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Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Suspends Membership Of Two Tribes

The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association announced Thursday that they are suspending the membership of the Otoe Missouria Tribe and the Comanche Nation.

During an emergency meeting on Wednesday night, the OIGA voted to amend the bylaws to allow for the suspensions. In a statement, OIGA said that the suspensions were due to "conduct not in the best interest of the Association as a whole." This was in response to the compacts both tribes negotiated last month with Governor Kevin Stitt.

OIGA Chairman Matt Morgan said it was a tough but necessary decision and that it came down to trust.

"For the OIGA to have the ability to talk strategically about the compact and what each member is doing and how they feel and being open and direct with those communications, that they had to feel comfortable with the folks in the room," Morgan said.

In an email statement, the Comanche Nation and the Oteo Missouria Tribe maintain that that the compacts they negotiated with the governor are legal.

The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association also voted to cancel its upcoming conference and trade show due to the unfolding COVID 19 pandemic. The annual conference was slated for July 27-29 in Tulsa and draws thousands of participants from all over the country.

Morgan said it wasn't a decision made lightly, but that the health and safety of participants was important.

Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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