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Tribal Chairman – John ‘Rocky’ Barrett


Recently we commissioned a study looking at Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s economic impact on Pottawatomie County and the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which shows that CPN’s impact reached $467 million in the region. Our total impact for all areas has surpassed $500 million for many years, and we are the largest employer in Pottawatomie County.

In the report, we analyzed CPN spending in three areas: government, enterprise and capital expenditures from 2016 operations. The analysis estimated CPN exerts a regional economic impact of $467 million that supports 3,396 jobs and $128.1 million in payroll.

We are proud that the growth our tribe experienced over the past two decades manifests itself in such a positive impact on the overall community. It is our goal to continue CPN’s growth and contributions to prosperity in the region.

These findings are similar to what we found when Joseph Kalt, Ford Foundation professor (emeritus) of International Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, studied our local economy in 2016.

At that time, he was looking to find whether the State of Oklahoma has an “uncompensated burdens” from our tribal operations. His report stated that Oklahoma did not and that it benefits from having a wealthy neighbor — or getting (a) wealthier neighbor that now produces its own GDP, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, which benefits the State of Oklahoma.

Kalt also found that the imposition by of the tax on CPN would be contrary to the United States’ federal interest in the economic self-sufficiency and effective self-government of federally recognized tribes like Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

However, as the State of Oklahoma continues to face a budget shortfall, it will continue to seek revenue sources. Because tribes throughout the state have been successful in managing their operations and budgets, they are often considered piggybanks.

Some of CPN’s economic contributions include:

• 2,804 scholarships worth almost $6 million.

• assistance for 182 down payments on homes and over 25,000 rides provided for the elderly.

• $2.4 million in CPN charitable contributions, accounted for in various subcategories throughout the report.

As we look to the future, we hope to continue our growth trajectory, enhance the services we provide to the more than 33,000 tribal citizens and remain a partner in the progress of the region. Hopefully, we will be able to do this without the continued interference from the State of Oklahoma.

(Thank you),
John ‘Rocky’ Barrett
(He Leads Them Home)
Tribal Chairman