Half of Oklahoma state recognised as native country

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Muskogee Creek; Chocktaw; Cherokee; Seminole; and Chickasaw nations were forcibly removed from their homelands and taken to their Oklahoma reservations almost 200 years ago.

These reservations take up half of the current boundaries of Oklahoma state. Over time, the reservations were reduced to allow non-native settlers to live there, including in Tulsa, which has become the second-largest city in the state. The US Supreme Court now recognises the original boundaries of the reservations as native "Indian country," as defined by federal law.

This means that all natives in these areas come under the jurisdiction of the laws of the respective five nations and the federal government of the US and puts in doubt state convictions.

Jonodev O. Chaudhuri, ambassador for the Muskogee Creek nation, talked to Tapatahi about the implications of this court ruling.