Another tribal nation in the state had the boundaries of its reservation affirmed Thursday, as the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled the Quapaw Nation’s reservation was never disestablished.

With this ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma extends beyond the five tribes. The affirmation of the reservation will affect cases like the one of Jeremy Lawhorn. He appealed his conviction of lewd acts with a child because he is Native American and the crime occurred within the Quapaw Nation’s boundaries.

The district judge ruled in 2020 that the state of Oklahoma didn’t have jurisdiction to charge Lawhorn, and the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld that ruling.

The Ottawa County District Attorney and the state Attorney General did extensive research and found that like the other tribes affected by the McGirt ruling, Congress never disestablished the Quapaw Nation’s reservation.

The reservation was established by treaties in 1833 and 1867 after the Quapaw were removed to northeast Oklahoma from their homelands in Arkansas and Missouri.

Quapaw Nation’s Chairman Joseph Byrd said the decision affirms what they already knew — that the Quapaw Nation resides in Indian Country.

How Oklahoma Is Preparing For Arrival of Afghan Refugees
Oklahoma Watch, Lionel RamosSeptember 8, 2021

A Catholic organization responsible for refugee resettlement and leaders of the Oklahoma City Muslim community are preparing for hundreds of displaced Afghan families to arrive in Oklahoma.

The questions of when they might arrive, how many are coming and where they will be housed remain unanswered one week after the final U.S. troops and diplomats departed Afghanistan. Over 120,000 Afghans and U.S. citizens were airlifted from Kabul during the massive humanitarian operation. The evacuees include those who helped U.S. interests during the 20-year war, participated in human rights activism on behalf of U.S. nongovernmental organizations, worked for U.S. based media outlets and have dual citizenship.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese Oklahoma City is the organization historically in charge of refugee resettlement in Oklahoma, contracting with federal agencies to provide short and long-term resources.

Patrick Raglow, executive director of Catholic Charities, said he expects hundreds of Afghan families to be resettled in Oklahoma.

“Our work begins upon arrival,” Raglow said, “and hopefully, we get enough advanced notice so that we can be prepared to receive them.”