conference at Quartz Mountain
A very unique opportunity will take place Oct. 28-31 at the Quartz Mountain Resort. Designated by the Oklahoma Centennial Commission as an official Centennial program, The Oklahoma Academy will hold its 2007 Town Hall Conference to explore how best to build alliances and partnerships with tribal governments, municipalities and private sector entities. The Town Hall conference title is “Oklahoma's Second Century: Building Alliances with Tribal Governments, State and Local Governments and Private Sectors.”
Oklahoma is home to 37 federally recognized tribes and their governments. These tribes are generally categorized as The Five Tribes, Great Lakes Tribes and Plains Tribes. Oklahoma is the largest state with a significant proportion of Native American residents. Oklahoma is the only state with a significant Native American population that does not have a specified reservation. These facts make Oklahoma nationally unique.
Since The Oklahoma Academy believes that uniqueness always offers opportunity, the 2007 Town Hall Conference is organized to explore how to best leverage that uniqueness for the benefit of everyone living in the state. Organized to address the four areas listed below, the Town Hall will discuss alliances that have been - or are - successful, investigate and develop ideas for new and improved alliances and suggest approaches to facilitate these alliances.
Education & Workforce
Health Care & Social Services
Economic Development & Tourism
Infrastructure & Transportation
“As the title indicates, the 2007 Town Hall will focus on how we in Oklahoma can build alliances among and between tribal governments and our state and local governments and the private sector to everyone's benefit,” said Doug Branch, Biotech Law Associates, Norman and 2007 Academy Chairman. “Tribal governments and state and local governments have many overlapping activities and goals and are spending millions each year to provide services and build public infrastructure. The Town Hall will explore how tribal and non-tribal alliances may yield “win-win” situations - or better yet - benefits that neither party could possibly achieve independently. In recognizing that each entity has something to offer and share with the other, participants can identify areas where alliances can benefit all Oklahomans. If we can find creative ways to work together and with the private sector, all Oklahomans will benefit,” Branch added.
“One hundred forty people will meet at Quartz Mountain ready to participate,” said Julie Knutson, President & CEO of the Academy. The Town Hall participants were carefully invited to demographically reflect the geographic, occupational, social, cultural, political and economic make up of the state. “We have a very good balance in representation of tribal, non-tribal, public sector and private sector, and as always, we provide scholarships to upper level university students to participate,” said Knutson. Participants were provided with advance research materials bearing on the topic. They will spend two days of intense small group discussions and a half-day final plenary session that will result in democratic consensus on the issues and mutual formulation of recommendations. They will be encouraged to identify and develop recommendations that can be implemented through action in our own State of Oklahoma - recommendations that are within our power as a state to change.
Howard Barnett, TSF Capital, Tulsa and former Chief of Staff to Governor Frank Keating has served on the Planning Committee for this Town Hall. He stated “The Town Hall is not trying to challenge tribal sovereignty or its limits. That is addressed in the US Constitution and it is a federal issue that cannot be changed locally. It is going to explore how to better work with the reality of sovereignty and build opportunities that are true win-win situations for all Oklahoma citizens.”
Lt. Governor Jari Askins will welcome the 2007 Town Hall Participants and will give them the formal charge of finding solutions and making recommendations for the betterment of all Oklahomans. Plenary session speakers addressing the 2007 Town Hall on Sunday evening will be:
Neal McCaleb, McCaleb Associates, Edmond and consultant to the Chickasaw Nation. His topic is “Sovereignty and the Role of the Federal Government”
Brad Carson, CEO, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Catoosa. His topic is “Compacts; Taxes and Level Playing Fields”
Monday luncheon plenary session speakers will be:
Phil Busey, Chairman & CEO, The Busey Group, Oklahoma City is a member of the Delaware Tribe and the Cherokee Nation. His topic is “The Significance for Alliances between Tribal governments, Education, Business and State Government for Oklahoma's Future.”
Lawrence Hart, Executive Director, Cheyenne cultural Center. His topic will be “Cultural and Artistic Aspects; Communicating Between Tribes and Communicating with Non Tribal”
Monday evening plenary session speakers will be:
Jay Hannah, Executive Vice President Financial Services, BancFirst, Oklahoma City and a member of the Cherokee Nation and
Kirke Kickingbird with Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP, Oklahoma City and a member of the Kiowa Tribe. They will address “Using All of Our Resources; Barriers to Building Alliances; and Living & Working in Both Worlds”
Tuesday luncheon plenary session speaker will be:
Scott Meacham, State Treasurer, Oklahoma City. He will address “State Government's Perspective on Compacts; Economic Impact from the Tribes”
The Oklahoma AcademyIs a citizen-based organization for nonpartisan public policy development. For more than two decades it has remained an effective nonpartisan grassroots catalyst for formulating and implementing public policy designed to improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans. The Academy's membership includes individuals from all geographic locations and varied vocational background who are interested and committed to improving public policy and the direction of Oklahoma's future for all.