MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – OKLAHOMA CITY – On Tuesday, September 6, 2022, law enforcement officials gathered in Sulphur, Oklahoma, for the 2022 Chickasaw Nation Public Safety Summit. The Chickasaw Nation and United States Attorney’s Offices for the Western and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma co-hosted the event. The Summit envisioned to embrace collaboration on jurisdictional changes in Indian Country, and to answer questions and discuss procedures following recent court rulings that have impacted Indian Country in Oklahoma.
“This Public Safety Summit served as an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved and engage in a dialogue on how we can work together to accomplish even more,” said Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. “While changing circumstances may affect the manner in which we carry out our criminal justice duties, our shared commitment to the pursuit of justice remains unchanged. Working relationships among Tribal, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies and the working relationships of those agencies with Tribal, State, and Federal courts are built on that shared commitment. Through collaboration and cooperation, we are stronger, more equipped, and better able to plan and respond to the needs of our citizens.”
“The changing landscape of criminal jurisdiction in Oklahoma has posed some challenges for law enforcement,” said United States Attorney Christopher Wilson for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. “This summit provided an excellent opportunity for local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors working within the Chickasaw Nation to meet together and focus on ways to ensure we are accomplishing our common mission to protect and serve.”
“We came together with the common resolve and commitment to protect public safety in the Chickasaw Nation, hold offenders accountable, and secure justice for victims of crime,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Troester for the Western District of Oklahoma. “This discussion of important jurisdictional issues and addressing questions and issues raised by one another greatly enhanced the coordination, cooperation, and communication that is critically necessary between federal, state, local, and tribal officials going forward.”
The Summit included nearly 90 participants from the Chickasaw Nation, federal prosecutors, federal law enforcement, state law enforcement, tribal law enforcement, District Attorney’s Offices, Sheriffs’ Offices, and Police Departments operating within the Chickasaw Nation. The format included various panel discussions to address topics such as the following:
- Indian Country jurisdiction following the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decision in Bosse v. Oklahoma on October 7, 2011, which applied the U.S. Supreme Court McGirt v. Oklahoma decision to the Chickasaw Nation.
- Concurrent Jurisdiction following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta decision on June 29, 2022.
- Law Enforcement Authority in Indian Country.
- Law enforcement and prosecutorial responses to crimes within the Chickasaw Nation.
- Updates in federal law and related programs.
- Public Safety services provided by the Chickasaw Nation.