SOURCE: Native American Fair Commerce Coalition

December 16, 2011 16:52 ET

Native American Fair Commerce Coalition Salutes the Otoe-Missouria Tribe on Recent Dramatic Economic Expansion

New Otoe-Missouria Initiatives Include Acquisition of Land for the Expansion of Existing Cattle and Farming Operations, Launch of a Propane Company Serving Tribal Members, Including Surrounding Rural Communities and Groundbreaking for Construction of 40 New Tribal Member Homes and Renovation of Existing On-Reservation Housing; Revenues Generated From Tribe's Successful Ventures in E-Commerce Initiatives, Including Online Lending Makes New Economic Expansion Possible

WASHINGTON, DC and RED ROCK, OK--(Marketwire - Dec 16, 2011) - The Native American Fair Commerce Coalition (NAFCC), a representative organization comprised of like-minded tribes and tribal members that are committed to protecting the sovereign rights -- well settled in US law -- of Native Americans to pursue business and economic opportunities for their tribes nationwide, has saluted the Otoe-Missouria on its recent economic development and tribal housing initiatives generated by the tribe's success in e-commerce and online lending.

As a result of revenues derived by the Otoe-Missouria's economic development initiatives, including its online lending business, the tribe has:

  • Finalized the acquisition of land for the Tribe to support its growing cattle and farming operations.
  • Established a propane company to serve the needs of tribal members and the underserved surrounding rural communities.
  • Launched construction of 40 new tribal member homes on the Otoe-Missouria reservation.
  • Began an unprecedented renovation campaign specifically aimed at rehabilitating the majority of its existing tribal member housing on the reservation. Originally built in the 1970s, these houses were maintained primarily through limited funds allocated by HUD. As a result of the Otoe-Missouria's entrepreneurial efforts in e-commerce and online lending, the tribe has achieved the capacity to be self-sustained in this regard.

The tribe fully operates e-commerce businesses, including an online lending business, maintaining all sales, marketing and administrative operations, with a fully-staffed call center on the Otoe-Missouria Reservation in Red Rock, Oklahoma.

"Self-reliance is the objective of any community, and the Otoe-Missouria have worked hard and diligently to build two outstanding enterprises engaged in online lending," said Charles Moncooyea, Vice Chairman of the Otoe-Missouria. "We have earmarked all of the revenues from our online lending activities to expand our entrepreneurial opportunity and enhance our reservation."

"We are proud to salute the Otoe-Missouria for their having transformed into a thriving community based on their entrepreneurial drive and commitment to their members. With their long and distinguished history of hard work and notable gains, we are particularly proud to call the Otoe-Missouria a member of the NAFCC," said Darold Stagner, Executive Director of the NAFCC.

ABOUT THE NAFCC:
The Native American Fair Commerce Coalition (NAFCC) is a representative organization comprised of like-minded tribes and tribal members that are committed to protecting the sovereign rights -- well settled in US law -- of Native Americans to pursue business and economic opportunities for their tribes nationwide. Headquartered in the Nation's Capital, the NAFCC is more than 10,000 individual members and represents Native American tribes nationwide.

About the Otoe-Missouria:
This story of the confederated tribe of Otoe and Missouria began centuries ago when a mass of people located near the Great Lakes, withdrew from their parent stock and departed on a quest of their own. By the turn of the 18th century, the Otoe and Missouria had left evidence of their separate and independent villages along the way, as affirmation of their pilgrimage. The Otoe resided near the Platte River in Nebraska, the Missouria were on the Grand River (in what is now the state of Missouri). French, Spanish and British expeditions documented the sites that the Otoe and Missouria occupied.

In 1804, Lewis and Clark visited the Otoe, paving the way for the flood of Americans. With them came a peculiar and lasting relationship between the Otoe-Missouria and the American government. A treaty period began with the treaty of 1817, negotiated to promote peace and friendship between the tribe and its neighbors. In the interest of peace and survival, the Otoes and Missourias reunited about this time, for the Missourias had been severely decreased in numbers due to on-going warfare with neighboring tribes. Numbering a little more than one hundred members, the majority of the remaining Missouria were enfolded by the Otoe. Since that union, the Otoe-Missouria have been recognized by other tribes and by the federal government as one people.

Under the terms of an 1881 act, northern Otoe-Missourias removed to a 129,000-acre reservation north of what is today Stillwater, Oklahoma, near Red Rock Creek. The reservation officially ended in 1904 with the implementation of the Dawes Act wherein the Otoe-Missourias were individually allotted small parcels of land rather than owning a large swath of land communally. It was not long before one-half of the allotted lands were lost from Indian possession due to arbitrary and exploitive practices of so-called guardians. The Otoe-Missourias fought in court for justice and received judgment on their land claims case in the 1960s. Today tribal members perpetuate tribal traditions with feasts, dances, an annual powwow and song leaders continue lineage, clan and tribal ties. The Otoe-Missouria Tribe maintains a tribal library and a museum is in the planning stages.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    SSA Public Relations
    Elliott Chang
    Email Contact
    (818) 907-0500