CONCHO, OK – Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Governor Reggie Wassana signed a land into trust acquisition for property located in Woodward in Northwest Oklahoma.
“This was another great day for our tribes, self-determination, and all of Indian Country,” said Gov. Wassana. “This is our third successful land into trust acquisition that we have completed under my administration and we will continue the journey for our El Reno, Elk City, and Clinton fee to trust applications. We purchased this Woodward land for the tribes back in 2018 and we started the fee to trust process shortly thereafter.”
The 79.21 acre tract of land is located just a few miles north the original reservation boundary and is the first off-reservation tract of land to be placed into trust. The tribes have always contended that Woodward is part of the tribes’ service area and a part of the tribes’ traditional reservation. Governor Wassana stated putting the land into trust solidifies that Woodward is part of the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation area.
“This is a benchmark achievement in our tribes land back initiative, especially since this was an off-reservation fee to trust application,” said Gov. Wassana. “The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes have always believed that our land stretches all the way up into Colorado and this land is now going to be held in perpetuity for our tribes.”
The tribes built a 10,000 sq. ft. emergency response center on this tract of land a couple of years ago so tribal citizens and the Woodward community could have a place of their own. Most importantly, because this land is now in trust, it is considered Indian Country and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes will have parity with other local governments to participate in federal programs, such as those for business development, housing, natural resources, transportation, law and justice.