Tribal Leaders Release Joint Statement On Tribal Reservation Status, Opposition To Legislation

Thursday, October 29th 2020, 10:51 am
By: News On 6

Leaders from three of the state's largest tribes have unified on Tribal Reservation Status and opposition to Legislation.

In a joint statement, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill, Chief Gary Batton of the Choctaw Nation, and Chief Greg Chilcoat of the Seminole Nation announced the union.

In the statement, the Chiefs agreed to focus their efforts on maximizing sovereignty and self governance, ensuring public safety for all in their communities, and capitalizing on economic development opportunities.

Principal Chief David Hill commended his fellow leaders on this.

"I want to commend my fellow leaders for their meaningful stand for sovereignty and for their clear opposition to any and all legislation that would return us to a broken system. Tribal leaders around the country have uniformly signaled this moment as one that will resonate long after we’re gone. We owe it to the future and the coming generations to meet this opportunity with our greatest efforts, together," Principal Chief Hill said.

Chief Gary Batton said he was proud to stand united with fellow tribal leaders.

"I am proud to stand united with my fellow tribal leaders of the Creek and Seminole Nation to state we are in agreement that tribes are an opportunity for Oklahoma, not a problem to be fixed. The McGirt decision reaffirmed the existence of our reservations. There is no need for federal legislation when sitting down and working together is the best path forward for tribes and the state," said Chief Batton. "Tribes have been good neighbors and great partners for Oklahoma for hundreds of years, and we will continue to be so. If we all work in a unified approach, we can make the McGirt ruling a positive to attract businesses and to provide jobs to everyone while growing our economy."

Chief Greg Chilcoat said it is an honor to be united with tribal leaders.

"It is an honor to be united with my fellow tribal leaders in advocating and defending the sovereign rights of not only tribes in Oklahoma, but all of Indian Country. We stand ready to address any issues following the McGirt ruling through respectful government to government interactions, just as Oklahoma tribes have always done. However, Congressional involvement is unnecessary and undermines the sovereignty of all tribal nations," said Chief Chilcoat.