs.
- Backed a resolution supporting Keith Harper as an outstanding nominee for Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Harper is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
- Passed a resolution opposing the sale of items currently in the possession of the Creek Council House Museum Association that were loaned or donated to it. The Muscokee (Creek) Nation purchased the property – which is on the National Register of Historic Places – but did not purchase the items housed in it. The Creek Council House Museum Association has announced it will sell or auction those artifacts to the public. The council, citing a century of history, culture and arts for the Muscogee (Creek), believes the items should be preserved and retained in perpetuity for educational benefits and enjoyment of the Creek people.