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Keel Delivers State of Indians Nation Address (Jan 26, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The president of the National Congress of American Indians says the federal government should be more flexible in its relationship with tribal governments.

Jefferson Keel, lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation, made the remarks Thursday while delivering the State of Indian Nations address in Washington, D.C.

Keel says the government should put more decision making power in the hands of tribes. He says tribal governments have proven they have the capacity to grow their economies, educate their people and manage their own resources.

Keel says giving tribal governments more authority will remove barriers that cost jobs and opportunity. Keel also called on the federal government to have more American Indians in important positions and to create an office for American Indian programs at the Office of Management and Budget.

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