Senator Lankford Chairs Indian Affairs Committee Field Hearing in Oklahoma
ANADARKO, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) led a Senate Indian Affairs Committee field hearing on Wednesday in Anadarko, Oklahoma to highlight Indian-owned businesses and discuss policies that help foster economic development in Native American communities.
The hearing, entitled “Advancing Economic Success in Indian Country,” served as a forum for Tribes and Native American business owners and community development officials to examine paths to economic success and discuss common barriers faced by some in their community.
“It’s great to hear directly from Native Americans in Oklahoma about their path to entrepreneurial success,” said Lankford. “There are still challenges ahead, but today’s hearing served as a substantive forum to examine what’s working and where we can foster a nurturing environment to achieve successful private sector development in Indian country. As we move forward, the testimony we heard from today’s hearing will help us work together with Tribal governments and communities to foster economic growth for years to come.”
Notable Witness Comments From The Hearing:
Frank Narcomey, President of Southwind Construction Services, LLC said, “As Managing Member and majority owner of Southwind Construction Services LLC, I was able to: utilize past performance experience; reward two key employees an ownership stake for their dedication and loyalty; and provide better management oversight and decision making…. To date, Southwind Construction Services maintains annual revenues of $25 million, employs thirty five people, and has helped a number of both individual and tribally owned 8(a) companies develop their businesses.”
Dottie Overall, District Director for the Small Business Administration said, “We are committed to innovations that will allow us to serve and assist Native American-owned business in Oklahoma and across America”
Dennis Ruttman, the Superintendent of the Caddo Kiowa Tech Center (CKTC), said, “…86% of our students complete their training at CKTC and 89% of those get jobs in the area they trained for…People which could work directly with us, our students and businesses, perhaps even office at our facility to work with our tribal students and businesses in the area. It’s a small step which could have a big impact.”
Earlier in the day, Senator Lankford and U.S. Representative Tom Cole (OK-04) toured the Riverside Indian School with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.