Muscogee Creek Nation

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation convicted of murder in state court and another convicted of sexually assaulting a child in cases at the center of a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling on tribal sovereignty are now facing felony charges in federal court, U.S. Attorney Brian Kuester announced on Monday.

A federal grand jury in Muskogee returned criminal indictments against Jimcy McGirt, 71, for three counts of aggravated sexual abuse, and Patrick Dwayne Murphy, 51, for murder and kidnapping.

George Tiger

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — The former principal chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation has been sentenced to one year in prison and fined $10,000 for his role in a bribery scheme, federal prosecutors announced on Thursday.

George Phillip Tiger, 70, of Bristow, pleaded guilty last year in federal court to bribery related to work he did for the Wetumka-based Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town. Tiger was no longer chief at the time prosecutors say he solicited and accepted the bribe.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

At a Tuesday press conference at the U.S. Attorney's Office in downtown Tulsa, federal, state, municipal and tribal officials said they are all effectively working together to ensure public safety is not negatively impacted as jurisdictional questions are resolved following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

The Board of Tulsa County Commissioners on Monday approved an agreement between the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police and the Tulsa County Sheriff for law enforcement in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

Sheriff Vic Regalado said his deputies will be authorized to enforce laws on Muscogee (Creek) Nation land.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — One day after announcing an agreement in principle with Oklahoma’s attorney general on proposed federal legislation regarding tribal jurisdiction, the leaders of two of five major Native American tribes indicated Friday that they don’t support the deal.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill and Seminole Nation Chief Greg P. Chilcoat both said they’re not in agreement with the document released Thursday by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.

Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole nations and the State of Oklahoma released an agreement on Thursday to help the state’s congressional delegation write legislation that would settle jurisdictional questions in the wake of last week’s McGirt decision.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Native American man convicted in Oklahoma of first-degree murder and another who pleaded guilty to manslaughter had their convictions vacated because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that much of the eastern part of the state remains a reservation on which tribal members are subject to federal and tribal law, not state law.

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.

SupremeCourt.gov

The United States Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments via phone in the matter of McGirt v. Oklahoma, a case with major ramifications for eastern Oklahoma.

Jimcy McGirt, a member of the Seminole Nation, was convicted of rape and other crimes in an Oklahoma court in 1997. In 2018, McGirt filed a motion arguing that state court was the wrong venue for his trial, as the crime was committed within the boundaries of Muscogee (Creek) Nation, which he claims is still a federally designated reservation and has never been ceded to the state of Oklahoma.

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.

Tribal leaders from across Oklahoma sent Gov. Kevin Stitt a letter on Friday urging him to issue a shelter in place order for the entire state.

A total of 26 tribal leaders signed the letter, including Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton and Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief David Hill.

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Casinos operated by the Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) nations will stay closed through April.

Both tribes shut down their casinos throughout Oklahoma on March 16 as part of their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All casinos are closed, from the tribe’s flagship Hard Rock and River Spirit hotel-resorts in Tulsa to smaller operations, including those at travel stops. Employees are still being paid while the locations are closed.

Cherokee Nation museums and retail operations are also closed.

Our guest is the Tulsa-based author Hunter Howe Cates, who tells us about his new book, "Oklahoma's Atticus." It's a work of biography/history that profiles his own grandfather, Tulsa County public defender and Creek tribal member Elliott Howe. Howe, as we learn, was closely involved in the investigation and trial of a Tulsa murder case that made national news back in the early 1950s. On Nov. 7th, Cates will do a free-to-the-public reading and signing in connection with this work at Magic City Books.

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.

Many of us living here in Oklahoma -- and indeed, living all over the nation -- are today both pleased and proud to affirm that Joy Harjo, the much-celebrated, 68-year-old writer and musician based in Tulsa, was recently named by the Library of Congress as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo is the first Native person to be selected for this honorable role. On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a conversation that we aired with Harjo in 2012, when her well-regarded memoir, "Crazy Brave," had just appeared.