Indian Country: The best of times, and… | Community

Patrick B. McGuigan

For the Indian country of Oklahoma, this may seem like “the best of times.”

the Museum of the First Americans (FAM) will open on the river in the state capital on September 18-19.

James pepper henry, the Director and CEO of FAM, said in a press release, “We are delighted to share with the public a premier place dedicated to the history, art and cultural ways of life of early Americans in Oklahoma. We invite everyone to the long-awaited opening of FAM in September. Those who attend the grand opening will be among the first to discover a national treasure that they will enjoy for decades to come. “

On the other hand?

The Washington Post, in the second part of a headline in a July 24 news article, was succinct: “Oklahoma collapses after Supreme Court ruling on Indian tribes.”

Indeed, in the year following the 5-4 decision for ‘McGirt vs. Oklahoma‘was made, “the ruling upended Oklahoma’s criminal justice system, jeopardized convictions in thousands of cases, confused police and emergency responders and led to the direct release more than 50 felons convicted of second degree murder and child abuse charges. “

The story cited Ryan leonard, governor Kevin stittNative American Affairs Special Advocate: “We are living a nightmare here. It is complete and dysfunctional chaos in the state of Oklahoma.

Very wild of, made it clear (in the July 23 story on the newly appointed attorney general) that the former appointed attorney general – then elected, then resigned – “was viewed primarily as friendly to larger Native American tribes including reservations have recently been reaffirmed by federal and state courts. Stitt has aligned himself more closely with the smaller tribes who clashed with their larger counterparts over casino locations, the slot industry, and gambling issues. land in trust.

So maybe the history of Oklahoma is now a tale of two states – and within that two realities clash even for tribal nations.

Charles Dickens had the meaning of words. It’s: “The best of times, and the worst of times.”

James Pepper Henry, director of the First Americans Museum (FAM). Photo from LinkedIn page (credit: Charlotte Henry)


Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt at a CARES press conference in August 2020. File Photo


Oklahoma Attorney Ryan Leonard, Profile Photo of State Hall of Fame Author


Patrick B. McGuigan, Screenshot of News9 Capitol report, years ago.

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