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After Long-Sought Wins For Indian Country, What’s Next?

Protestors rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin prior to a December 2019 game between the Packers and Washington, D.C.'s football team.
Protestors rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin prior to a December 2019 game between the Packers and Washington, D.C.'s football team.

After many years of activism by Native Americans, several recent decisions and announcements offered some victories.

The Supreme Court ruled that a little less than half of the land in the state of Oklahoma is within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. The decision will have implications for criminal and civil cases both past and present.

Here’s some of the opinion, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch.

to leave their ancestral lands in Georgia and Alabama, the

Creek Nation received assurances that their new lands in

the West would be secure forever…

— Rebecca Nagle (@rebeccanagle) July 9, 2020

And a federal judge also ruled that oil must be drained from the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota after it was determined that the Army Corps of Engineers skipped vital steps in assuring the pipeline’s safety. The state of North Dakota and the Corps have both asked that the court suspend the order to empty the pipeline.

Plus, Washington D.C.’s football team announced that it will change its name, which is a slur referencing Native Americans. Team officials, including owner Dan Snyder, are working on selecting a new moniker.

What are the consequences of the Supreme Court decision? What does the name change for Washington’s football team mean to America’s Indigenous communities? And what’s next for activists and leaders?

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