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Politics

Cherokee, Chickasaw Leaders Endorse Expected Criminal Jurisdiction Legislation In Congress

 left to right: Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby
Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation
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left to right: Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby

Long awaited legislation that will allow tribal nations in Oklahoma to compact with the state on criminal jurisdiction is set to be announced this week. Leaders of the Cherokee and Chickasaw Nation today announced their support for the narrow federal legislation.

Both tribal nations have been working with U.S. Rep. Tom Cole and other members of Oklahoma's congressional delegation to get language together that would allow for compacting.

The legislation is titled the Cherokee Nation and the Chickasaw Nation Criminal Jurisdiction Compacting Act of 2021 and includes six key points that will allow the two tribal nations to work with the state on prosecution and law enforcement within Indian Country.

In a statement, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said he intends to protect tribal sovereignty while working with state and congressional leaders to get the legislation passed.

"It is a solution that will only increase our options, so that justice can always be served, and so that victims and their families – both Native and non-Native – don’t have to worry about their cases falling through the gaps."

For now, the legislation only applies to the Chickasaw and Cherokee Nation.

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