July 9, 2020

Statement by Vice President Joe Biden on the Supreme Court’s Decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma

The United States of America was founded on the notion of equality — for all. We’ve always strived to live up to that ideal, but never — even at our founding — fully lived up to it.

Throughout our history, this promise has been denied to Native Americans who have lived on this land since time immemorial. We have inflicted great harm on our Native peoples, who have lost their lands, their rights, and their lives.

In a critical decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal government’s treaty responsibilities to protect homelands in Indian Country. Instead of opposing the tribes, the Trump Administration should work with tribes and the state of Oklahoma to ensure public safety and justice for victims of crimes.

As President, I will build on the important government to government relationship the Obama-Biden Administration forged with Indian Country and work closely with tribal leaders to engage in robust tribal consultation across the entire federal government.

I am proud to stand with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and all of Indian Country in celebrating tribal sovereignty and self-determination, which has been denied to them far too long and far too often.

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