By: Angel Ellis, Director
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– In an emergency session held March 23, the MCN National Council met to consider legislation that would allocate funding to the MCN Attorney General’s office that would allow the tribe to hire Big Fire law and Policy Group, and contract services with Attorney Michael Parks.
Three pieces of legislation, TR 21-044, TR 21-045 and NCA 21-029, all focus on legal services.
Tribal Resolution 21-044, a resolution of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, authorizes the Principal Chief to execute a legal service contract with attorney Michael Parks. Rep. William Lowe sponsored the resolution.
‘The Muscogee (Creek) Nation by and through the Office of the Attorney General seeks to secure advice, consultation, and any necessary legal services relating to issues raised by the McGirt decision within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation,’ the legislation said.
According to the resolution, ‘There are income tax issues faced by Muscogee (Creek) citizens that may require legal assistance. ‘
The bill said Parks possesses significant litigation experience and has previously represented the Muscogee (Creek) citizens in other cases on behalf of the legal services program.
MCN Attorney General Roger Wiley said that these agreements will not result in legal representation but rather be used to produce resources to help citizens navigate channels independently.
“We will be putting together a tax appeal document, it will include a legal brief and letter response,” Wiley said. “I will distribute that to citizens who have income tax issues.”
“Citizens dealing with an exemption denial can contact our office for those documents they need to file, it will also have a legal description and form letter.”
Resolution 21-045 approved an engagement letter between the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Big Fire Law and Policy Group, LLC for legal services on behalf of the Nation.
The legislation said a need for the firm’s specific expertise exists, ‘in regard to the McGirt decision and matters identified by the Muscogee Reservation Protection Commission.’
The Muscogee Reservation Protection Commission is an advisement committee formed after the USSC confirmed the tribe’s reservation had never been disestablished. The MCN Principal Chief set it up to deliver advice and review laws for the tribe after Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt formed a completely nonindigenous commission.
The tribal resolution states that the MCN National Council will receive a monthly report from Big Fire Law concerning ‘the McGirt Decision in regards to tribal government, corporate and business matters, taxation, regulation, jurisdictional matters, and advice on litigation matters.’
This report will be part of the monthly Business, Finance and Justice Meeting.
The cost of this agreement between the tribe and Big Fire was approved through appropriation in NCA 21-029. The funding was set for $200,000.
According Wiley, this contract will serve as policy advisement for the MCN National Council.
“At this time Big Fire Law and Policy Group are not representing in any litigation,” Wiley said.
For more information, read the full legislation at www.mcnnc.com.