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Cherokee Nation Files 1,000th Case, As Influx From Supreme Court Ruling Continues

Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation announced on Monday that it has filed its 1,000th case in tribal court following last year's McGirt v. Oklahoma ruling.

Before the McGirt decision, Cherokee Nation officials say they filed around six cases per month. Over the past five months, they have filed 1,000. That's a 3,233% increase.

In April, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed a Craig County case when they found that the McGirt ruling applied to the Cherokee Nation and the tribal nation's boundaries were never disestablished. Now, felony crimes that occur on the reservation involving Native Americans must be prosecuted by the federal government or the tribal nation.

"Since Indian Country's victory in McGirt, the Cherokee Nation has made two priorities crystal clear: we will fight to protect every piece of our hard-earned sovereignty, and we will stand with victims and families to keep everyone on our reservations and our neighbors throughout Oklahoma safe," said Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill.

The tribal nation has invested $10 million in its criminal justice system, added eight more marshals, two district court judges, six more prosecutors and more victim advocates in the wake of the ruling.

Cherokee Nation supports federal legislation that will allow the tribal nation to compact with the state to share criminal jurisdiction in some cases.

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