Some in the state have concerns of chaos following the U.S. Supreme Court’s July ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma, which affirmed the reservation status of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and will likely soon be relevant to other tribes in eastern Oklahoma.
It is now November and criminals continue to be prosecuted and have not been let out on the street. If we all continue to work together, we can assure protection and safety of all Oklahomans.
Any call to disestablish tribal reservations and break centuries-old U.S. treaties with tribes in Oklahoma is not a call of unity. This is deeply offensive and troubling to me as a Native American and lifelong citizen of Oklahoma.
Working together, tribes and local governments continue putting cross-deputization agreements in place. We have agreements in place with county jails to house those who are arrested. And our tribal prosecutors are working closely with federal prosecutors.
Our tribe has a vision for a tribal reservation that cares for everyone who lives there, provides public safety and justice, and offers unique opportunities and advantages for a prosperous future.
I implore all Oklahomans to look to a bright future together.
Reservations in 21st century Oklahoma are an opportunity, not a problem.
The Choctaw Nation is not trying to return to the 1800s. We understand the realities of modern times and believe they can be balanced without rewriting the laws or breaking promises between nations.
Editor's note: Gary Batton is chief of the Choctaw Nation.
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