Indigenous Land: 7 Hypothetical Proposals for Eastern Oklahoma
9:34 AM EDT on July 13, 2020
Last week, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation scored an ultimately historic win for not only themselves, but for Indigenous peoples all across the country, when the Supreme Court ruled that a large swath of eastern Oklahoma is Muscogee (Creek) reservation land and there ain’t a damn thing the government can do about it.
While the verdict is definitely a cause for much Indigenous celebration, it’s one that Okie lawmakers from Governor Kevin Stitt on down have constantly proclaimed will “throw Oklahoma into chaos” and other right-wing scare-tactics. To be honest though, I kind of hope it does.
Encompassing over three million acres of land—including Tulsa—I started to think about what hypothetical changes and theoretical laws that the Muscogee (Creek) tribe could make as they hopefully move forward and transform eastern Oklahoma into, what should be, their own image. Here are a few ideas…
Reverse Land Run
With eastern Oklahoma back in the hands of Indigenous people, perhaps it’s time for a Reverse Land Run? When the pistol goes off, tribal members will race each other to find the houses they like best, throwing the current owners out on their asses and making a new home for themselves and their families. And, you know, when they’re all moved in, how about a monument to celebrate these historic endeavors?
A good start might be to rename Tulsa to the more Muscogee (Creek) appropriate Tvlsa; what better way to shake things up? And if the current residents complain about this new wording on every street corner, tell them that it might be a good time to learn the language—you’re on Indian land now, buddy.
No More Gaming Revenue
Since he has taken office, Stitt has wanted to play hardball with various tribes regarding the dollars made from casinos and other gaming endeavors…how about no more gaming revenue for the rest of the state? The proceeds from these moneymaking enterprises should go directly to the tribe and their land; as the state’s economy dwindles even further, then maybe a downcast Stitt might learn to humbly say “Thank you, sir.”
Commodities for All
Growing up in Indian Country, there are very few of us who don’t have memories of government workers unloading the truck on commodity day and standing in line to receive bricks of salty cheese, cans of gritty peanut butter and whatever else the USDA deemed Natives worthy of ingesting that month. But now, these free eats should be available to anyone in eastern Oklahoma, should they have a strong constitution and an even stronger stomach. Pass the beef with juices!
Banning Religious Practices
In the United States, until 1978 it was illegal for Indigenous people to practice their religion openly, with many even facing jail time for bravely breaking those unjust laws. I say it’s time to convert the current crop of Christian mega-churches and such into more Native-centric houses of worship, whatever that may be—there are plenty to choose from. Maybe they will actually be able to do the things churches are supposed to too, like help the poor and hungry, for example.
White Boarding Schools
Many Indigenous elders will oftentimes tell stories about the Indian boarding schools of the long past, where young Native children were taken from their homes and indoctrinated into a wholly white life through ritualistic beatings and even worse. In order to “Kill the Caucasian and Save the Man,” it’s a good time to re-educate these lost white children on the Indigenous ways, if only for the good of their everlasting souls.
Finally, when that Oklahoma winter comes in fast and hard, no Indigenous person wants to see white people freeze to death. For additional warmth and hospitality, Natives should donate thick blankets to those cold, huddled masses yearning to stay toasty. Don't worry though, they’re not from any local hospitals battling the Covid-19 pandemic - the Muscogee (Creek) Nation isn't as ruthless as the United States Government.
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