Patrick B. McGuigan, The City Sentinel
In a letter posted in late afternoon today (Friday, July 17), the Muscogee (Creek) Nation announced it is not in agreement with an accord Attorney General Mike Hunter announced on Thursday.
In a letter to “my fellow Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizens,” Principal Chief David W. Hill announced the tribe is “not in agreement with the proposed agreement-in-principal announced yesterday by the State of Oklahoma.”
Hill wrote, “I very much believe that collaboration between federal, state, and tribal governmetns is critical and necessary following the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt. That collaboration, however, does not require congressional legislation.”
Chief Hill continued, “The Nation will continue to pursue all appropriate intergovernmental agreements to ensure public safety within its borders, as intergovernmental agreements are the hallmakr of respect among sovereigns. In fact, many such agreements already exist and we will continue to build upon them, but the Muscogee (Creek) Nation will oppose any proposed legislation that diminishes the Nation’s sovereignty.”
Hill’s open letter came several hours after Seminole Chief Greg P. Chilcoat said his tribe “has not been involved” in the agreement announced on Thursday.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has not responded to several questions from this reporter concerning the development of the agreement-in-principal. In a statement received by The City Sentinel and other news organizations late Friday afternoon, Hunter said:
“Since the Murphy case went before the U.S. Supreme Court over two years ago, we have been meeting regularly with the Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations to discuss potential legislation, so Chief Hill’s statements today come as a stunning and regrettable reversal of commitments and assurances to me. This is neither in the best interest of the state of Oklahoma nor its tribal citizens.
“Legislation is necessary to clarify the criminal and civil uncertainty created by the McGirt decision. I am deeply disappointed in Chief Hill for withdrawing from this process. It is my hope that both the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the Seminole Nation will recommit to our agreement on legislation that preserves public safety and promotes continued economic growth.”