On July 9, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of McGirt v. State of Oklahoma and held that Congress never disestablished the reservation boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Through this holding, the Supreme Court affirmed that the Nation’s Reservation constitutes “Indian country” as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 1151, which also has implications for the Nation to be able to exercise jurisdiction in the areas of criminal, civil (adjudicatory), civil (regulatory), and taxation within the exterior boundaries of the Creek Reservation.
The Supreme Court kept the United States’ sacred promise to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of a protected reservation. This decision honors our ancestors by maintaining our established sovereignty and territorial boundaries.
The Nation’s Reservation consists of the geographical boundaries for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation as it existed in 1900 (per the Creek Nation Constitution) and would include, in whole or in part, of the following counties: Creek, Hughes, Seminole, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Tulsa, Rogers, Mayes, and Wagoner. A map of the geographical boundaries of the Creek Reservation.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation has a shared commitment in maintaining public safety and long-term economic prosperity for the Nation and Oklahoma. We are committed to collaborating with the State and federal agencies to ensure Oklahoma is safer than ever.
1817 General Crimes Act:
A federal statute enacted that extended federal jurisdiction to crimes committed in Native territory but did not cover crimes committed by Native Americans against Native Americans.
Indian Removal Act:
Indian Removal Act: During the early 19th century, the United States Indian policy focused on the removal of the Muscogee and the other Southeastern tribes to areas beyond the Mississippi River.In the removal treaty of 1832, Muscogee leadership exchanged the last of the cherished Muscogee ancestral homelands for new lands in Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
The American Civil War was disastrous for the Muscogee people. After the end of the Civil War, the reconstruction treaty of 1866 required the cession of 3.2 million acres — approximately half of the Muscogee domain.
In 1867, the Muscogee people adopted a written constitution. A new capital was established in 1867 on the Deep Fork of the Canadian at Okmulgee. In 1878, the Nation constructed a familiar native stone Council House, which remains at the center of the modern city of Okmulgee.
The Major Crimes Act of 1885:
A law passed by the United States Congress as the final section of the Indian Appropriations Act of that year. The law places certain crimes under federal jurisdiction if they are committed by a Native American in Native territory. The law follows the The Major Crimes Act therefore broadened federal jurisdiction in Native territory by extending it to some crimes committed by Native Americans against Native Americans. The Major Crimes Act was passed by Congress in response to the Supreme Court of the United States’s ruling in Ex parte Crow Dog that overturned the federal court conviction of Brule Lakota sub-chief Crow Dog for the murder of principal chief Spotted Tail on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.
During the late 1800s, the Dawes Commission began negotiating with the Muscogee Nation for the allotment of the national domain. In 1898, the United States Congress passed the Curtis Act, which made the dismantling of the National governments of the Five Civilized Tribes and the allotment of collectively held tribal domains inevitable. In the early 20th century, the process of allotment of the tribal land to individual citizens was completed; however, the perceived dismantling of the Muscogee government was never fully executed. The Nation maintained a Principal Chief throughout this stormy period.
In 1971, the Muscogee people, for the first time since the partial dismantling of their National government, freely elected a Principal Chief without Presidential approval. In the decade of the 1970s the leadership of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation drafted and adopted a new constitution, revitalized the National Council and began the challenging process of political and economic development.
In the 1980s United States Supreme Court decisions affirmed the Nation’s sovereign rights to maintain a national court system and levy taxes. The federal courts have also consistently re-affirmed the Muscogee Nation’s freedom from state jurisdiction.