FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tribal Leaders Stand Firm On Sovereignty, Helping Chart The Way Forward With State, Congress
(July 17, 2020) – Choctaw leaders are following yesterday’s announcement of an agreement-in-principle to confirm that nothing has been “given up” in the negotiated framework shared with the State of Oklahoma. The framework agreement focuses on future legislation following the Supreme Court ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma.
“The Choctaw Nation, working in unity with leaders of other tribal nations, is actively shaping the congressional response to the historic McGirt ruling to ensure we preserve the magnitude and integrity of the monumental win in future federal legislation. We are looking at ways to expand our sovereignty with the McGirt decision while balancing meeting the needs of our citizens and the communities in which they reside. Our commitment is to strengthen not weaken our tribal hard-earned rights to self-government. The best way to protect this is by having a ‘seat at the table’ during any legislative discussions. Be assured, we will not acquiesce our rights to self-determination through our sovereignty to anyone or any government body. Working together, we stand the highest possibility to achieve historical advancements for our citizens and honor our ancestors who dreamed and fought for this day,” states Chief Gary Batton, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Leaders of the Five Tribes earlier this week said the Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt makes clear their long-held position that the boundaries described in the Nations’ treaties with the United States remain intact and continue to mark treaty homelands. Each of the Nations’ constitutions affirm these boundaries, and each Nation has and will continue to exercise its sovereign powers within those boundaries.
About The Choctaw Nation
The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with nearly 200,000 tribal members and more than 10,000 employees. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, the historic boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage and traditions, please go to www.choctawnation.com