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September 26, 2019

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Hosts Local Officials

Discusses initiatives, successes and partnerships

TULSA, Oklahoma – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation (MCN) hosted an informational luncheon Wednesday afternoon with more than 20 local officials. Principal Chief James Floyd and MCN Cabinet members highlighted initiatives, successes and strong partnerships within the Nation and the state of Oklahoma.

“We are providing critical services such as healthcare, transportation and education programs to our citizens. We support 8,700 jobs and had an economic impact of $866 million in Oklahoma in 2017,” said Chief Floyd. “The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is thriving.”

The Nation also operates one of the largest tribal health care systems in the state, providing more than 176,000 patient visits annually. Shawn Terry, Secretary of Health provided statistics and data to the gathered leaders.

“We are responsible for providing inpatient, outpatient and referred care to all Native Americans that reside within the boundaries of the Nation,” Terry said. “What many don’t realize, though, is our Okmulgee and Okemah hospitals provide services to non-Indians as well. In these communities we truly are a safety net provider.”

In addition to providing health care, the Nation provides other critical services to Muscogee (Creek) people, including education and training opportunities. The MCN Department of Education and Training provides oversight of comprehensive programs that deliver quality educational opportunities from early childhood through college.

Greg Anderson, Secretary of Education, Employment and Training, told officials, “It is extremely important we continue to improve opportunities for our Native students; that is why we have invested more than $8.4 million in higher education scholarships.”

“We have provided more than $12 million in state and local education support, and we continue to build strong collaborative partnerships with the school districts within our jurisdiction. It is important to us that all children excel – Native and non-Native alike,” said Anderson.

Jesse Allen, MCN Secretary of Interior Affairs rounded out the presentation, sharing how MCN uses Tribal Transportation Program (TTP) funding for roads, bridges and other transportation projects is provided. Allen said, “TTP is an important source of funding that complements ODOT and county budgets.” Through TTP funds, MCN has completed asphalt overlays, road rebuilds, bridge construction and maintenance projects. “The Nation is proud to have invested $35 million dollars in road projects within our jurisdiction,” said Allen.

Following the presentations, the local officials were invited to ask questions and make comments.

Logan Phillips, State Representative (District 24), extended his appreciation to the MCN. “The economic impact of the tribe throughout my district is substantial. Companies come and go, but Muscogee (Creek) Nation is here to stay. The support tribes provide is immense. In my district, we have 24% poverty. The tribes are coming in and building out tremendous facilities. They are providing jobs, road improvements, and even fresh food in our food desserts. I greatly appreciate the work the Nation is doing.”

Senator Dave Rader (District 39), offered the following remarks, “I’ve only been in the legislature for three years, but any time you can meet with the Nation, especially the Chief, it’s worthwhile to attend. The information presented today was extremely beneficial, particularly the health care presentation. The Nation is providing healthcare for all of Oklahoma – both Natives and non-Natives, and acts as a true safety-net in many of the rural communities. This information is very valuable for me.”

The luncheon provided an opportunity for the Nation and local officials to share and discuss issues important to all citizens. Muscogee (Creek) Nation is pleased to continue cultivating partnerships that work toward a better Oklahoma.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is the fourth-largest federally recognized tribe in the United States, headquartered in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. MCN has more than 87,000 citizens, 75 percent of which live in Oklahoma.