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Co-Govern with Tribal Nations

A co-governing strategy for the city of Tulsa and our Tribal Nations:

By Monroe Nichols

Oklahoma is at a historic crossroads regarding state-tribal relations, and the city of Tulsa is at the center of that crossroads, literally and figuratively. I am the only candidate in the race for Tulsa Mayor who has openly and candidly acknowledged that the state and the city of Tulsa overstepped their authority in Indian Country for more than 100 years. And no other candidate has said they are willing to lay down arms to begin the task of co-governing with our tribal partners. The eyes of the entire nation are upon us, and how we move forward sets our shared legacy for the next 100 years. It's a job I am ready, willing and eager to start. 

I am the only candidate in this race who has announced the creation of a senior-level mayoral appointee whose sole focus will be to work with our tribal partners.

Over my seven years as a state representative, I have never wavered in my support for our tribal nations. On issues ranging from compacts to state budget proposals that pitted private industry against tribal governments, I have always protected tribal interests and ensured tribes received a fair deal. 

I am the only candidate in this race who has announced the creation of a senior-level mayoral appointee whose sole focus will be to work with our tribal partners. If elected, my Director of Tribal Policy and Partnerships will begin a co-governing strategy with the Muscogee, Cherokee, and Osage Nations on day one. Tulsa's status as the largest city entirely inside a tribal reservation is one of our greatest strengths, and we should capitalize on that status, not fight it.

With around 30,000 Native Americans from nearly 100 tribes residing in Tulsa, my office will work jointly with tribes on housing, commerce, education, and healthcare initiatives to make our city the hub of Native excellence, innovation, and entrepreneurship. I want Tulsa to be known across the United States as a place where young Native Americans choose to start their businesses, careers, and families because Tulsa is welcoming, culturally diverse and has the resources they need to achieve their dreams.

While I am excited about making Tulsa the Gateway City to Indian Country, make no mistake — my qualifications are unique. I'll be the first mayor with a combination of experience in higher education, economic development, nonprofit management, and city and state government. No other candidate running for mayor has that breadth of experience. My background and expertise can bring diverse groups of people and industries together.

And yes, I'd also be Tulsa's first mayor of color, but my candidacy, my qualifications and my vision meet the moment we are in now. That moment requires a leader who studies our past to shape our future — a future in which we realize we can accomplish much more together. The city of Tulsa's future and its success are inevitably tied to the success of our tribes, and I want both to be equally bold and bright. I hope to earn your support and would be honored to have you join me on this journey.


  • Acknowledge and stand with tribal sovereignty.

  • Strengthen partnerships and establish a trust-based co-governing relationship with tribal governments and the City of Tulsa.

  • Ensure Tulsa is home to a thriving Native American community and is welcoming to Native cultures.

  • Make Tulsa the center for Native entrepreneurship, economic opportunity and excellence in a way that attracts Natives from all over the country.

  • Put Native families on a pathway to economic mobility.


  • Tulsa is home to over 30,000 Native Americans.

  • Tulsa is the largest city in the United States entirely inside tribal reservation boundaries.

  • Tribes represent a unique economic and cultural advantage for Tulsa versus anywhere else in the country.

  • Over the last four years, the city of Tulsa has followed the lead of the Stitt administration in challenging tribal sovereignty in multiple courts.

  • In 2022, the Native poverty rate in Oklahoma increased from 18.1% to 20.4%.


  • Appoint a Director of Tribal Policy and Partnerships.

  • Develop a shared economic development agenda that prioritizes making Tulsa the national economic hub for Native-American-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

  • Establish an Indian Center that empowers all Native youth, elders, families and community by promoting economic, mental and physical health through education, advocacy and cultural enrichment.

  • Implement a co-governing strategy that aligns city of Tulsa and tribal departments to better serve tribal citizens through coordinated public safety, comprehensive housing solutions, high-quality education and training, and more.

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