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Four Oklahoma Tribes File Federal Lawsuit Over New Gaming Agreements

left to right: Otoe-Missouria Tribe Chairman John Shotton, Governor Kevin Stitt, and Comanche Nation Chairman William Nelson during the compacts signing in April 2020.

Four tribes filed a federal lawsuit over the approval of two new gaming compacts signed in April.

The Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation and Citizen Potawatomi Nation filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of the Interior, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, Comanche Nation Chairman William Nelson and Otoe-Missouria Tribal Chairman John Shotton.

The four tribes claim the Department of the Interior violated federal law when they allowed the agreements between Stitt and Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe to take effect.

Attorneys for the four tribes bringing the lawsuit say they want to avoid damage to the framework of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Last month, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the agreements between Stitt, Comanche Nation and Otoe Missouria Tribe to be invalid under Oklahoma law.

One week after that ruling, a federal judge ruled that gaming compacts between Tribes and the State of Oklahoma automatically renewed on January 1, 2020 for another 15 years.

Allison Herrera covered Indigenous Affairs for KOSU from April 2020 to November 2023.
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