Premier economic development event in Indian Country returns to Oklahoma for second time

July 12, 2016
Catoosa, OK – The Reservation Economic Summit (RES), hosted by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (the National Center), officially opened today at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. This is the second time a regional RES event has taken place in Oklahoma; the first regional RES took place in 2012. RES brings together tribal leaders, corporate America, government officials, and others to network, collaborate, and learn about opportunities to advance economic development throughout Indian Country. Attendees hail from all corners from the country, from Hawaii to the East Coast. Today’s opening grand session features remarks from Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Principal Chief Bill John Baker, as well as the Presentation of Colors by the Cherokee Nation Color Guard. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation Businesses are the presenting sponsors of RES Oklahoma.

“We are thrilled to be back in the heart of Native America, where our first regional RES served as the launching pad to expand RES to all parts of the country,” said National Center President and CEO Gary Davis, who is also an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. “The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is as a fantastic host for what has become a can’t miss regional economic development event for anyone doing business – or who wants to do business – in Indian Country. We know these four days will be the catalyst for countless business ventures that all have one thing in common: to advance economic development in Indian Country.”

RES began yesterday with a one-day Entrepreneurship Boot Camp, designed to give attendees who can’t attend all week the RES essentials in a single day. Monday’s activities also featured the annual RES golf tournament, and the opening of the American Indian Market, with handcrafted products and artwork available for purchase.

The Native American Business Trade Show will be open today and tomorrow, featuring businesses currently or seeking to do business in Indian Country sponsoring booths. Throughout the week, conference sessions with expert speakers and presenters will take place. Topics include energy, telecommunications, trade, gaming, e-commerce, infrastructure, and much more. Beyond the sessions, RES will give attendees direct business opportunities through the Buy Native Procurement Matchmaking Expo, as well as the chance to fund their business dreams through the Interactive Access to Capital Fair with top financial institutions.

In addition to Chief Baker, keynote speakers include Alejandra Y. Castillo, National Director for the United States Minority Business Development Agency, and Chuck Hoskin, Jr., Secretary of State for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Featured prominently at RES Oklahoma will be the Office of Environmental Management within the Department of Energy. The office seeks to partner with tribal entities in the cleanup effort of the Manhattan Project and the nuclear legacy of America’s Cold War defense, which is valued at approximately $6 billion per year. Topics to be discussed include the status of ongoing and upcoming procurement opportunities. Chris Deschene, the Director of the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, highlights a large presence from the U.S. Department of Energy.

In March, the National Center celebrated 30 years of National RES, which took place at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Approximately 4,000 attendees were on hand for the anniversary event. The National Center hosts two regional RES events in addition to national RES. Following RES Oklahoma, the next event will take place in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino from November 14-17.

About the National Center: The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.

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