Court: Creek, Choctaw, and Cherokee nations can regulate surface coal mining in Oklahoma, not the state

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has ruled that the Creek, Choctaw, and Cherokee nations can control surface coal mining decisions within their expansive historical reservation boundaries.

The ruling follows from the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2020 decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, which reinstated reservation boundaries before Oklahoma became a state. Today, under McGirt, approximately 43 percent of Oklahoma is “Indian Territory,” including much of Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city, PBS reported.

Indian Territory also includes all of the state’s coal deposits.

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This Day in History: The Battle of Horseshoe Bend and the Creation of Alabama

Map of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend
Map of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend

On this day in history, March 27, 1814, the Upper Creek Indians suffered a decisive loss at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, or Tohopeka to the Creek Indians. This is probably not a battle you learned about in school but it was immensely significant. It represented the single largest loss of Indian life in any single engagement with U.S. forces, some 800 dead. The battle effectively created the state of Alabama  through the Treaty of Fort Jackson. In that treaty, the Creek were “forced to cede 23 million acres … —half of central Alabama and part of southern Georgia,” according to Wikipedia. The battle also propelled Andrew Jackson into national prominence, and the spotlight followed him all the way to the White House.

A description by the National Park Services said the Battle of Horseshoe Bend could best be described as a slaughter. Forces led by Andrew Jackson of the Tennessee militia outnumbered the Creek fighters by about three to one. Jackson’s forces also had the advantage of two small cannons and Native American allies. Continue reading