FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 12, 2018
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd Hails U.S. House Passage of Stigler Act Amendments, urges quick Senate action to approve
OKMULGEE, Okla. – On Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 2606, the Stigler Act Amendments of 2018, advancing the legislation to the U.S. Senate for their consideration.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd hailed today’s vote as a significant victory for the tribe and praised the House’s actions to pass HR 2606. “On behalf of the entire Muscogee (Creek) Nation, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for today’s vote on this legislation that is so critically important to our Nation’s citizens. I urge the Senate to act quickly to approve the House-passed bill and send it on to the President for his signature.”
H.R. 2606 amends the Stigler Act of 1947, which pertains to the restricted fee status of land for members of the Five Civilized Tribes. The current law requires the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, along with Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole citizens, to have at least one-half Native American blood quantum to maintain restricted status of their family’s land from original allotted land parcels across Oklahoma when they pass it on to their descendants. The citizens of these five tribes are the only ones in the entire country affected by this unfair and discriminatory requirement.
MCN stands to gain the most from this passage since it holds the largest land base of the Five Civilized Tribes in its 11-county boundaries.
H.R. 2606, introduced by Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), restores fairness to the citizens of the Five Civilized tribes by eliminating blood quantum requirements. This allows lineal descendants by blood of original enrollees named on the Five Tribes membership rolls to maintain restricted fee status on their families’ lands when they pass it on to the next generation. The legislation will ensure that they are treated the same as citizens of every other tribe in the country, who under current federal law, do not have to meet any arbitrary blood quantum requirement to keep their family land in restricted fee status.
Principal Chief Floyd had special praise for the leadership shown by Oklahoma congressional leaders on this issue. “For far too long, citizens of the Five Civilized Tribes have needed relief from these antiquated blood quantum requirements. Thanks to the extraordinary leadership of Congressman Cole, Congressman Markwayne Mullin, and the other members of the Oklahoma House delegation, the solution to a problem that has afflicted thousands of Oklahoma tribal families is now within reach. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, along with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole Nations, stand ready to work with Senators Inhofe and Lankford to finish the this important undertaking before the end of the 115th Congress”.