The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma answers questions regarding the decision made by the Supreme Court. More information from the tribe in regard to the decision can be found at www.choctawnation.com/mcgirt-vs-oklahoma
1 Does the McGirt/Murphy ruling mean that the Choctaw Nation will become a reservation?
The Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt is specifically about the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and clearly establishes that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s treaty territory is a reservation. The decision also strengthens the Choctaw Nation’s position that it has and has always had a reservation.
2 Does this ruling mean that Indian people who are in state prison will automatically be released?
No. Today’s decision from the Court will not result in any prisoner’s automatic release. Any challenged conviction will be evaluated on its own merits and there are many other laws that could prevent a state prisoner from being retried. Any person whose conviction may be affected by today’s ruling will either remain in prison or face re-prosecution and re-incarceration by federal or tribal authorities.
3 If I live within Choctaw Nation and an emergency arises, do I still call 911?
Yes. Federal, tribal, state, and local officials already have many agreements in place to ensure that emergency response will continue to be handled the same way and that those committing criminal acts—whether they are tribal members or not—can be arrested by law enforcement to maintain law and order. Police protection and emergency response will continue to be provided for all.
4 Does this ruling change the boundaries of the state of Oklahoma?
No, Oklahoma’s boundaries are not changed by any aspect of today’s ruling. The Muscogee (Creek) treaty territory remains part of Oklahoma, as does the treaty territory of every tribe in Oklahoma. Everyone living within the boundaries of those treaty territories, Indian and non-Indian, remains a citizen of Oklahoma and their rights and responsibilities as Oklahoma citizens, including voting, schooling, and many other rights guaranteed by state law, remain the same.
5 Is this decision related to the Tribes’ dispute with the Governor over the gaming compact?
No. This has nothing to do with the gaming compact. It stems from appeals from Creek citizens who were convicted of crimes in state court and should have been tried in federal court. This litigation arose before the gaming compact dispute and will have no impact on it.