House passes bill to help Miami Nation with outdated charter

Leaders of the Miami Nation of Oklahoma, from left to right: First Councilperson Donya Williams, Second Councilperson Scott Willard, Chief Doug Lankford, Secretary-Treasurer Sarah Lawson and Second Chief Dustin Olds. Photo from Miami Nation

A bill to help the Miami Nation of Oklahoma resolve a longstanding governance issue was approved by the House today.

The tribe's corporate charter was approved in 1940 as part of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. The document is outdated but changing it is nearly impossible -- the process involves several steps at the tribal and federal level.

H.R.533 helps the tribe by simply revoking the charter. The bill passed by a voice vote on Monday afternoon.

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: House Debate on Indian Bills

“Tonight, we are one step closer to removing the outdated, unnecessary corporate charter of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma," Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) said in a press release. "Although the tribe has the authority to manage business affairs and adopt tribal law, this federal charter continues to create hurdles for investors, business partners, and potential customers."

“As lawmakers, our job in Congress is to foster an atmosphere that promotes economic growth across the country. I take this responsibility very seriously. I wrote this bill because these charters can only be removed literally by an Act of Congress," added Mullin, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. "I am pleased to have received bipartisan support on this measure.”

The Senate version of the bill is S.321. It's been approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and it awaits action on the floor.

Related Stories
Bill to benefit Miami Nation moves forward in House and Senate (03/27)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee business meeting and hearing (02/23)
Lawmakers introduce bill to allow Miami Nation to revoke charter (01/30)
House backs measure to allow Miami Nation to revoke charter (06/24)
House Natural Resources Committee approves Miami Nation bill (04/10)

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