Oklahoma governor signs compacts with Kaw Nation

Oklahoma has its first agreement with a tribal nation — the Kaw Nation — on the issues and execution of burn bans. Oklahoma also renewed a tobacco compact with the tribe.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: March 12, 2013
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The state of Oklahoma has its first intergovernmental agreement with a tribal nation on the issuance and execution of burn bans.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Kaw Nation Chairman Guy Munroe signed a compact Monday on the burn ban as well as renewing the state's compact concerning tobacco taxes.

The burn ban compact was the idea of Kaw Nation officials, who are based in Kay County in northern Oklahoma, according to the governor's office.

“In recent years, we've seen the devastating toll that wildfires have had in Oklahoma,” Fallin said. “I appreciate the Kaw Nation for working with the state on an innovative burn ban compact that will help prevent and control wildfires in our state.”

The Kaw Nation's tobacco compact was set to expire June 30. It is the first expiring tobacco compact that the Fallin administration has renegotiated.

The agreement sets the terms of taxation on the sale of tobacco products on tribal land.

“We recognize and appreciate the unique cultural and economic contributions of the tribes to our state, Fallin said. “The signing of these compacts will provide both the state and Kaw Nation with new revenue that will enhance the availability and quality of government services for all Oklahomans, especially the tribal and nontribal members in north central Oklahoma which the Kaw Nation already serves.”

Munroe said he is pleased with how negotiations went with the state.

“The Kaw Nation appreciates the effort and understanding that Gov. Fallin and her staff have brought to these negotiations,” Munroe said. “These compacts provide certainty to the Kaw Nation and provide a foundation for a continuing strong relationship between the Kaw Nation and the state for the benefit of our members and the members of our local community.”