The Cheyenne and Arapaho Economic Development program transitioned to The Department of Business in 2018 upon the recommendation of the Executive Office and action by the Legislature and Tribal Council. The Department continues to operate by the guiding principles set out in the Tribes’ 2017-2021 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS Plan).
The goal of the department is to develop, grow, expand, and maintain sustainable long-term tribal businesses. The primary programs within the Department of Business are:
- Fire Management
2018 – A Year In Review
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes’ Executive Branch, Legislative Branch and Tribal Council took the following actions in 2018:
May 8, 2018: The Legislature passed the resolution to establish the Department of Business, subject to the approval of the Tribal Council.
May 8, 2018: The Legislature passed the resolution to enter into a Cooperative Agreement for Wildland Fire Management with the BIA Southern Plains Regional Office.
June 26, 2018: The Legislature passed the resolution approving the Federal Charter of Incorporation for the establishment of a Federally Chartered Business Development Corporation that is a legal entity wholly owned by the Tribes. The resolution petitions the Secretary of Interior to issue the Federal Charter of Incorporation.
August 4, 2018: The Tribal Council passed the resolution Establishing the Department of Business.
August 30, 2018: The Legislature passed the resolution confirming Nathan Hart to the position of Executive Director, Department of Business. The primary activities for the Department of Business are Fire Management, Construction, and Agriculture. Fire Management. Program personnel were involved in the emergency management planning for the 286,196 acres Rhea wildfire in Northwest Oklahoma during the month of April. Personnel worked closely with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Southern States Incident Management Team. A full-time Fire Management Coordinator was hired by the Department in July. A grant award of $47,614 was received in August from the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The Fire Management Program currently has four certified wildland firefighters and is undergoing active recruitment for additional firefighters. The current wildland firefighters have been on fires in Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Montana.
The Construction activities have completed or will perform work on the following projects in 2018: Dilapidated building demolition at Concho, Concho Head Start earthwork, Canton Gymnasium parking lot construction, Canton Lagoon construction, Clinton Indian Baptist Church parking lot renovation, Colony old school clean-up, Colony new building construction. Agriculture. The Tribes were the successful bidder in May for the purchase of 65 bison from the State of Oklahoma, Foss State Park. The Tribes bison herd has grown to approximately 400 head. The Tribes completed a 2-year soil health agreement with the Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, the first of its kind between the NRCS.
A Food Sovereignty Assessment was completed to compile data to assist the Department in developing plans for producing food for the tribal membership. The Department is nearing completion of feasibility studies to establish a meat processing facility and Feed production facility at Concho. The agriculture program will have approximately 1,400 acres of crops planted in the fall of 2018.