Press Release

Release Date: October 21, 2020
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby released the following statement in regard to today's letter from Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter recognizing the value of intergovernmental cooperation.

“Only last week, an Oklahoma court applied McGirt to the Chickasaw Nation and concluded our lands, too, remain Indian country for purposes of criminal jurisdiction. As we have been for some time, we remain engaged with our State and Federal partners as we continue preparations to fulfill our shared law enforcement responsibilities.

We thank Attorney General Hunter for recognizing the value of intergovernmental cooperation. Over several decades, Tribes and Oklahoma have worked together on a government-to-government basis and built a rich fabric of compacts that have served all of us well. In August, we communicated to the Oklahoma delegation that, if it is to act, Congress should build on our history of successful intergovernmental cooperation and provide narrow Federal authorization to empower Tribes and the State to compact on criminal jurisdiction. We commend Attorney General Hunter supporting this approach.

We believe if Congress is to act, it should act consistent with what has worked, and what works is Tribal self-determination and intergovernmental cooperation. Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation are well able to work together, and we look forward to the prospect of working toward new compacts that build on our strengths and provide for the public’s safety.” – Bill Anoatubby, Governor, the Chickasaw Nation