Representative Mullin and tribal leaders statement on sovereignty affirmed by McGirt decision

Pictured: Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2). Mullin is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and vice-chair of the Native American Caucus.(Photo by U.S. House Office of Photography)

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Process for implementing jurisdictional agreements related to Major Crimes Act needs clarification without seeking federal legislation impacting the McGirt decision

News Release

Office of U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2)

U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) and leaders of the Muscogee (Creek), Choctaw, Cherokee, and Seminole Nations released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma affirming tribal sovereignty.

Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma regarding the Major Crimes Act (MCA), there have been many questions and concerns regarding law enforcement jurisdiction. Sovereign Tribal nations throughout the country work closely with their local counterparts on a daily basis through agreements, compacts, and cross-deputization. As a sovereign nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation has full authority to do the same to resolve any jurisdictional questions and concerns. Right now, we need to clarify the process for implementing these jurisdictional agreements related to Major Crimes Act without seeking federal legislation impacting the McGirt decision. As we look beyond McGirt’s impact on the Major Crimes Act and Muscogee (Creek), there will be a need for legislation. However, instead of moving too quickly and causing unintended consequences which negatively impact generations of Oklahomans to come, we must be conscious and deliberate in our efforts to ensure we get this right. We look forward to continuing to work with local law enforcement to ensure Oklahoma’s continued success for generations to come.

“We believe in the open line of communication that our office has established with Congressman Mullin,” Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill said. “I had a good phone call with the Congressman earlier this week. He told me that this is a Muscogee (Creek) Nation issue, and he is glad to see that we are making efforts to work with our State and local government partners to resolve any issues that may arise in the Creek Reservation.”

“I concur that the Supreme Court’s decision will have a lasting impact on all of the Five Tribes,” The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton said. “We need to take time to truly understand the full scope of the McGirt ruling and avoid unintended consequences for generations to come.”

“Congressman Mullin has indicated to the Cherokee Nation that federal legislation will be necessary after the McGirt ruling to resolve any jurisdictional gaps within our reservation boundaries,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “I am confident that Congressman Mullin will work to protect our reservation land, sovereignty, and well-being of our citizens, particularly our women. I appreciate his leadership and willingness to engage the Five Tribes in this important effort.”

“The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the Muscogee Creek Nation’s Reservational boundaries was fair and just,” Seminole Nation of Oklahoma Chief Greg P. Chilcoat said. “Long ago, our ancestors were promised their sovereignty and the McGirt ruling finally delivered it.”

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