Oklahoma Governor, Indian leaders sign compacts

Wednesday, October 8th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Brad Henry and leaders of three of Oklahoma's largest American Indian tribes formally signed new tobacco compacts Wednesday in a ceremony at the state Capitol.

Tribal leaders taking part were Greg Pyle, chief of the Choctaw Nation, Bill Anoatubby, chief of the Choctaw Nation, and Kenneth Chambers, chief of the Seminole Nation.

The agreements essentially extend compacts that had been in existence for 10 years.

One difference is that if the tobacco tax is increased in the future, the state will get more money from tobacco sales to non-Indians.

"While many states around the country are locked in contentious legal battles over tobacco issues, Oklahoma is leading the way in drafting cooperative, mutually beneficial agreements between the state and its tribal governments," Henry said.