Indianz.Com > News > Crystal Echo Hawk: U.S. Supreme Court part of ‘anti-Native, anti-woman war’ across the country
Crystal Echo Hawk
Crystal Echo Hawk. Courtesy photo
Crystal Echo Hawk: U.S. Supreme Court part of ‘anti-Native, anti-woman war’ across the country
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Crystal Echo Hawk, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation who is the founder and executive director of IllumiNative, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta on June 29, 2022.

Crystal Echohawk, IllumiNative
Today, in a 5-4 vote in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, the United States Supreme Court was a witting accomplice in Oklahoma Governor Stitt’s crusade to chip away at tribal sovereignty — one of our most basic and inherent rights. As Justice Gorsuch stated in his dissenting opinion, “Where our predecessors refused to participate in one State’s unlawful power grab at the expense of the Cherokee, today’s Court accedes to another’s.”

Despite the advances made in McGirt v. Oklahoma, which was decided before Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the Supreme Court, today, the highest court in the land failed to protect Native rights. Tribal sovereignty is a fundamental part of over 360 treaties signed by the federal government and Tribal Nations. Even after forced removals, genocide, and the decades of systemic racism and oppression inflicted against Natives peoples, the United States continues to flagrantly look for ways to break their treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.

The Supreme Court’s decision to rule in favor of an anti-Native administration is infuriating, but not at all shocking. There has never been a Native justice on the bench of the highest court in the land, and their lack of understanding of tribal sovereignty is clear. Nothing has changed in 244 years – white supremacy continues to be a cornerstone of the United States government.

While the Court’s decision ruled against legal precedent, this is not about legal precedent. During arguments, Justice Gorsuch asked if the Court would, “wilt today because of a social media campaign.” And clearly they have, allowing themselves to be pawns of a larger, long-term coordinated attack against tribal sovereignty. In the time Governor Stitt has been in office, Oklahoma has become a polarized battleground for basic human rights. He has perpetuated a false and racist narrative about public safety, pretending to care about the epidemic of violence against Native peoples, all in an attempt to water down tribal sovereignty.

This culture war is much bigger than Oklahoma, and it’s only the beginning. With over 20 states where tribal reservations reside, this ruling serves as a reminder of how far the United States government will go to destroy tribal sovereignty, and how much is at stake for Tribal Nations across Turtle Island with white supremacists in power.

Regardless of Oklahoma’s show of force through misinformation and scare tactics, the Court has refused to overturn McGirt v. Oklahoma, and our reservations and Tribal sovereignty remain unassailable. But make no mistake, unless we demand change, the anti-Native, anti-woman war currently raging in Oklahoma and throughout our country will continue. We cannot allow them to take any more power away from us. We must stand together and vote racism and white supremacy out of office.

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta
Syllabus | Opinion [Kavanaugh] | Dissent [Gorsuch] | Complete Document

U.S. Supreme Court Documents in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta
Questions Presented | Docket Sheet: No. 21-429 | Oral Argument Transcript | Day Call

Syllabus – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

Opinion [Kavanaugh] – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

Dissent [Gorsuch] – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

Full Document – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

Related Stories
U.S. Supreme Court decision in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta (June 29, 2022)
Chuck Hoskin: Cherokee Nation stands up for sovereignty (June 6, 2022)
Supreme Court confirms leak as ‘authentic’ amid uncertainty for Indian Country (May 3, 2022)
SCOTUSblog: Supreme Court takes up Indian Country jurisdiction case (May 2, 2022)
Gaylord News: Tribes united as Supreme Court takes up sovereignty case (April 28, 2022)
U.S. Supreme Court – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta (April 27, 2022)
Gaylord News: Oklahoma tribes defend sovereignty as Supreme Court weighs big case (April 26, 2022)
Supreme Court takes up contentious Indian Country case on final day of session (April 26, 2022)
Supreme Court nominee advances with show of support for tribal sovereignty (April 5, 2022)
Supreme Court hears cases with high stakes for Indian Country (February 21, 2022)
Gaylord News: Supreme Court takes another look at Indian Country dispute (January 31, 2022)
Chuck Hoskin: Cherokee Nation deserves to be treated with respect (January 31, 2022)
Supreme Court surprises by taking up contentious Indian law case (January 21, 2022)
Filed Under
More Headlines