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Indian Country

There are 38 federally recognized Indian nations located in the State of Oklahoma, including 14 within in the Northern District of Oklahoma. They are:

Cherokee Nation, Delaware Tribe of Indians, Shawnee Tribe, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma,  Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Osage Tribe, Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Quapaw Tribe of Indians, Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, and Wyandotte Nation.

The Tribes have their own governments and have a unique government-to-government relationship with the United States.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office is charged with prosecuting certain crimes that occur in Indian Country that involve Native American defendants and/or victims. Tribal police and federal law enforcement investigate a variety of crimes occurring in Indian Country including theft, embezzlement, murder, assaults, firearm, and drug crimes. The United States and tribal nations rely on cross-commission agreements to effectively combat crimes occurring within their jurisdiction.

In the Northern District of Oklahoma, Indian Country includes the Muscogee, Cherokee, and Quapaw Nations’ reservations as well as trust and restricted land owned by tribal nations and tribal citizens. More than 1 million people reside within Indian Country in the Northern District of Oklahoma.

The U.S. Attorney recognizes the importance of effective communication between various components of the Justice Department and tribal nations and regards the United States’ federal trust responsibility to the Tribes as a significant priority. The Northern District of Oklahoma employs 29 Assistant U.S. Attorneys dedicated to the prosecution of federal crimes in Indian Country. In addition, the district has commissioned tribal prosecutors as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys (SAUSAs) who assist in federal prosecutions.

Read more about the work of the Department of Justice in Indian Country at www.justice.gov/otj

Updated July 19, 2022

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