Oklahoma Indian economic impact

Another study demonstrates the importance of American Indian tribal economic activities to state economies.

A new study of tribes in Oklahoma, http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Article/Index/6724, demonstrates the impact and contribution of the 39 federally recognized tribes on that state's economy equals $10.8 billion, according to an economic impact analysis released by Oklahoma City University.

The study also found that tribal activities support the equivalent of 87,174 jobs in Oklahoma, as well as $2.5 billion in state income when considering multiplier impacts.

The report, “The Statewide Impacts of Oklahoma Tribes,” was funded by several American Indian tribal governments to quantify the impact of tribal activities on the state’s economy and was also sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

“This study represents the first time that economists have attempted to quantify the total direct and indirect impact of all tribal operations to the state economy,” Kyle Dean, associate director and research economist at OCU’s Meinders School of Business, said. “The results show that the tribes’ economic activities positively impact the entire state of Oklahoma and serve as a vital source of income and opportunity to residents in the rural areas of the state.”

In addition to $6.7 billion in direct contributions to the local economy from tribal businesses and government spending, tribes accounted for $4.1 billion in spillover production by non-tribal firms to support tribal operations. The total direct and indirect economic impact represents 7 percent of the state’s $148 billion total economic output in 2010.

The seven Oklahoma tribes that participated in the study were the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Citizen Potawatomi Nation and Muscogee (Creek) nations and the Peoria and Shawnee tribes.

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