(Stroud, Oklahoma)- The Sac and Fox Nation Business Committee conveys their appreciation to Oklahoma Speaker of the House Charles McCall, Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat and Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter for their recent comments on the gaming compacts.
Speaker McCall and President Pro Tempore Treat released a joint statement in response to Governor Kevin Stitt’s announcement on April 21st that he executed gaming compacts with the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, respectively. Attorney General Hunter also released a statement in response to the Governor’s announcement.
“I appreciate Oklahoma’s legislative leadership and chief legal officer sharing their interpretation of the gaming compacts announced this week. Their message is clear: the compacts contain provisions that are not authorized under Oklahoma law,” stated Principal Chief Justin F. Wood. “It is obvious the compacts signed this week are not legally sufficient. Governor Stitt lacks the authority to authorize sports betting. He cannot unilaterally change Oklahoma law. The Oklahoma Legislature must take action to authorize sports betting before it can be included in the compacts.”
“The Sac and Fox Nation respects the sovereignty of all tribal governments. Tribal governments have the right to self-determination and the ability to pursue economic development,” Chief Wood said. “I respect my fellow tribal leaders and understand they must act in the best interest of their tribal citizens.”
In July 2019, the Sac and Fox Nation Business Committee passed a resolution affirming the gaming compact’s evergreen provision provides for the automatic renewal of the compact on January 1, 2020. Chief Wood emphasized that nothing has changed; the compact automatically renewed on January 1, 2020.
“Governor Stitt’s approach to the gaming compacts has been disappointing. A true government-to-government relationship must be based on respect and communication. In the end, these actions hurt all Oklahomans. We are facing a crisis. We must focus our resources and time on ensuring all Oklahomans emerge from this pandemic healthy and poised to help rebuild our economy,” said Chief Wood. “I appreciate and affirm the comments made by Speaker McCall, President Pro Tempore Treat and Attorney General Hunter.”
The Sac and Fox Nation is a federally recognized tribal nation of over 4,000 enrolled members. The Nation is led by the Business Committee, comprised of five elected officials: Principal Chief Justin Wood, Second Chief Don Abney, Secretary Jacklyn King, Treasurer Jared King, and Committee Member Robert Williamson. The Nation’s jurisdiction lies in portions of Payne, Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties, with the capitol complex located outside of Stroud.