Wednesday, December 5, 2012 2:53 pm
The Oklahoma Army National Guard announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town of Okemah, Okla. The MOU deals primarily with issues encountered during new construction and renovation of Oklahoma Army National Guard properties.
The signing ceremony, which took place on Nov. 29, was hosted by the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town at their Tribal Headquarters in Okemah. The MOU was signed by Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, the adjutant general for Oklahoma, and Town King George Scott, of Thlopthlocco Tribal Town. Also in attendance were select members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard and Thlopthlocco Tribal Town Leadership.
The MOU establishes the consultation protocol between the Oklahoma Army National Guard and the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town. The protocol includes the preferred method of communication, points of contact, types of projects or issues on which the Tribe wishes to be notified, and the Tribal area of interest.
In addition, the MOU outlines certain stipulations, such as maintaining a cultural resources awareness training program, maintaining the right of tribal groups to visit sacred sites on Oklahoma Army National Guard controlled property and sharing of historical research. The MOU streamlines the consultation process reducing the cost and time spent on consultation for each party. The agreement also signifies the Oklahoma Army National Guard 's dedication to preserving cultural resources.
“Native American culture is an important part of the culture of Oklahoma and we are very happy to have reached this agreement with the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town,” said Maj. Gen. Myles Deering. “Through this agreement, the Oklahoma Army National Guard and the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town will be able to protect our interests without an extensive amount of red tape costing the tribe and taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a year.”
The Oklahoma Army National Guard is currently working on similar agreements with more than two dozen Oklahoma Native American tribes.
Read more stories from The Oklahoma National Guard.