Native American Appreciation Day, observed at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
Kiowa Business Committee Chair Amber Topah, and other representatives of the state's 38 tribes, met to listen to Governor Mary Fallin talk about the unity between the tribes and the state.
"You guys let us run free here in the state of Oklahoma. We all come together collectively to show our talent, our heritage and our tradition," Topah told KTOK. "So, we thank the state for recognizing that."
Governor Mary Fallin talked about the tribes' economic impact within the state.
"Tribal operations in Oklahoma generate five-point-six billion dollars in revenue," Fallin said. "Tribes made a direct payroll contribution of one-point-five billion dollars between all the Oklahoma residents employed by the tribes," Fallin said.
One issue not discussed; the battle for southeast Oklahoma water rights between the state and the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations.
"It's an on-going and legal issue I can't talk about today," gubernatorial Native American Liaison Jacque Hensley told reporters.
The Chickasaw and Choctaw nations filed a federal lawsuit against the state, seeking to keep control of water in southeastern Oklahoma. The case is in mediation.
Fallin did talk about the importance of the state and the 38 tribes working in unity for increased public safety and bolstering the state's economy.
"I think it's critical that we all work together as Oklahomans," Fallin said. "That we work together to strengthen Oklahoma and help our relationships grow."
(Gubernatorial Native American Liaison Jacque Hensley, a member of the Kaw Nation.)