As the history speaks, on June 22, 1839 Mr John Ridge, a Native American, was dragged off his bed and as a result of an altercation incited by the common judgement of the mob against his decision of tribal importance, lost his life. He was wounded 84 times before he succumbed to his injuries. This was all because of a Cherokee Nation’s Removal Treaty which promised uninterrupted sovereignty over a third of land in the present-day Oklahoma – in exchange for the tribe’s homelands. The promise was reneged later.
Sixty years down the line, the grandson of John was questioned by federal agents. They wanted to list every Cherokee living in Indian Territory to start the process of land allotment. Now, this land which John had signed after giving price of his life, would split up between individual citizens and then opened up for the white settlement. Thus, making a state Oklahoma.
This story as told by Rebecca Nagle includes many dark chapters of the history. She is the one belonging to the same tribe which once was promised one third of the land. She alleged that the land which was promised to the Cherokees was being sold to the non-Indians which was something wrong. Land loss for the Native Americans is often dubbed as a common phenomenon of the history.
However, Supreme Court recently took some oral arguments in the matter. This can make this case relive its moment of glory. The outcome of Murphy v. Carpenter case which is being heard not only affects the fate of one man nominated in the case but also the treaty territory of the five tribes along with half the land in Oklahoma. Rebecca Nagle published some stats regarding the land owned by the local native Indians, according to her the only land which was allotted to the aboriginal Indians was 2 percent of all the land in the United States.
Murhphy v. Carpenter case is crucial because its decision given by 10th circuit maintains that the state of Oklahoma had no say in the decision or the right word would be the jurisdiction. However, merely federal government or tribes could prosecute crimes in Indian land. A particular outcome of this case will depend on Supreme Court. This one murder case of 2004 can totally change the outcome of the fate of the aboriginal tribes. As the murder had happened on the native territory thus only federal government or native Americans could try the miscreant. Having said that, the Supreme Court will determine if the 1866 territorial boundries the Creek Nation … constitutes an Indian Reservation even today or not.The decision will also set a precedent in the case of property allocations.
Note: A more detailed version of this information has been posted in Washington Times, readers interested in more details can visit this opinion.