NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Jari Askins says Oklahoma's government should continue its efforts to foster strong working relationships with the state's 39 American Indian tribes.
Askins spoke Tuesday in Norman during the annual Indian Country Business Summit. She says tribal interests and businesses have a combined economic impact of $15 billion in Oklahoma and that she "shudders to think what would happen" if there was not a strong tribal business presence in Oklahoma.
She says the tribes often have taken the lead in recent years in building bridges, roads and health clinics and that Oklahoma's future success depends on continuing "strong partnerships" between the state and tribes.