PAWNEE, OKLAHOMA — The quarterly meeting of the United Indian Nations of Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas will be held at the Pawnee Nation on Monday, January 30, 2017 in Pawnee, Oklahoma. The Trump administration’s treatment of tribal nations will be a key topic of discussion.
“It’s timely given the movements in Washington, D.C. with the new Trump administration,” says Margo Gray, an officer of the inter-tribal group. “I think it is important President Trump understands the needs in Indian Country.”
Some 20 American Indian tribes from three states will be represented at the meeting. Topics will include potential changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare. American Indians are concerned that provisions written into the ACA will be taken out in the repeal of the health law.
“One thing I am grateful for is Congressman Tom Cole. He has been there for us in Washington with our concerns,” commented Gray. Rep. Cole, who represents Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional district, is a tribal citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, based in Ada, Oklahoma. Cole was a key supporter the addition to ACA of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, an act that garnered Congressional action when it was an independent stand alone bill.
Other topics that have been in the news during the early stages of the Trump administration will also be discussed, such as the presidential memoranda signed by President Trump last Tuesday, January 24, 2017 that is calling for the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines to be completed.
Ernie Stevens, Jr., chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association is expected to be present to discuss possible changes to Indian Country from the Trump administration.