Indian lawmakers in Oklahoma seek to organize

Oklahoma's Indian lawmakers are seeking to organize an informal caucus to serve as a liaison between the state Legislature and tribes.

Rep. Lisa Johnson-Billy (R), a member of the Chickasaw Nation, and Rep. Paul Wesselhoft (R), a member of the Citizen Potawatomie Nation, have so far identified a total of nine Indian lawmakers in the House. Once final tallies from the Senate come in, the number of Indian lawmakers could rival or top Montana, which has eight Indian lawmakers.

Some notable Native Americans who have served in the Oklahoma Legislature include Kelly Haney, a member of the Seminole Nation, former assistant secretary Neal McCaleb, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, current U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R) and his late mother, Helen, of the Chickasaw Nation.

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Lawmakers hope to form coalition (The Daily Oklahoman 3/13)