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Media Articles - 1990s

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12 January 2003
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Effort to Break Narconon Lease Stymies Tribes

The Oklahoman
March 8, 1991

It appears unlikely a lease allowing a substance abuse center to operate at the old Chilocco Indian School can be broken, members of an Indian agency in charge of managing the campus grounds said Thursday.

Members of the Chilocco Development Authority met for two hours in a closed meeting at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Pawnee headquarters to discuss the feasibility of breaking a 25-year lease with Narconon Chilocco New Life Center.

No action was taken on a resolution passed by the Kaw tribe asking the authority to terminate its lease with Narconon Chilocco.

Instead, the authority, made up of the tribal chairmen of the Kaw, Tonkawa, Ponca, Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria tribes, decided to go back to their tribal councils for ideas.

Wanda Stone, chairman of the Kaw tribe, said she is not giving up her tribe's efforts to break the lease.

"I don't think it's a dead issue," she said.

Stone said she will present her tribe's resolution at an authority meeting later this month.

Narconon Chilocco has been accepting patients since February 1990, but its program has not yet been certified by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

The state's efforts were thwarted last fall when Narconon lawyers successfully argued that the state's evaluation team was biased against the facility.

Narconon officials today are expected to oppose a Tulsa psychiatrist selected by the mental health board to evaluate its program.

Until it is certified, the facility is limited to treating 35 patients at a time. Narconon officials have said payments to the authority are low because of that limit.