Statement from the Center for Native American Youth on the Muscogee Creek Nation Supreme Court Decision

July 10, 2020

The following statement is attributable to the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) at the Aspen Institute regarding the Supreme Court decision on the status of Muscogee Creek Nation issued on July 9, 2020. This statement can be viewed on the CNAY website here.

Contacts: Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Aspen Institute

Jarrette Werk
Communications Lead
Center for Native American Youth

On the Far End of the Trail of Tears was a Promise

Yesterday, we as a nation watched as the United States Supreme Court held that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s Indian Reservation was never disestablished. We celebrate as the United States upholds the Treaty with the Muscogee Creek Nation and the government’s promise. Until yesterday, Oklahoma has governed as if Indian reservations in Oklahoma did not exist.  Yesterday recognizes Oklahoma to be home to the most populous Indian reservation in the United States.

This decision gives hope to surrounding Oklahoma Tribes including Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation and Seminole Nation because of similar treaty and congressional acts to the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Recognition of this land grants Tribal communities to have criminal, civil, regulatory and tax jurisdiction. Tribes also receive additional federal statutory authority on their reservations. Federal assistance may be available to tribes when activities occur on Indian reservations.

The Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute praises the United States Supreme Court in upholding the treaty with the Muscogee Creek Nation. We celebrate with the ancestors of the Muscogee Creek, knowing knowing that what was promised to them so long ago will not be stolen again and their prayers have been heard.

Editor’s Note: Nikke Pitre, Executive Director of the Center for Native American Youth, is available for comment. Depending on the inquiry, CNAY may also be able to facilitate media connections to youth citizens of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.


The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) is a national advocacy organization working to improve the health, safety, and overall well-being of Native American youth ages 24 and under. Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan, CNAY is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. While a part of the Aspen Institute, CNAY is also overseen by a Board of Advisors. We strive to bring greater national attention to the issues facing Native American youth while fostering community-driven solutions, with special emphasis on youth suicide prevention. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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