OKLAHOMA CITY — Governor Kevin Stitt is creating a commission to advise the state of Oklahoma after the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, according to the governor's office.
On July 9, the landmark case ruled that much of northeastern Oklahoma remains an Indian reservation, which changes the state's legal jurisdiction and law enforcement capabilities.
We know that there is a lot of unpredictability right now. We are committed to working with all Oklahomans, Tribal and non-Tribal, to create a practical and sustainable path forward. This commission is the first step.
The Oklahoma Commission on Cooperative Sovereignty is going to look at concerns and make recommendations to the state and Congress.
Former and current lawmakers, and a business owner are on the commission to provide guidance on civil, criminal and regulatory concerns, officials said. Gov. Stitt named Larry Nichols, co-founder of Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy, as chair of the commission. Other members include former U.S. Sen. Don Nickles, former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, Oklahoma Sen. Julie Daniels, Oklahoma Rep. Mark Lepak, Alan Armstrong, Brent Bolen, Suzie Brewster, Harold Hamm and Joe Robson. Additional members may also include a representative of the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office, a member of the District Attorneys Council and representatives of Oklahoma’s federally recognized Indian Tribes.
Stitt said collaboration with Oklahoma's tribes will be crucial.
“We absolutely need the partnership of the Tribes for this process to be successful,” Stitt said. “I respect and recognize the sovereignty of every Tribe in Oklahoma and look forward to working with every Tribe to ensure that we meet our shared economic, security and social goals.”
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