The Supreme Court split Oklahoma right down the middle. The old Indian Territory has been restored!
By a 5-4 vote, the old Justices said the five “civilized” tribes that make up Indian Territory (IT) deserve to get back the right to enforce criminal law over their own citizens. In case you forgot, those five tribes are Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Chickasaw.
From now on, if you kill a man in Tulsa, the Creek Nation gets first crack at you, not the Feds. If you entice the same man over to Claremore or Oologah to shoot him, the Cherokees get the honor of hanging you.
So, while Indian Territory will revert to being run in a civilized manner, the rest of Oklahoma will have to get along with the crew that’s in there now. It is yet to be decided if the Indians will be forced to support two U.S. Senators and a couple of Congressmen.
While this momentous decision by the Supreme Court is appreciated, it is not the clean sweep hoped for. Yes, they gave ‘em law enforcement powers, but not the land and not the oil and gas. Now, while the land is worth a lot more than it was 125 years ago (Cherokees were paid a dollar an acre), I’m not so sure about the oil and gas.
See, a few years ago oil and gas were worth arguing over. But with environmental protesters shutting down big pipelines, before or after they get built, why, who knows what you can sell it for. Gas in the ground ain’t worth much if you can’t lay a pipeline and get it to folks that want it.
While a company has to round up Billions of dollars to construct a big pipeline, all the environmentalists have to do is organize a protest and find a judge — one judge — that agrees with ‘em to stop it.
Here’s my question to the environmental protesters: “Do you want to eliminate gas pipelines… “YES!” (they shout, in unison).
“Wait you didn’t let me finish. Do you want to eliminate gas pipelines to your homes?” Well, that gets a different response. Especially if you add in the businesses where they work.
You see, they want to keep their own low-cost gas and electric (at least for now), but insist on blocking it from other Americans that desperately need a dependable supply. So if you want to be sure you won’t have to cut wood for the fireplace and cookstove, consider moving to IT, OK , TX, WV, OH or one of the other states that let you drill a gas well. If you hit a big one and frac it, you might have enough to supply half the county.
Historical quotes by Will Rogers:
“There is a good deal in the papers about giving my native state of Oklahoma back to the Indians. Now I am Cherokee and very proud of it, but I doubt if you can get them to accept it — not in its present state. When the white folks come in and took Oklahoma from us, they spoiled a mighty happy hunting ground.” WA #59, Jan. 27, 1924
“They sent the Indians to Oklahoma. They had a treaty that said, ‘You shall have this land as long as grass grows and water flows.’ It was not only a good rhyme but looked like a good treaty. And it was till they struck oil. Then the Government took it away from us again. They said the treaty only refers to ‘Water and Grass; it don’t say anything about oil.’” WA #267, Feb. 5, 1928