KGOU

Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Two of Oklahoma’s largest tribes, Osage Nation and Muscogee (Creek) Nation, are moving in opposite directions when it comes to freedom of the press. 

The River Spirit Hotel and Casino has floodwaters surrounding it on the Arkansas River in Tulsa.
Tom Gilbert / Tulsa World via AP

Recent flooding and dam releases are affecting businesses and key industries in Oklahoma. Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses how the flooding has effectively shut down the Port of Catoosa, impacted the state's agriculture industry and postponed the reopening of the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa.

Principal Chief James Floyd

Muscogee (Creek) Nation recently repealed a 2015 law guaranteeing freedom of the press. The tribe backtracked just before the new year, but free press proponents suffered another setback late Friday when Principal Chief James Floyd vetoed legislation that would have restored the independence of tribally-funded Mvskoke Media.

Library of Congress

Congress is updating the Stigler Act, the federal law governing the transfer of lands allotted to Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muskogee (Creek), and Seminole Nation citizens-- also known as the Five Civilized Tribes -- before statehood. Amendments sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole passed the House and Senate, and are expected to be signed into law by the President.

In this photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Patrick Dwyane Murphy is pictured in a photo in McAlester, Okla., dated July 8, 2004.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week that could return millions of acres of land to an Oklahoma tribe while redrawing the boundaries of a 150-year-old reservation.

Murphy v. Carpenter, a case centered around a nearly 20-year-old murder involving two Muscogee Creek Nation citizens, will appear before the Supreme Court for arguments on Tuesday. The case has the potential to restore the 1866 reservation boundaries granted to the Muscogee Creek Nation in a treaty with the U.S. government.

The new Muscogee (Creek) Nation Community Hospital in Okemah.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Though gaming operations continue to be a large economic focus for Oklahoma’s tribes, they are continuing to reach out into other endeavors. These projects include healthcare, retail, manufacturing, agriculture and more.

Construction of a Chickasaw Nation casino in Terral.
Courtesy photo / Journal Record

Leaders of some Oklahoma tribes see opportunities in a court ruling this summer that could potentially open up many questions about sovereignty and jurisdiction on tribal lands.

Newly-elected Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd takes the oath of office in January 2016.
Amanda Rutland / Muscogee Nation News

Less than a month after taking the oath of office, Principal Chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation James Floyd gave his first State of the Nation address on Saturday as the tribe’s new leader. Floyd was elected last November and defeated incumbent George Tiger in a two-to-one margin.

Newly-elected Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd takes the oath of office in January 2016.
Amanda Rutland / Muscogee Nation News

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation inaugurated a new principal chief and other tribal officials on Saturday. James Floyd took the oath of office after ousting former principal chief George Tiger in November's election.

Floyd is the retired director of a Veterans Administration medical center in Muskogee, and has also worked with the Indian Health Services.

Principal Chief, George Tiger of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Okmulgee, OK, on Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2015.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Voters in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation ousted their principal chief in Saturday’s general election.

Outgoing chief George Tiger’s term has been mired in controversy, including calls for his removal from office earlier this year.

By an almost two-to-one margin, Creek citizens elected James Floyd the tribe’s new principal chief . He’s the retired director of a Veterans Administration medical center in Muskogee, and has also worked with the Indian Health Services.

photo of slot machine
Frank Bonilla / Flickr

Leaders with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation are working to address an $18 million shortfall in the tribe's gaming budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

Principal Chief George Tiger addressed members of the tribe's National Council during an emergency meeting Thursday night. Tiger says he hopes the council takes the issue seriously because a budget must be approved before the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Ted Eytan / Flickr

The majority of tribal nations across the country do not recognize same sex marriage. Because of tribal sovereignty, the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality does not apply.

Many gay tribal members are struggling to balance celebration for LGBTQ members across the states and the sting that comes with knowing they may not be able to marry within their own nation.

 

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Sexual assault survivors and agencies that advocate on their behalf gathered at the state capitol in Oklahoma City on Thursday to share their stories of sexual violence in Indian country.

American Indians are two and a half times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to any other group, and one third of native women will be raped during her lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Muscogee (Creek) Principal Chief George Tiger
muscogeenation-nsn.gov

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council has voted in favor of a no-confidence resolution regarding the tribe's principal chief.

The Tulsa World reports the vote marks the second time this month the National Council has shown that it might have the necessary votes to remove George Tiger from office.

The council voted 12-2 on the resolution Thursday. At least 12 members would be needed to vote on an impeachment measure if it comes forward.

Muscogee (Creek) Principal Chief George Tiger
muscogeenation-nsn.gov

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation has filed paperwork to formally remove the tribe's principal chief.

The Tulsa World reports that the tribe's Election Board filed a petition Tuesday to remove Chief George Tiger from his position in the wake of revelations that Tiger signed a secret contract with a developer of a casino that would have competed with Creek Nation's casino in Tulsa.

Tiger says he did nothing wrong because he signed the contract before he became chief.

fivecivilizedtribes.org

Unofficial election results show that Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizens have elected a new second chief in a special election.

The tribal election board says the results of Saturday's runoff indicate Louis Hicks defeated former principal chief A.D. Ellis.

Hicks received 65 percent of the vote with 2,010 votes, while Ellis garnered 1,070 votes. The results will not be official until after the election is certified by the board on Friday.

Gallery of the Five Civilized Tribes. The portraits were drawn or painted between 1775 and 1850.
Wikipedia Commons

The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes is holding a two-day meeting in Tulsa.

The Muscogee Creek Nation is hosting the Thursday and Friday sessions that includes the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Nations.

Muscogee Creek Nation Principal Chief George Tiger says he's also invited other tribes to attend and that about 400 people are expected.

The quarterly meetings are held to allow tribal officials to discuss ways they can cooperate on issues facing the tribes and to collaborate on projects.

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William Mitchell College of Law professor and 2014 MacArthur fellow Sarah Deer
Provided / John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

A law professor from Minnesota and citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma has been named one of nearly two dozen MacArthur Fellows.

Sarah Deer has served as an assistant professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law since 2009, where she focuses on violent crime on Native American reservations.