Accession Number:



Potential Land and Natural Resources Policy Implications of McGirt v. Oklahoma

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

Congressional Research Service

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



On July 9, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had never disestablished the Muscogee Creek Nations MCN reservation, set aside for MCN in the 19th century, and thus the reservation remains Indian country for purposes of criminal jurisdiction under the Major Crimes Act. According to the dissenting opinion, the MCNs reservation spans 3 million acres. In addition, four other tribes share a common history with MCN Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole Nations of Oklahoma, together referred to as the Five Tribes, meaning nearly 19 million acres in eastern Oklahoma could be considered an Indian reservation. The McGirt decision has potential land and natural resources policy implications discussed in this Insight. Because this case dealt with criminal jurisdiction, the impacts, if any, to civil jurisdiction are notimmediately clear. Tribal land areas in Oklahoma often have complex histories involving treaties, common law, statutes, and regulations. Additionally, many laws and regulations apply only to the Five Tribesan in-depth analysis of which is outside the scope of this Insight. This Insight provides an overview of observer and stakeholder comments on a variety of potential impacts to land and natural resources.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]