Within the beautiful state of Oklahoma, there are 39 recognized tribes of Native Americans residing across sovereign jurisdictions. Native American citizens are identified by having evidence of Indian Blood; However, this requirement may vary depending on the particular tribe that is determined. The Bureau of Census also calculates such identification to maintain federal recognition as citizens are accounted for.
How Do Tribes Become Federally Recognized?
Becoming federally recognized can be a lengthy process, which some tribes are still applying for today. Hundreds of tribes across the country do not hold a federal status and continue to await application approval.
Indigenous people are identified as the American Indians or Alaska Natives, being some of the earliest inhabitants of our homeland. The commonalities seen across the 39 tribes in Oklahoma are their establishments of social, political, and religious presence; There is also a language or dialect that is typically well versed by all members. This definitive cultural background gives tribal communities a growing connection as time transforms the support and interactions between American and Native citizens.
How is Oklahoma Building Tribes that Thrive?
Each tribe has established its existence through public representations, including websites that contain overviews of history and culture, services, government, business, careers, news outlooks, and other information about the health and wealth of tribal citizens. Some nations have also recently offered relief programs to their members amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nations have stimulated their tribal communities by distributing up to two thousand dollars for each family member in a household. There are many services offered by tribal nations, which can vary from tribe to tribe. For example, the Chickasaw Nation aids citizens of all ages with programs spanning many categories, such as homeownership, rental assistance, primary and secondary education, clothing/food, cultural enrichment, and much more.
From generation to generation, tribal members continue to hold core values that have withstood the test of time since before American settlements. As the Nations build resilience against community threats, the tribal gaming business has continued to thrive in support of its citizens.
Tribal nations include luxury gaming experiences as one of the many possible revenue services. Guests can relax and mingle throughout the various casinos and resorts offered by approximately 33 of the 39 recognized tribes residing in Oklahoma. With over 140 gaming facilities across the state, tribal gaming has flourished by providing communities with career opportunities, and most importantly, funding for its citizens.
Visitors may notice that sovereign territory is also well-maintained and protected by tribal treaties across our state. Native territories can be found with welcoming facilities of cultural centers, hospitals, and other necessary constructs to best support their citizens and surrounding communities.