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Oklahoma tribes receive millions from stimulus

BY RANDY ELLIS and PAUL MONIES Modified: November 15, 2009 at 12:05 am •  Published: November 15, 2009

Other top recipients
Joining the Cherokee Nation in receiving more than $10 million each in stimulus grants are the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Choctaw Nation and Chickasaw Nation. They have been awarded $15.3 million, $15.2 million and $13.4 million, respectively.

A review of grant awards shows that many tribes plan to use stimulus funds for housing, Head Start programs, water projects, summer youth employment and to upgrade health care buildings.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation plans to use $139,867 of its stimulus money for a "green initiative” that will include geothermal retrofits and conversions. The Choctaw Nation plans to use $899,999 to improve its response to women who are the victims of violence.

There are 39 tribes in the state, 38 of which are federally recognized, according to the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission.

Some tribes have received little or no money during the initial stages of the stimulus awards process, while others have received awards that amount to thousands of dollars per tribal member.

For example, the Miami Tribe had only received $26,626, or the equivalent of $17 per in-state tribal member, by the close of the most recent reporting period.

The Tonkawa Tribe, on the other hand, had received more than $2.6 million, or the equivalent of about $5,849 per in-state tribal member.

Don Patterson, president of the Tonkawa Tribe, said his tribe is small and small tribes often get shortchanged when it comes to federal funding, so it’s nice to come out on top for a change. The tribe’s largest grant — about $1.9 million — will be used to refurbish about 130 homes, some of which are more than 25 years old, he said.

Other grants will be used for things such as subsidizing child care, improving energy efficiency at the tribal administration building, establishing a program to combat domestic violence and funding a summer youth program, he said.

Use our database to see which Oklahoma tribes received...

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Following is a list of the 10 Oklahoma Indian tribes that had received the most federal stimulus dollars as of Oct. 30. For a list of all Oklahoma tribes receiving stimulus grants as of that date and a description of those grants, go to


→Cherokee Nation: $37.7 million

→Muscogee (Creek) Nation: $15.3 million

→Choctaw Nation: $15.2 million

→Chickasaw Nation: $13.4 million

→Citizen Potawatomi Nation: $8.5 million

→Osage Nation: $6.5 million

→Absentee Shawnee Tribe: $5.9 million

→Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes: $4.8 million

→Seminole Nation: $4.1 million

→Peoria Tribe of Indians: $3 million




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