PENDLETON — The annual Tribal-State Government-to-Government Summit kicked off today at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, bringing together members of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes and state government.
Co-hosted by Governor Kate Brown and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, this year’s theme, Shared opportunities: Learning from our past and working together to build a better future is focused on ways to enhance economic opportunity in tribal communities.
“The nine tribes of Oregon work cooperatively with the State for the betterment of all citizens. We work to ensure water quality, the improvement of our environment and to ensure strong economic viability in each of our communities,” said Chuck Sams with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. “It’s important that we have this government-to-government relationship so that we can work on those things that are common to all of our people,”
The Summit opened with ceremonial song and dance from tribal members, and then dived into panel discussions on education and economic development, water in the coming decade, tribal gaming and the Tribal Cultural Items Task Force. Smaller table discussions centered around economic development.
“The annual tribal summit presents us with the opportunity to renew our common purpose toward collective action,” said Governor Brown. “As the gaming population ages, we must work together to find ways to invest in tribal communities so they can restore, grow, and remain sovereign.”