Muscogee Creek Nation Leaders Return From Nation’s Capital After Tribal Jurisdiction Discussion

Saturday, October 24th 2020, 10:09 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

TULSA, Okla. -

Muscogee Creek Nation leaders are back in Oklahoma Saturday after meeting with U.S. Attorney General William Barr in Washington D.C.

Tribal leaders said they discussed important issues including how to move forward following the Supreme Court's ruling on tribal jurisdiction.

Muscogee Creek Nation Chief David Hill said the meeting was worth the trip.

"I had a good feeling when I left his office that he has our support and they will do what they need to do on their side as well," Chief Hill said. “We just voiced our concerns on what the ruling has done for the Muscogee Creek Nation and what we can do to make it better."

Muscogee Creek leaders told Barr about their $2 million investment in the tribe’s Lighthorse Police Department. 

"Just feel like it’s one of many meetings to come,” Muscogee Creek Nation’s Second Chief Del Beaver said. “They listen to us, we listen to their concerns and that’s how you build trust. That’s how you build a framework and groundwork for a good relationship.”

Second Chief Beaver attended at the meeting and said that the nation needs more resources because the Supreme Court's ruling on tribal jurisdiction means their law enforcement officers are now handling more cases. 

"We just have to be prepared when the opportunity presented itself and you represent the tribe and fight on the tribe’s behalf,” Second Chief Beaver said. “We need to put more boots on the ground and so he understands that and that’s his business, making sure the law's upheld.”

U.S. Northern District of Oklahoma Attorney Trent Shores and others also attended the meeting. 

When asked about Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s recommended federal legislation regarding law enforcement relations between the state and the tribes, Chief Hill said the Creek nation is opposed to any future legislation from Congress on the ruling.

He also wants more discussion with the state. 

"We need to all sit down,” Chief Hill said. “All these press conferences and memos coming out -- I was unaware of until that day --- let’s see what we can do to work together on this.”

Hill and other leaders hope to meet with Governor Kevin Stitt as well as Hunter next week to discuss the ruling.