OKMULGEE, Oklahoma—Lots of big decisions are still hung up in courts and legal systems, both local and national.
We are still waiting on a decision on the freedmen case. By the way, a tribal court has ordered the MCN Attorney General pay nearly $5,000 in costs and fees because her clients, the MCN Citizenship Board have been slow in providing required information.
The Indian Child Welfare Act has been law for nearly 50 years and the U.S. Supreme Court has finally given its approval for this landmark federal Indian law. According to a report from Indian Country Today the 7-2 decision opponents of the ICWA had a “lack of standing.” Our nation’s principal chief issued a statement saying, “the Indian Child Welfare Act does not exceed federal authority; does not infringe upon state sovereignty; nor does it discriminate upon the basis of race.”
That is a nice response to the state governors’ ongoing rhetoric, claiming federal Indian law is based on race. That has always sounded like a cheap shot, trying to stir up negative (and false) emotions. Is this a continuation of a plan to oppose and eliminate tribal sovereignty? Remember Mr. Stitt, there are no treaties with racial groups and there is a Bureau of Indian Affairs. This government-to-government relationship has existed even before there was an Oklahoma. And… there is still the ongoing dispute caused by the governor over gaming revenues. He said the old one was expired. The tribes, courts and federal government say they are still valid.
Hasn’t Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond announced that he wants to improve the relationship between the tribal and state governments? Who are we to believe? Who’s got the proverbial ‘forked tongue?’
Are you ready for more? A report appearing in Indian Country Today says the City of Tulsa cannot give a Choctaw citizen a speeding ticket because the violation occurred on reservation land. A lower federal court said ‘you can’ but a higher federal court said ‘you can’t’ because of the McGirt decision supporting tribal jurisdiction. Governor Stitt chimed in with a familiar phrase: “It is plain and simple, there cannot be a different set of rules for people solely based on race.”
Chief Hill responded, “His (the Governors’) remarks were ‘born of intentional dishonesty or an inexcusable ignorance of the laws.” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum wants to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.
It is a bit sad, but actually kind of expected. The next season of the Native produced and wildly popular TV series, “Reservation Dogs” will be the last. The creative team of Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi announced at the end of June that this next season will be the last. When you think about it, it seemed the four fearless Native youth had achieved their goal of reaching the West Coast and remembering a lost companion, Daniel. This series has shared a lot of that industries’ top Native talent. Keep it up!
When seeing that last year’s conclusion, the question arose, “Where does the story go from here?” Are you missing it already? The new promotional spots for the series look interesting and have an upbeat feel. I think we will all be surprised.
I wonder how many Indian babies have been named “Willie Jack”? Speaking of movies, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is scheduled for release in October. Did anybody get invited to the special screening? I know the Osages are happy.
Did you go to this year’s Creek Festival? It was good to have it. What did you think about it being more ‘spread out’ with the rides at the back of the grounds or the rodeo at a different time?
Just saw an interesting piece on Facebook. With all the new flavors of potato chips, it was destined to include one to be favored by Natives who might have tasted commodities in their life. This one was titled “Government Cheese”. If only…!
Please excuse me for patting myself on the back. It’s been quite a year for Yours Truly. A few months ago I was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oklahoma chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. That was quite a surprise. Following that, the honor of being chosen as one of five “Living Legends” of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation. And… finally, three of my submissions to the Native American Journalists Association competition were winners in their categories.
Even this column got a first place award in the Professional Division I & II-Print/Online category. There are a couple of others, but I don’t want my ego to get any more out of hand. Thanks to those who read Emvpanayv. I hope you find it useful, or at least occasionally entertaining.
Tribal elections are coming up. Be sure to register and vote.
O.K., enough of that. Don’t squash any Locvs on the road. Someone may need them for a stomp dance later. Hvtvm.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation or of Mvskoke Media.