University of Oklahoma hosts Indian symposium

Tribal leaders spoke about economic development during the 11th annual Symposium on American Indians at University of Oklahoma on Wednesday.

Kay Rhoads, the principal chief of the Sac & Fox Nation, said the tribe is close to a deal to establish international call centers in Oklahoma and Illinois. "[Y]ou're going to be able to reach somebody that speaks fluent English at the other end," she said, The Oklahoman reported.

Phillip Martin, the chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, said his tribe has become the third-largest employer in the state by luring businesses to the reservation. He called the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act the best economic development vehicle for Indian Country although his tribe is exempt from the law.

Martin said he opposes the IGRA amendments sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), including a provision that would place the tribe under the law. He refused to answer questions about his dealings with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and was confronted during the session by a man from the MOWA Choctaw Tribe of Alabama, an unrecognized tribe.

Get the Story:
American Indian leaders seek new opportunities (The Oklahoman 4/13)

Relevant Links:
University of Oklahoma Native American Studies -

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University of Oklahoma to host Indian symposium (3/30)