Working Effectively with Tribal Governments

Introduction to Tribal Concepts

Sovereignty in Oklahoma

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Between 1812 and 1835, tribes located in the southeast were compelled by the U.S. government to give up their lands and move west to Indian Territory, which is now the State of Oklahoma. Many tribes from the northeast, southwest and the Great Plains were also forced to resettle on reservations there. As a result, there are now over 30 tribes in Oklahoma.

Due to federal statutes that broke up these reservations into individual parcels, or allotments, in the late 1800s, there are still many open-ended legal questions about Indian lands in Oklahoma. The land status in Oklahoma should be viewed on a case by case basis.

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