Leaders of The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Tribes on Jan. 9 submitted a formal notice to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt officially opposing the governor's task force on McGirt as outlined recently in his Executive Order 2023-32. The Five Tribes cannot participate in an effort that spreads falsehoods about the law, attempts to minimize tribal voices, and engages in political attacks instead of constructive government-to-government dialogue.

The Five Tribes - governments of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole Nations - have long been dedicated to advancing public safety for tribal citizens and all fellow Oklahomans. The tribes welcome opportunities to collaborate with state, federal, local and tribal governments toward this goal and have a long track record of doing so, both before and after the McGirt v Oklahoma decision. Our notice to Gov. Stitt clarifies once again that McGirt v Oklahoma was, at its core, a pro-public-safety ruling that restored tribal jurisdiction the state had illegally usurped for well over a century. Despite the Governor's Executive Order language which suggested the decision caused uncertainty, the McGirt decision finally restored legitimate legal jurisdiction under clear federal laws and the U.S. Constitution. Tribal nations have been empowered to enforce the law and deliver justice for victims.

When we have a willing partner at the State of Oklahoma, we are fully prepared to move forward, and we are eager to work with our friends and neighbors to improve coordination in public safety efforts.

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