Published on May 11, 2020
After today’s oral arguments in McGirt v. Oklahoma, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) remains confident in the Supreme Court process. While some may attempt to broaden the narrative about this case, either by misrepresenting the complicated history of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, or by providing inaccurate data suggesting the sky over eastern Oklahoma is falling, the legal issue before the Court is a narrow one: did Congress clearly seek to disestablish the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s reservation. NCAI believes Congress did not, and it reached this conclusion through a deep and comprehensive analysis of federal Indian law and policy, as well as a careful review of prior applicable Supreme Court opinions and the facts at issue.
“The Constitution, in affirming that treaties are the supreme law of land, makes the question before the Court a relatively simple one on which the law is very clear,” said Kevin Allis, NCAI Chief Executive Officer. “Any reservation boundary delineated in treaties between the United States and tribal nations remains, absent clear and express language by Congress to the contrary.”