Posted By Staff Writer
Letter sent out to TCIC Members on Jan. 18, 2019:
The Riverside Indian Smoke shop (RISS) is an enterprise of the Tulsa Creek Indian Community. The smoke shop has been in operation for more than 20 years and has made money for the community and has paid taxes to the Muscogee Creek Nation. The smoke shop sells cigarettes, tobacco products, sodas, snacks, t-shirts, and tumblers. They also sell a variety of Native American jewelry and wares. The money made from the smoke shop allows the community to provide services and programs to the Tulsa Creek Indian community citizens.
The smoke shop is located on the Mackey Sandbar, which is in proximity to the River Spirit Casino (RSC). Primarily the Principal Chief is responsible for development of plans for the Mackey Sandbar. He receives input from management of the RSC. He then goes through the National Council to get approval for his proposed action.
The trailer the smoke shop works out of is old and worn and needs to be updated or replaced by a newer building. In June 2017, the community approved Resolution 17-02 to send to the council for a new building and to move a few hundred feet from where it is located now. The Principal Chief told us to work on getting a new building that could be moved in 5 years and he would help us with the waterlines, sewer, and other necessities we would need for relocation of this building. On or about spring 2018, the MCN Tribal construction had drawn up plans for our new building and in the summer they sent out bids for the proposed building. Then the next thing we know, Tribal Construction was told to HOLD UP on the building. We had already put aside funds for the new building and we had paid for a survey to a previous Architectural firm before we were directed to Tribal Construction. No one told the community why the plans were put on hold.
Then in May of 2018, we are told that the RSC is wanting to build a “Gasino” on the east side of Riverside and will be selling cigarettes as part of the Gasino. It was recommended that the RISS be a part of the Gasino. This is a great concern to the community since this could possibly put our smoke shop in jeopardy because the Gasino and the RISS would be selling the same things.
As of today, the community has not received anything in writing regarding plans and no one has come to the community to discuss the plans. The community has written and called asking for answers. No responses have been received, but people have told us to do this or that and no one will put it in writing to tell us what is going on.
To get to the bottom of this matter, Speaker Lucian Tiger has scheduled a meeting for January 24, 2019, at 7 p.m. at the Tulsa Creek Indian Community Center with Principal Chief Floyd, Speaker Lucian Tiger, Second Speaker David Hill, Members of the Gaming Operations Authority Board, and the CEO and COO of River Spirit will be in attendance to discuss the RISS with the Tulsa Creek Indian Community.