OKLAHOMA CITY--()--The impact and contribution of the 38 federally recognized tribes in Oklahoma on the state economy equals $10.8 billion dollars according to an economic impact analysis released today by the Steven C. Agee Economic Research & Policy Institute (ERPI) at Oklahoma City University. The ERPI study additionally found that tribal activities support the equivalent of 87,174 jobs in Oklahoma, as well as $2.5 billion in state income when multipliers impacts are taken into account.
“Now, this groundbreaking study allows our contribution to the state to be quantified. Going forward, our desire is to continue to partner with the state government to achieve long-term growth for all Oklahomans.”
The report, "The Statewide Impacts of Oklahoma Tribes," was funded by several Native American tribal governments to quantify the impact of tribal activities on the economy of the state of Oklahoma, and was also founded and sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
“This study represents the first time that economists have attempted to quantify the total direct and indirect impact of all tribal operations to the state economy,” said Kyle Dean, Ph.D, associate director and research economist at the Oklahoma City University Meinders School of Business. “The results show that the tribes’ economic activities positively impact the entire state of Oklahoma and serve as a vital source of income and opportunity to residents in the rural areas of the state.”
In addition to $6.7 billion in direct contributions to the local economy from tribal businesses and government spending, tribes accounted for $4.1 billion in spillover production of non-tribal firms that support their operations. In fact, the total direct and indirect economic impact represents seven percent of the state’s $148 billion total economic output in 2010, based on figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Oklahoma’s Secretary of Commerce, Dave Lopez, said, "This economic impact analysis shows that Oklahoma tribal governments have a significant and positive impact on Oklahoma's overall economy. As made evident by the results in the study, Oklahoma’s tribes provide economic opportunities and growth to many Oklahomans -- particularly in rural areas of the state. The study also notes the value of essential education, health, social and economic development services the tribes provide directly to their respective citizens."
Seven Oklahoma tribes participated in the study: the Cherokee Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, the Choctaw Nation, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the Peoria Tribe and the Shawnee Tribe. ERPI collected business and government data from participating tribes, compiled the data and then extrapolated it to all Oklahoma tribes on a per citizen basis in order to capture total tribal spending, business revenues and employment figures. Then, study authors used this data to determine the multiplier effect of tribal economic activities -- the number of non-tribal jobs and income supported by the tribes.
"Tribal operations of the 38 tribes who call Oklahoma home touch every corner of the state,” commented Bill Anoatubby, governor of the Chickasaw Nation. “We are deeply committed to finding innovative ways to increase the quantity and quality of economic opportunities available. This study highlights the fact that reinvestment of tribal business revenues makes a significant contribution to the Oklahoma economy by creating new jobs, funding essential services and building communities.”
The study found that the tribes generated $5.6 billion from business activities, including professional services, hospitality and entertainment, gaming and retail operations. In addition, tribal expenditures include $1.5 billion in direct payroll contributions and $792 million to Oklahoma entities for medical care, education, social services and economic development opportunities for tribal citizens. The study also reported that Oklahoma tribes employed 53,747 people in 2010, with approximately one-third employed by tribal governments and the remainder employed by tribal businesses.
“We have always known that the tribal operations and economic development activities of the Cherokee Nation and the other Oklahoma tribes have had a strong positive social and economic impact on our citizens and the entire state of Oklahoma," said Principal Chief Bill John Baker of the Cherokee Nation. "Now, this groundbreaking study allows our contribution to the state to be quantified. Going forward, our desire is to continue to partner with the state government to achieve long-term growth for all Oklahomans.”
“This report confirms the substantial positive impact that tribal businesses are having on Oklahoma’s entire economy,” commented Chief Greg Pyle, Choctaw Nation. “The study erases any doubt as to whether tribal economic activities and investments in business enterprises are bolstering Oklahoma’s economy. They are having a huge impact, especially in rural Oklahoma where jobs are historically in short supply.”
Native American tribes have 483,000 citizens living in the state, representing close to 13 percent of Oklahoma’s entire population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
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