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Who owns your land? Reaction after landmark Supreme Court decision

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 10:57:37-04

Lots of questions after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s original treaty was never erased and that means much of eastern Oklahoma is still considered a reservation.

READ MORE: Supreme Court rules much of eastern Oklahoma remains tribal reservation

2 Works for You found out the Tulsa County Clerk’s Office is getting flooded with phone calls from property owners asking—'do I still own my land?'

Legal experts said the Supreme Court ruling—at the heart of it really affects criminal prosecution of natives on native land.

But there’s also confusion on who owns property because technically, people are living and owning property on a Native American reservation.

The Tulsa County Clerk’s Office still has the first land records dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

These records show when tribes like the Cherokee Nation or the Muscogee (Creek) Nation gave 160-acre land allotments to its members. But obviously over more than a century now, those 160-acre pieces of land have been sold off—to private citizens—native and non-native.

”The big thing for people to know is—their address hasn’t changed," said Michael Willis with the Tulsa County Clerk Office. "The Creek Nation or the Cherokee Nation or wherever you might live in the county—those tribal interests don’t know own your land or anything like that, but your land does still go back to the original owner was the Creek or the Cherokee Nation.”

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