A major Oklahoma tribe has new leaders tonight as tribes and state leaders grapple over a dispute about gaming compacts.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill, and Second Chief Del Beaver were inaugurated after a ceremony at River Spirit Casino.
Their first task is building a team to address their strengths and weaknesses.
"The previous chiefs before me set the foundation, and I just have to move forward with that,” Hill said.
Hill said they're focusing on growth. Their goals include expanding businesses opportunities and solidifying their sovereignty.
“Strengthen what we have now,” Hill said.
Hill and Beaver already have challenges to face as they take office, including the dispute over gaming compacts among the tribes and Stitt administration.
Hill said they stand behind the other tribes in the dispute.
“I do stand behind the three and we will stay united,” Hill said.
Governor Stitt said games including slots, blackjack and craps became illegal at the first of the year.
“But as you can tell, we're still open, people are still playing the class three gaming, our stance has never changed, it's never wavered,” Beaver said.
Beaver said the tribe will still hold up their end of the deal with payments, despite the current dispute.
Both said in all issues that Creek Nation faces, the tribe needs to be united, and deliver on promises made to employees, businesses and the nations people.
“We can't do this alone. Chief Hill can't do it alone, I can't do it alone, we both together, can't do it alone,” Beaver said.
Hill wouldn't say if they would be joining the federal lawsuit on the gaming compacts.