OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Cherokee Nation is preparing for the fallout from the Unites States Supreme Court ruling in McGirt vs. Oklahoma by announcing a brand new sovereignty commission.
The ruling says the Creek Nation Reservation was never disestablished, so that area is still tribal land.
There’s no official word on if the ruling applies only to the Creek Nation or the other five tribes as well, but the Cherokee believe it does.
“This is not something we think might happen,” Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill told KFOR. “This is something that’s in the process of happening.”
Thanks to the ruling, major crimes committed on the reservation go to federal court, while lesser ones committed by tribal members will go to tribal court.
The Cherokee say the new commission will help them prepare for the increase in cases.
“That group will look at all the different issues that are involved: Resources, officers, is the court system ready, is the prosecutors office ready, to handle the influx of cases,” Hill said.
Hoskin also signed an executive order allowing the Cherokee Nation to work with the state and federal government when it come to prosecuting crimes that happen on reservation land.
Hill said the Cherokee Nation working with the state and federal government is more important now than ever.
“How do we interact with Oklahoma? How do we ensure that public safety, which everyone thinks is important, is being fully protected by the Cherokee Nation and the other entities that have to operate here,” Hill said
The sovereignty commission is being formed to help the Cherokee Nation figure all of these things out as it takes over responsibility of an expanded criminal jurisdiction on historic reservation lands.
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