Cherrah Giles, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is chair of the board of directors at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. She’s also a member of the Mvskoke Reservation Protection Commission, a tribally-established entity that will be addressing the long-term impacts of the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter (R), on the other hand, is not concerned about the impacts on Native women survivors, Giles writes in The Oklahoman. She shares her criticism of an agreement-in-principle that would undermine the ability of tribes to protect their own:
As a Muscogee woman and survivor of domestic violence, my voice does count. He may not agree with my voice, my experiences, my opinions; however, that does not mean my critiques of his Agreement in Principle do not count. They do.
The arena that created Hunter’s agreement was not designed to address the concerns of Native women who survived domestic violence. We were not invited to, or allowed, to speak in his arena. Although I do not believe the individuals in his arena intended to reach an agreement that would harm Native women domestic violence victims, they ultimately will.
Our voices were excluded. As Native women, we have survived generations of unintended consequences created by white men seeking to erode the sovereignty of our Nations. When the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians in Oliphant, the Supreme Court did not consider the outcome for Native women survivors of domestic violence perpetrated by non-Indians. Because of that decision, our governments cannot prosecute the majority of individuals who commit violent crimes against us. Oliphant has generated disastrous consequences for us.
Read more in The Oklahoman: Point of View: AG’s agreement doesn’t address Native domestic violence victims