Media Contact

Cassidy Fallik, Communications Coordinator, (913) 748-1278,

July 9, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY (Kilkaapoi, Osage, Wichita, Nʉmʉnʉʉ Land) — In response to a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court in McGirt v Oklahoma, a decision that upholds treaty rights and acknowledges the reservations that still exist for tribes within Oklahoma, the ACLU of Oklahoma issued the following statement:

The following is attributable to Nicole McAfee, Director of Policy and Advocacy:

“We celebrate today with our friends in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and across Indian Country as the Supreme Court upheld promises of treaties that are too often broken and ignored by the federal government. Indian Country is alive and well in Oklahoma, and while sovereign nations do not need a court to recognize their legitimacy, it is always progress when courts acknowledge the long history of wrongs perpetrated against tribal nations. We know there is much work to be done to unravel the decades of cases in which the state of Oklahoma wrongfully claimed jurisdiction over tribal citizens on tribal reservations, and we stand ready to be allies to tribes in those fights still to come. In a state with one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world, where the number of Indigenous people imprisoned increased by 46% from 2008-2015, recognizing the rights of tribes to say what justice looks like in Indian Country could not be more urgent. While it is important to celebrate today’s ruling, we know it is only one of many wrongs we must undo to honor treaty rights for tribes in Oklahoma. We must work urgently to advance the promise of liberty and justice for all to include those whose lands and people and heritage were stolen in the name of building America.”