Chickasaw Nation

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With the number of coronavirus cases surging in Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation is making it easier for their citizens to stay informed with a new COVID-19 dashboard.

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On Wednesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter released a letter detailing a new plan he negotiated with leaders of some of the Five Tribes that would allow them and the state to compact over matters of criminal jurisdiction. The plan would require federal legislation.

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Two recent court decisions say the reservations of the Choctaw Nation and Chickasaw Nation were never disestablished.

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United States Attorney General William Barr visited the Cherokee Nation Capital in Tahlequah, Okla. on Wednesday to talk about some of the challenges and partnerships in the wake of the landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma decision that was handed down in July.

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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 Chickasaw Nation's Head Start program and preschool will have distance learning and virtual instruction for the first nine weeks of the school year.

The nation cited health safety concerns and will affect all four centers in Ada, Ardmore, Sulphur and Tishomingo.

Virtual instruction will begin on August 17. In-person instruction will begin when the community spread of COVID-19 is low enough to ensure the safety of the children.

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Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article stated that the Cherokee Nation, the Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation withdrew their support for the agreement in principle the Five Tribes drew up last week. A statement from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. says that while they're taking the time to listen to their citizens, they are NOT withdrawing their support for an agreement in principle.

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Governor Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation said the tribe's gaming facilities will open at 25 percent of capacity on Wednesday, May 27 at 8 a.m.

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Starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Osage Casino Hotel in Tulsa will start a limited reopening.

Only the gaming floor will be open, table games will not be available, food won't be served and bar service will be limited. The hotel and pool will remain closed.

Capacity will be limited to 25% and groups will be restricted to 10 or fewer people. The casino is also encouraging visitors to wear a mask and gloves.

Osage Casinos in Bartlesville, Hominy, Pawhuska, Sand Springs and Skiatook will also open. Osage Casino in Ponca City reopened last week.

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Updated at 4:34 p.m.

Four of the largest tribes in Oklahoma — the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and the Muscogee Creek Nations — will keep their casinos closed through May 15, saying they are prioritizing their employees and the public's health over the pressure to reopen.

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