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Tribal members organize peaceful protest against state agreement

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 6:35 PM CDT
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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - A group of Oklahoma tribal members have organized a protest happening Saturday in Durant in response to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s proposed tribal agreement.

“We are here and we are the stakeholders,” said Kay Haering, a protest organizer.

They’re calling it a peaceful assembly of members.

“We are intending to be a powerhouse group that unites all tribes together,” said Haering.

Haering is a member of the Choctaw Nation...and says the 5 Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma need to use their voice as members

“We believe the state of Oklahoma would love to take that authority away from us, and we don’t intend to allow that,” said Haering.

That’s why they planned to gather for the first time this Saturday to protect their sovereign rights as nations.

“The state of Oklahoma mentions very often that they are working for the interest of their stakeholders. That is often times the energy companies and the oil companies that have a stake in what happens on tribal land. In our tribal memberships, we are the stakeholders,” said Haering.

Since the McGirt Supreme Court case earlier this month, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter collaborated with tribal leaders to create an agreement clarifying state and tribal jurisdiction.

“The McGirt case is the biggest case in 100 years for the Native American tribes. We are not going to sit back and lose our position that has recently been reaffirmed,” said Haering.

Their goal in protesting is to show support of the nation’s chiefs, and empower them to reject the agreement.

“Every Native American really needs to wake up, and if they’ve never stood up for any cause in their life, they need to stand together on this one,” said Haering.

They welcome all to their sit-in Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm in front of the Choctaw Casino and Travel Plaza. They encourage members of the 5 Civilized Tribes to join their Facebook group.

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