In a landmark ruling in 2020, the Supreme Court held that U.S. treaties ceding most of Eastern Oklahoma to Native American tribes were still binding for the purpose of determining criminal jurisdiction — a major victory for tribal rights, but one that enraged Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt.
On Tuesday, Stitt and a group of local law enforcement officials held a forum to attack the Supreme Court's ruling as a threat to public safety — but it swiftly backfired.
According to local Native American attorney Brett Chapman, Native Americans turned out in droves to the event, where they shouted down Stitt and his co-panelists as they tried to make their statements. As Chapman noted, some officials didn't even appear to know anything about the tribal law enforcement agencies they were criticizing as inadequate to keep order.
It backfired on them. It is ALL Native Americans! https://t.co/LgRw7gvHv1— Brett Chapman (@Brett Chapman) 1626216458.0
At one point, according to Chapman, Stitt even attempted to dismiss the Native American attendees as "a lot of people from out of state."