3-state pantribal group taking form

By Judy Gibbs Robinson Published: October 13, 2006
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/> That led to an initiative called "Native Vote United," which will hold a get-out-the-vote rally at 11 a.m. Oct. 21 at the Reed Center in Midwest City.

Summit attendance ranged from a low of 17 tribes to a high of 28, but only eight were represented Thursday morning, when the organization was supposed to elect a chairman, vice chairman and sergeant at arms.

The vote was postponed until Oct. 24, when tribal leaders will be in Tulsa to attend an economic summit.

The delay disappointed Darrell Flyingman, chairman of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes, which co-hosted the meeting with the Comanche Nation.

"I'm disappointed that our leadership hasn't shown up. They need to get behind it because this organization can do a lot of things for our people," Flyingman said.

Others urged patience.

"Don't get too discouraged about the turnout. It will happen -- I guarantee it," said Jerry Bread, representing Sac & Fox Chief Kay Rhoades.

Some politicians already see the group as a way to solicit the Indian vote. At each meeting since July, candidates for statewide office have appeared -- sometimes at their own request.

"We were astounded because they were finding out the tribes were making an impact, not only economically but politically as well," Tiger said.

Warner predicted the organization will become an important voice in Oklahoma.

"Any time you have a large group that has a common thread that has a single voice, there's strength in that. And people will listen," she said.


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