Indian Reservations

On this edition of ST, we learn about a multi-artist, multi-media exhibition opening soon at Living Arts of Tulsa called "Speak: Speak While You Can." The show gathers works by several outstanding Native American artists, all of the creations focused on various indigenous/tribal langauges. Our guests are the co-curators of this show, both of them noted Native artists in their own right: Tony A. Tiger (Sac & Fox/Seminole/Muscogee) and Bobby C. Martin (Muscogee/Creek).

Photo From Wikipedia

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a surprising 5-4 decision in the case of McGirt v. Oklahoma; the Court ruled that much of the eastern half of Oklahoma is still an Indian reservation. In doing so, the Court affirmed that -- because Congress had not expressly disestablished the Muskogee Creek Reservation, which was created well over a century ago -- that Reservation still exists when it comes to the Federal Major Crimes Act.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared Monday to be a pivotal vote for the proposition that a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, a question the Supreme Court failed to resolve a year ago.

The justices heard arguments by phone in an appeal by a Native American man who claims state courts have no authority to try him for a crime committed on reservation land that belongs to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

US Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today in a case that has enormous implications for Oklahoma.

McGirt v. Oklahoma is the second case before the justices within the span of about 18 months that seeks to resolve whether eastern Oklahoma is still legally an Indian reservation and under the jurisdiction of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole nations,  a status that could upend decades of state criminal convictions of tribal citizens.

On this edition of our program, we discuss one of the cases that will be heard when the U.S. Supreme Court comes back into session next week. "Sharp v. Murphy" (previously known as "Carpenter v. Murphy") is a case that turns on whether Congress disestablished the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation. Although this question pertains specifically to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the Court's decision might also end up applying to reservations of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole Nations. Our guest is a locally based expert on this case, TU Law Professor Judith Royster.