Fort Reno was taken from the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma in 1883 “for military purposes exclusively.” It was to be returned in 1948 when the military left. However, the Government instead transferred the property to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hearings were held in the months following this transfer and the property was again put on “stand-by” military status. Then the documents related thereto were deemed “classified.”
In 1999, the U.S. Department of the Interior Solicitor wrote a detailed opinion citing that the tribes had a “credible and equitable” if not “judicially cognizable” claim and Fort Reno should have been returned to the Tribes in 1948. However, the DOI Solicitor also stated that the claim was time-barred. That position was later upheld in the D.C. Court of Appeals in 2009.
To sign a petition to the White House, supporting return of the area right around historic Fort Reno, visit https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/return-fort-reno-cheyenne-arapaho-tribes-oklahoma/b5BwMJW1