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fact, what we earnestly believe would have been the purpose of the work of Congress to have accomplished before the fact had anyone known, which nobody did, for 65 years. No one knew that the Indian nations owned the navigable portion of the 96 miles of riverbed in northeastern Oklahoma and not the State of Oklahoma itself.
You have been patient with us. I think we will try to answer questions now because I believe most of the material, Mr. Chairman, has been covered pretty thoroughly.
Chairman ABOUREZK. I think it has. In fact, the only real pertinent questions have already been asked at the outset of the testimony.
We want to express our thanks to you for your appearance here. We appreciate it.
Mr. WILCOXEX. Mr. Chairman, the chiefs and the Governor have prepared statements which they would like to offer into the record.
Chairman ABOUREZK. Absolutely. They will be entered into the record as though they were read in full. We thank you for sparing is the reading of all those statements.
STATEMENT OF ROSS O. SWIMMER, PRINCIPAL CHIEF,
Mr. SWIMMER. I am sure your patience is running thin so I will keep my remarks short. I would like to reiterate what has been said. I consider my legal counsel my right arm and when he is speaking I hope you will consider that to be the words of the tribe.
I would like to say that on behalf of the tribes we do support these appraisals and we were asked to come to Washington in good faith with an agreement and we were told not to come to Washington before we three chiefs had reached this agreement.
Chairman ABOUREZK. What is the agreement?
Mr. SWIMMER. It is an agreement for the sale and lease of the Arkansas riverbed to the U.S. Government and it was drafted at the request of the Interior Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It has a place for the signature of the Secretary and when we made the agreement and brought it to Washington, we were told that we could go no further until Congress authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to sign that agreement.
They did not complain about the agreement itself. They said, “When we get authorization to sign it we will sign it."
I would like to submit it for the record.
This Agrecment, made and entered into this
of 1976, at Washington, D.C., by and between the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Morris Thompson, and the
Secretary of Interior, John Kleppe, acting for and on behalf of the United States of America, and Ross Swimmer, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, David Gardner, Principal Chief
of the Choctaw Nation, and Overton James, Governor of the
Chickasaw Nation, acting for and on behalf of their respective
Indian Nations in the State of Oklahoma .
Whereas, the Cherokee Nation and the Choctaw and Chickasaw
Nations have recovered from the State of Oklahoma and other
trespassing parties, through litigation concluded in the Supreme Court of the United States, 397 U.S. 620, 90 S.Ct. 1328,
April 27, 1970, Rehearings denied, June 1, 1970, 398 U.S. 945,
90 S.Ct. 1834, the fee simple title and possession of the bed
of Arkansas River from the confluence of the Grand-Neosho River
in Oklahoma to the Western boundary of the State of Arkansas, and
Whereas, the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Oklahoma and a specially convened three judge Federal Court on April 15, 1975, has quieted title in said Indian Nations
The Cherokee Nation is the fee simple title
Whereas, the Congress of the United States has by Interior Department Appropriation acts for the fiscal years 1973, 1974 and 1975, (86 Stat. 509, 87 Stat. 431, 88 Stat. 809) authorized
and directed the Interior Department to survey and appraise the
value of the bed of the Arkansas River and said appraisals have been completed by said Department pursuant to said Congressional authorizations, establishing the value of said riverbed property and property rights, therein, and these appraisals have been
accepted by the Indian Nations, and
Whereas, the United States desires to secure a lease of
said riverbed property and property rights as described in Exhibits A, B and C hereto attached and made a part hereof,
from the Cherokee Nation, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations of
Now therefore, it is agreed between the parties hereto
In consideration of the payment of the sum of $60,338,509.83
divided as follows:
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
Choctaw Nation and Chickasaw Nations of Oklahoma
and ninety-nine annual lease payments in the sum of $5,834,277.94 each payable $3,873,960.56 to the Cherokee Nation and
$1,960,317.38 to the Choctaw Nation and Chickasaw Nation,
which annual sums represent lease payments for the remaining
identified assets per the appraisals of the United Statra Govern
ment listed in Exhibits A, B, and C at an annualized rate of 5
percent per annum; the aforesaid tribes or nations lease all of
said remaining identified assets shown in Exhibits A, B, and C
hereto attached for said period of 99 years and for said
of such property.
Said sum of $60,338,509.83 represents those assets shown
as items 2, 3 and 4 of Exhibits A, B and C.
All payments to be made to the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations of Oklahoma under the terms of this agreement shall
be divided three-fourths to the Choctaw Nation and one-fourth
EiJ ΓΙ Τ Α
Thin 7%?)'icion of that serment of the Arkansas iliver from the Tliron zorii area (confluence of Neosho-Grani) noir vuskorce to the confluence of the Canadian River wholly within and och by the Cherokee Nation. 1. Land Appraisal (6,735.20 acres)
2,329,000.00 2. Com . Gravel
1,453,813.8 Present Forth of liemnant liesources
1,373,737.67 3. Oil and Gas
0.00 5. 10 site: Webliers talls Lock & Dem
3,113,106.10 6. Webbers falls liescrvoir (i) iisl fr, Wildlife
250,000.00 (b) liecreation