In 2013, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn joined Citizen Potawatomi Nation Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett to formally approve Tribal leasing regulations meant to spur investment and commercial development on the Nation’s trust lands in central Oklahoma. The regulations gave CPN the authority to decide how it wants to do business on its lands, making it easier for families to do things like buy and build houses and open businesses in the communities where they have lived for generations.
President Barack Obama signed The Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act [HEARTH Act] in July 2012.
It restored the authority of federally recognized Tribes to develop and implement their own laws governing the long-term leasing of Indian lands for residential, business and other purposes. Upon one-time approval of these Tribal regulations by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Tribes have the authority to process land leases without Bureau of Indian Affairs approval, greatly expediting the approval of leases for homes and small businesses in Indian Country.
CPN’s first HEARTH Act business, BDC Gun Room, opened in 2015.