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TULSA – Creek Freedmen held a news conference on Thursday announcing the filling of a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia against Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd, the United States Department of Interior and DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke.

“We will utilize the treaty of 1866, the clear language, to get the citizenship that has been illegally denied for 40 years. We will utilize and be inspired by what the Seminole Nation Freedman and Cherokee Freedman have been able to do,” said the Plaintiff's Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons. 

The lawsuit was filed on July 20 by the Muscogee Creek Freedmen Band Inc. and lists five individual plaintiffs in conjunction with the Muscogee Creek Freedman Band and lays claim under Article 2 of the Creek Treaty of 1866 between the United States and Muscogee Creek Nation that Freedmen and their descents regardless of blood status, “shall have and enjoy all the rights and privileges of Native citizens.” 

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DURANT – The Choctaw Nation Transportation Department is doing more than filling potholes. In the past three years, the Choctaw Nation has completed work on 18 county roads in southeastern Oklahoma for a total expenditure of $31,555,690.28. The 36.7 miles of construction have called for widening, leveling, resurfacing, ditching, redesign of utility lines, fencing, signage and more.

Counties include Atoka, Bryan, Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain, Pittsburg and Pushmataha where significant improvements have been made since 2006, when the Choctaw Nation started its roads program. In addition to the roadwork, bridges, school parking lots and walking tracks have been constructed by the Choctaw Nation Transportation Department.

The road construction and funding of projects have brought recognition. This year, state and national awards resulted from the cooperative efforts between the Choctaw Nation, county governments and Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Despite concerns from Gov. Mary Fallin that HB 788, the recent statewide vote for the legalization of medicinal marijuana “opens the door” for recreation use, the head of Oklahoma’s Health Agency said the framework is in place to move the industry forward.

In a traditionally conservative state, Oklahoma voters resoundingly approved the state question on June 26. The measure states applications for medical marijuana licenses must be available on the agency website within 30 days of the measure’s passage. Within 60 days, a regulatory office to receive applications for medical marijuana licenses, recipients and dispensary growers must be operating.

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Federally Recognized Tribal lands are sovereign nations — with no federal jurisdiction. These new laws would not prohibit the tribes from growth, distribution or dispensing of medicinal marijuana.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma voters approved SQ 788 late Tuesday evening, marking their entry as the 30th state to legalize medicinal marijuana and will allow the growth, sale and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The state question is the result of an initiative petition by Oklahomans for Health, a group formed in 2014.

An initiative petition circulated by Oklahomans for Health that year failed to get sufficient signatures, and two proposed constitutional amendments seeking to change marijuana’s legal status in the state have been withdrawn in recent years.

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