2020: Today marks the first day after Supreme Court Rules that Native American Tribal jurisdiction extends over nearly half of Oklahoma.
What this means: Because the Oklahoma tribes will have jurisdiction over these areas, people who commit crimes in these areas will be tried in Tribal and Federal Courts. This is important because when crimes involving Native American people go to State courts, they often are ignored, or Native people are treated unfairly in the judicial system. Rapes of Natives go largely unpunished, making this a win for indigenous peoples, especially in the fight for the protection of Native girls and women.
What this does not mean: The Oklahoma tribes do not technically have all of this land “back”. They cannot kick out people/entities who have bought, or been allowed land in the jurisdiction of the reservation.