WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Aug 11, 2011) - The Native American Fair Commerce Coalition (NAFCC), a representative organization comprised of like-minded tribes and tribal members that are committed to protecting the sovereign rights -- well settled in US law -- of Native Americans to pursue business and economic opportunities for their tribes nationwide, has added the Otoe-Missouria as the newest tribal member of the organization.

Located in Red Rock, Oklahoma, the Otoe-Missouria has a population of approximately 2,200.

"The Native American Fair Commerce Coalition stands apart as a national tribal representative organization focused on protecting Native American's sovereign rights to engage in economic development opportunities. As a member of the NAFCC, we look forward to benefitting from the coalition's broad digital commerce educational programs and it's outreach to the mainstream business community, including e-commerce. We strongly support the NAFCC's proactive work in protecting Native American sovereign rights which are so crucial to our economic survival," said Charles Moncooyea, Vice Chairman of the Otoe-Missouria.

"We are delighted to announce the joining of the Otoe-Missouria to the NAFCC as our newest tribal member. The Otoe-Missouria have transformed into a thriving community based on a will to triumph against adversity of a series of arbitrary land-grabbing policies that otherwise would have decimated the combined tribes. Instead, in the 1960's the Otoe-Missouria fought in court for justice and won judgment on their land claims case. The spirit and commitment of the Otoe-Missouria will figure prominently in our work ahead," said Darold Stagner, Executive Director of the NAFCC.

About the Otoe-Missouria:
This story of the confederated tribe of Otoe and Missouria began centuries ago when a mass of people located near the Great Lakes, withdrew from their parent stock and departed on a quest of their own. By the turn of the 18th century, the Otoe and Missouria had left evidence of their separate and independent villages along the way, as affirmation of their pilgrimage. The Otoe resided near the Platte River in Nebraska, the Missouria were on the Grand River (in what is now the state of Missouri). French, Spanish and British expeditions documented the sites that the Otoe and Missouria occupied.

In 1804, Lewis and Clark visited the Otoe, paving the way for the flood of Americans. With them came a peculiar and lasting relationship between the Otoe-Missouria and the American government. A treaty period began with the treaty of 1817, negotiated to promote peace and friendship between the tribe and its neighbors. In the interest of peace and survival, the Otoes and Missourias reunited about this time, for the Missourias had been severely decreased in numbers due to on-going warfare with neighboring tribes. Numbering a little more than one hundred members, the majority of the remaining Missouria were enfolded by the Otoe. Since that union, the Otoe-Missouria have been recognized by other tribes and by the federal government as one people.

Under the terms of an 1881 act, northern Otoe-Missourias removed to a 129,000-acre reservation north of what is today Stillwater, Oklahoma, near Red Rock Creek. The reservation officially ended in 1904 with the implementation of the Dawes Act wherein the Otoe-Missourias were individually allotted small parcels of land rather than owning a large swath of land communally. It was not long before one-half of the allotted lands were lost from Indian possession due to arbitrary and exploitive practices of so-called guardians. The Otoe-Missourias fought in court for justice and received judgment on their land claims case in the 1960s. Today tribal members perpetuate tribal traditions with feasts, dances, an annual powwow and song leaders continue lineage, clan and tribal ties. The Otoe-Missouria Tribe maintains a tribal library and a museum is in the planning stages.

Contact Information:

SSA Public Relations
David Syatt

(818) 907-0500