KGOU

Quapaw Tribe

 

Moving to a rural Oklahoma town can be hard selling point for the state’s tribes, especially for high-demand, skilled professions like doctors and chefs.

The Journal Record newspaper released a special issue this week, Building Bridges, that looks at the tribal impact on Oklahoma’s economy. As part of the issue, reporter Catherine Sweeny noted that tribal healthcare facilities have to compete with metropolitan areas to attract doctors.

Renovation continues on the Sunshine Cleaners building at 1012 NW First St. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

In April the Oklahoma City Council approved $550,000 in tax increment financing, or TIF money, for the dilapidated Sunshine Cleaners building just west of downtown.

About the only remarkable thing about the building two blocks from the Oklahoma County Jail is its beautiful neon sign. The roof has caved in, the windows are broken, and satellite imagery even shows an abandoned vehicle inside the building.

Cory Moates, owner of Moates Excavating, left, and Tim Kent, environmental director of The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, inspect ongoing chat disposal from a site near Quapaw in 2014. The pit is the top of a collapsed mine near Picher.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma says two companies aren’t offering enough money to help clean up the Tar Creek Superfund site.

The tribe asked a federal judge to reject a $15 million settlement with two companies that have responsibility for some of the hazardous waste at the site near Picher, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Cory Moates, owner of Moates Excavating, left, and Tim Kent, environmental director of The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, inspect ongoing chat disposal from a site near Quapaw. The pit is the top of a collapsed mine near Picher.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

Monday The Journal Record published its Tribal Economic Impact issue, a deep dive into how Oklahoma’s federally recognized Native American groups fund their services and contribute to Oklahoma’s economy.

A sinkhole near the Tar Creek/Picher Superfund site in Northeast Oklahoma.
Janice Waltzer / Flickr Creative Commons

The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma has signed an agreement with the state to clean up contaminated waste leftover from decades of mining.

The tribe announced Wednesday that it has signed the agreement with the State of Oklahoma and the Environmental Protection Agency to perform additional remediation within the Tar Creek Superfund site. The tribe earlier this year became the first in the nation to successfully clean up a federal hazardous waste site.

Under the agreement, the tribe will remove approximately 72,000 tons of contaminated material and haul it to a nearby repository.