In this Note, Thomas Siwula analyzes the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, where the Court ruled that Congress had never divested the Muscogee Creek Nation’s reservation in eastern Oklahoma of its independent status. Siwula examines how the Court moved away from a historical analysis and toward a textual analysis of reservation divestment. Siwula argues that by focusing more on the treaties and statutes that created the reservation, and the absence of “magic words” divesting a reservation of its status, the Court bolsters tribal sovereignty—at least for those tribes with well-documented histories of dealings with the U.S. Government. Siwula then discusses the wide-ranging impact of McGirt‘s recognition of a long-dormant reservation covering much of eastern Oklahoma.
Thomas Siwula is a Juris Doctor candidate at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, class of 2022.
Recommended citation: Thomas Siwula, Rectifying Broken Treaties: McGirt v. Oklahoma, a Step Toward Natural Resource Sovereignty, 53 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. Online 1 (2022).