State, County Leaders Hold Forum On Supreme Court's McGirt Ruling

Tuesday, July 13th 2021, 7:21 am

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Supreme Court made its ruling on tribal jurisdiction on July 9, 2020. Now, one year later, Governor Kevin Stitt and the Tulsa County District Attorney's office plans to hold a forum Tuesday night discussing the ruling.

The free and public forum will take place at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Noticeably absent will be the five tribal leaders whom the ruling affects. The governor's office says they invited them but never heard back. Despite their absence, four of the tribes tell News On 6 they plan to have representatives attend.

We're told the purpose is to let the public voice their questions and concerns regarding the Supreme Court's ruling. Tribal leaders tell News On 6 they're not happy with how this came together and believe it will undermine the ruling.

"My concern is that the crisis is one that's being manufactured. It's one that's being generated. It's being generated for a reason. It's being generated by people who want to erode tribal sovereignty," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Junior.

However, the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office sees it differently. "This is a crisis and political leadership needs to stand up, so I'm grateful to the governor that he's at least making the effort to try and bring this out to the public, " said Steve Kunzweiler, Tulsa County District Attorney.

A protest is also expected to take place before the forum starts at 6 p.m.

This story is part of the Oklahoma Media Center’s Promised Land collaborative effort, which shows how the landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma decision will affect both tribal and non-Indigenous residents in the state.

It is a project of the Local Media Foundation with support from the Inasmuch Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the Democracy Fund. The print, digital and broadcast media partners include: CNHI Oklahoma, Cherokee PhoenixCurbside ChronicleThe FrontierGaylord NewsGriffin CommunicationsKFORKGOUKOSUThe Lawton ConstitutionMoore MonthlyMvskoke Media, the Native American Journalists AssociationNonDocThe O’CollyOklahoma City Free PressThe Oklahoma Eagle, Oklahoma GazetteThe OklahomanOklahoma WatchOsage NewsStateImpact OklahomaTulsa WorldTelemundo OklahomaUniversity of Oklahoma Student Media and Verified News Network.